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Effect of Topical Anesthetic Prior to Laser Treatment for Blood Vessels


July 4th, 2020 | General Info

Pulsed dye laser (PDL) is a very effective treatment for redness of the face due to enlarged blood vessels. It has proven to be very safe and effective. However, there is some discomfort from the laser pulses and while most patients have no difficulty tolerating treatment without any anesthetic, some patients do find it difficult to tolerate. Topical anesthetic can be used to decrease the discomfort of laser treatments but there has always been the question of whether the vasoconstrictive properties (i.e. constriction of blood vessels) of the anesthetic might have an adverse effect on outcome if you are trying to get rid of blood vessels.

A recent study by Chunharas et al in April of 2020 (Lasers Surg Med. 2020 Apr;52(4):307-314) demonstrates that topical anesthesia with lidocaine and tetracaine do not interfere with the efficacy of pulsed dye lasers. This is great news for those who want to receive treatments with pulsed dye lasers.