What is PDL Therapy?
PDL stands for “Pulsed Dye Laser” and is a type of light therapy that stimulates rejuvenation of the skin by targeting the body’s natural ability to repair and rebuild damage from within.
The Pulsed Dye Laser gets its name from the fact that the laser beam of light is generated using a dye. Seen as a long pulse of yellow to orange light, this wavelength is particularly well absorbed by haemoglobin, a substance naturally found within red blood cells and vessels. This makes it effective against vascular irregularities, such as broken capillaries, rosacea and spider veins.
What Problems Areas Can PDL Treat?
The wavelength of Pulsed Dye Lasers is more suited to target superficial vascular issues of the skin, as the laser does not penetrate to deeper tissue layers.
Deeper vessels, typically 1.5mm in depth, as well as blue vessels, will not be as responsive to Pulsed Dye Laser treatments. For these we recommend a combination approach of laser treatments and other vascular procedures.
Does Pulsed Dye Laser Hurt?
The skin is cooled using cold air directly before the laser is emitted. This minimises discomfort and reduces the redness and swelling often experienced with other laser techniques. A flicking sensation, similar to the snap of an elastic band, can often be felt with each pulse of light, but this effect is short-lived. When treating larger areas of the body, the high energy heat may also affect other unwanted areas, resulting in blistering and skin discolouration. Our trained experts will discuss all risks and side effects of PDL therapy during your initial consultation.
When Can I Expect To See The Results From The Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment?
Pulsed Dye Laser treatment can be used on a wide range of vascular and discolouration issues, and the time for results depends on what area is being treated and to what extent. We recommend waiting up to three months following a full course of treatment before final results are assessed.
For stretchmarks and scars, a full course typically involves 5-8 applications, approximately 4-6 weeks apart. Smaller veins and superficial vascular lesions respond well to fewer treatments and may even be eliminated after just one procedure.
Who is Suitable For The PDL Procedure?
The wavelength of the Pulsed Dye Laser can be customised to suit a range of skin conditions, types and thicknesses. However, we do not recommend PDL therapy to patients with darker skin tones. The high melanin in the epidermis of darker skin will act as a barrier to the laser light and absorbs it before it can penetrate deep enough to target the vascular issue. This may also result in unwanted discolouration of the skin.
During your initial consultation, our trained skincare experts will assess your skin and advise you on the most suitable treatment option based on your overall health, skin condition and type, as well as your personal preferences and expectations.