"My skin looks clearer, less red and I am able to wear less cover-up than before"
Added: (Thu Feb 01 2007)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
Ever since I was a teenager I’ve blushed easily. And if you are someone who tends to blush or have the odd hot flush, the chances are you might also have quite sensitive skin. Ignoring this fact, I am also (whisper it) a bit of a sun worshipper, and in my youth was regularly guilty of the heinous crime of not slapping on enough suntan lotion. Oh if only I’d listened to my mother. If only I’d worn sunglasses and factor 15. But still, you can’t reverse the clock. You can’t turn back the hands of time. Or can you?
It's a well known fact that as we get older fine lines and wrinkles will inevitably come. But alongside these our skin can also develop tiny little red lines around the cheeks and nose area. These lines are three times more common in women than men, and they arrive when oestrogen levels in the body drop and slow collagen production. The red lines are actually tiny blood vessels near the surface of skin - and they can also occur in people who suffer from acne.
A couple of years ago when I had nothing better to do than busily examine my skin in the mirror, I noticed some of these tiny little red lines around my nose and cheeks. On closer inspection, I felt decidedly embarrassed. Where had they come from? Surely this should only happen when I'm old enough to be retired. And I was only 29. No fair.
As time went on I became a bit obsessed about these lines. I visited beauticians in London who claimed to be able to take them away for around £30 a pop. But after having someone use a laser on them, which felt like lots of tiny bee stings, the lines didn’t go away. In fact, they seemed to get worse.
At music festivals, I’d be the one sitting in my tent first thing, Touche Eclat in one hand, concealer in the other, envying my friends as they woke up looking a tad dishevelled but still clear-skinned. Something had to be done.
Later that year I read a brilliant article in The Sunday Times' Style magazine about a procedure called Veinwave. A lady who had suffered from the same problem as me (a mild form of Rosacea, as it turns out) had been successfully treated for the condition and wanted to spread the news.
Faster than you could say 'foundation' I was on the laptop looking into this Veinwave phenomenon. Could it really mean that I might one day no longer have to slap on the make-up to hide my redness? I couldn’t believe it might finally be possible.
I made an appointment to visit Dr Brian Newman at his surgery on Harley Street (he also has clinics in Manchester and Glasgow). Dr Newman’s credentials are pretty impressive. Having trained in Medicine at Manchester University, he became a fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons in 1973, and obtained his M.D. in 1977.
He later worked as a General Surgeon, covering all aspects of gastrointestinal and vascular surgery, before becoming an NHS Consultant General Surgeon at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
During his career Dr Newman discovered that thread veins (as they’re called) are very, very difficult to treat. In the past they’ve usually been treated by injection, or laser therapy, fairly unsuccessfully. But about eight years ago he teamed up with a technician to look into a way of eliminating them and developed a process called thermocoagulation. In its simplest terms, thermocoagulation is really a form of microwaving and Dr Newman initially used the technique to successfully zap away red veins on the legs.
By a happy coincidence, one of Dr Newman’s patients, who had been treated for red veins on her legs, asked if he could next take a look at the red lines on her face. “At first I couldn’t see them because she was wearing make-up, but when she removed it I could see quite a few lines there,” he said. Dr Newman first practiced the treatment on a tiny area to the side of his patient's face and the marks completely disappeared. With further appointments, he was able to remove all of the redness that the woman had been hiding under make-up for so long.Now, around 60% of patients come to him to seeking treatment for facial veins, while the remainder receive treatment on their legs. Once ‘zapped’, the red veins do not return.
Veinwave is able to take down skin redness, eliminate Rosacea, remove unsightly veins and address various other skin problems, including psoriasis. “It reduces the redness so that people don't feel the need to wear as much make-up as they have before,” says Dr Newman. “We can deal with all the little veins around the nose and cheeks, and for some people who are embarrassed about the condition, it can really change their lives.”
Successfully Treated Older Skin
This image shows one of Dr Newman's older patients, who successfully underwent the Veinwave procedure on her cheeks. Dr Newman strongly advises against having laser therapy on the face to treat thread veins, because he believes it’s ineffective and often causes further damage to the skin. “It’s a total waste of time and is only good if you have big vascular formations but for fine red veins it’s not an acceptable treatment,” he says.
See more examples of successfully treated patients here
So how does Veinwave work? Well, a tiny probe which contains a minute microwaving system touches the capillary for about 0.2 seconds at 85 degrees Celsius. “After the Veinwave treatment, the area still feels warm because the vein has been microwaved, then it settles down," says Dr Newman. "The body then absorbs what’s left, but the probe doesn’t burn you because it’s insulated.”
I had two treatments with Dr Newman to remove my tiny red lines – and now nearly all of them have disappeared. My skin looks clearer, less red and I am able to wear less cover-up than before.
In between their visits, patients are given special creams to help treat the real cause of the problem which, Dr Newman explains, is blocked pores. I’ve been using a Retinol A cream prescribed by Dr Newman for the last couple of months, which helps to clear the pores and make the skin much less oily. This in turn allows the redness to die down.
Dr Newman uses a video recorder at his clinic, with a special light that makes the capillaries near the surface of your skin more visible so that you and he can see exactly where they are. It’s not so pleasant to observe when you first visit – but when you go back and realise the redness is no longer there – well, that's very nice indeed. “We film the visits to make sure that we’re not causing any damage or pigmentation of the skin – and that the operation is absolutely and meticulously recorded,” says Dr Newman. This also helps you to see how much your skin has improved since your first visit, so you can see that the treatment has clearly worked. As I left Dr Newman's clinic on my last visit, I couldn't help thinking, "What better faith can you have in your own work than that?"
Article written by Nicole O'Neil for MSN Lifestyle 31/01/07
Veinwave is offered by practitioners across the UK. Please call 08707 707 696 for more information or visit www.veinwave.com