KTP stands for the Potassium Titanyl Phosphate, and this crystal is used as the laser medium, producing a wavelength of 532 nanometers. The KTP laser only targets the oxy-hemoglobin in your blood, thereby leaving surrounding structures and tissue unaffected. The laser beam passes through the skin and penetrates, shrinks, or ablates the targeted vessel. The blood vessel walls then collapse, seal, and later dissolve within the body, thus diminishing or eliminating their appearance. Due to genetics, hormones, sun exposure, and aging, the development of new veins may reoccur and additional treatments may therefore be necessary.
For some conditions, such as the treatment of tiny blood vessels around the nose, only one treatment is necessary. For the treatment of other conditions, such as red marks left behind from old acne lesions, you may need up to three treatments. There is no downtime after the KTP laser treatment and the treatments may be performed before your acne is completely clear (the energy of the laser can even help clear the acne faster). If you have tried other treatments for red marks, such as topical medications and chemical peels, and you didn’t have the results you were hoping for, the KTP laser may be your solution.
What to Expect During the Treatment
The procedure will require you to wear protective eyewear throughout the treatment. The treatment consists of placing a hand piece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser. The KTP laser treatment itself is not painful and many patients describe each pulse to feel like the snapping of a rubber band against the skin. The KTP laser has a contact cooling device that is applied to the skin’s surface to eliminate discomfort for most patients. Anesthetics are not needed, though patients with very sensitive skin may apply a numbing cream 30 minutes before the procedure if desired. An average treatment takes 15 minutes, and most patients require one to three treatments for optimal results.
You can return to work the same day and resume most of your regular activities. Once you have returned home, wash the area with a mild soap and gently pat dry, then apply a soothing moisturizer to the skin. Avoid excessive sun exposure for four weeks or more after your treatment. Be sure to wear a good sunscreen, with SPF30 or more, every day.
Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment may vary.