IPL Treatment of Vascular Lesions

Prominent vessels immediately under the surface of the skin are typically not dangerous, but can be unsightly. For many of these common vascular lesions, light based treatments have proven to be the “gold standard” for treatment, as it provides a safe and effective way to treat the vessels without damaging surrounding tissues. We utilize the Cutera Limelight IPL device in our office for treatment of many of these common lesions.

How it works

Medical lasers and IPL devices produce a short pulse of intense light at fixed wavelengths. Depending on the wavelengths, the energy will be absorbed differently by different tissues. The Cutera Limelight utilizes a wavelength spectrum that targets the hemoglobin in red blood cells, so that when the light reaches them the blood in the target area heats and coagulates while sparing nearby tissues. We also the Gemini laser in our Lawrence location for certain treatments in our Lawrence location and may refer you to that office if we feel this is a better device to treat your condition.

IPL treatment is especially effective in treating small vessels, but is less effective in larger ones. In these cases, we may recommend sclerotherapy (injections) or vein surgery. While we do not perform this type of surgery, we will be happy to refer you to a physician or center that we trust.

Types of vascular lesions we treat with the Cutera Limelight

  • Angiomas, hemangiomas- red spots or patches on or just under the surface of the skin
  • Telangetasias- superficial nests of bright red blood vessels
  • Spider veins
  • Rosacea
  • Red scars

At your initial visit we will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss options for treatment, recovery time, and the potential for scarring. In some cases, we may recommend no treatment at all, if other methods seem more appropriate. If treatment is needed, we will discuss how this is performed, expected recovery time, expected results, and develop a treatment plan. Costs of the procedure will be discussed as this is often considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance.


IPL treatments are performed at Elite Esthetics office by our physician or trained estheticians utilizing a local or topical anesthetic. Treatment times are usually 30 minutes or less and typically have minimal or mild pain afterward. In most cases, normal activities can be resumed right away. The treated areas often may initially darken before they fade, so don’t plan any important social activities right away. These areas will then gradually fade over the next 1-2 weeks. It is important to avoid sun exposure or use a good sunscreen for the first several weeks after treatment.


Most spots and vessels will fade after one treatment, although a second treatment might be required for complete eradication. We typically start with a lower energy setting (for safety) then utilize a higher power for retreatment if the areas prove to be stubborn.

Why we like this procedure

IPL and laser treatment of vascular lesions is clearly superior to other methods of treatment, which are more prone to scarring and abnormal pigmentation after treatment. This easy, low cost treatment is remarkably effective.