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Vascular abnormality is a general term that describes abnormalities of the veins, lymph vessels and arteries. Two of the most common types of vascular abnormality are angiomas and port-wine stains. These abnormalities most commonly appear in children from birth, although in some cases they also appear in adulthood.
Cherry angiomas are fairly common skin growths that tend to be bright red in colour. Spider angiomas tend to appear as flat red spots with extensions protruding from the centre, giving them the appearance of a spider web. Angiomas are a benign build-up of blood vessels underneath the surface of the skin, and usually, angiomas are not removed unless they bleed often or are aesthetically unpleasant. However, if an individual wants to remove an angioma, there are a number of options available.
Laser therapy can treat an angioma by improving the discolouration and texture of the skin, with the aim of destroying the irregular skin cells so that new, healthy cells can grow in their place. Electrodessication can also treat an angioma by destroying irregular cells using a metal probe heated by an electric current. In both treatments, a small scar is possible, but recovery time is minimal. You can expect some redness and swelling, but this will resolve within a couple of days. In some cases, angiomas can also be treated with cryotherapy, whereby the angioma is frozen. This achieves the same result of destroying the irregular cells so that new, healthy cells may grow.
A port-wine stain is a red or purple mark that usually appears on the face. It tends to appear in childhood. If not treated early, port-wine stains tend to darken as the person gets older as the blood is not able to flow through it as easily. Port-wine stains also tend to start off flat and smooth, and as the person gets older, the stain may become bumpy and thickened.
Laser therapy is often used to treat port-wine stains. Laser treatment is most effective on paler, smaller port-wine stains on the face, although it can be successful in reducing the appearance of darker port-wine stains. Laser therapy can be painful and is usually performed under a general anaesthetic in children and a local anaesthetic in older children and adults. Up to 10 treatments may be needed, making it a fairly costly treatment.
Cover-up or camouflage makeup can also be used to improve the appearance of a port-wine stain if laser treatment has been unsuccessful.
Advanced Cosmetic Procedures (ACP) is a new name for "Advanced Electrolysis". ACP uses either Short Wave Diathermy or Blend to treat unwanted skin blemishes, such as warts, skin tags, moles and other benign growths, as well as thread veins and vascular conditions with no mark left on the skin.
Cosmetic skin camouflage is the art of concealing a discolouration, blemish or scar with the application of specialist camouflage creams that are matched to the surrounding skin tones.
Laser and light technologies have been developed to treat people with a variety of different skin problems including pigmented (skin colour, birthmark) and vascular (vein) problems.