Facial telangiectasia — small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin that look like spidery red lines — is one of the most common skin conditions treated by cosmetic dermatologists. Standard treatment is with a pulsed-dye laser. However, this sometimes is followed by purpura (where the skin appears purple as a result of hemorrhaging underneath), which can persist for up to two weeks.Dr. Syrus Karsai and Dr. Christian Raulin from Laserklinik Karlsruhe in Germany evaluated the effectiveness of treating facial telangiectasia with a combined dual-wavelength laser system to see if it could provide better treatment with less purpura.As reported in the May 2008 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, the researchers tested 20 patients who had the condition on both sides of the nose. All were treated with both a 595-nm pulsed dye laser and a 1064-nm Nd:YAG on one side of the nose using a combined laser system from Cynosure of Westford, Mass. The pulsed-dye treatment was done using a fluence of 10 J/cm2 at a pulse duration of 10 ms. And after a delay of 100 ms, the Nd:YAG laser was used at a fluence of 70 J/cm2 at a pulse duration of 15 ms. Each patient also received on the other side of the nose a random selection of one of the two single-wavelength treatments.Results were evaluated after four weeks. Eighteen patients showed clearing of more than 50 percent on the side of the nose that received dual-wavelength treatment. Only four patients experienced the same rate of clearing on the side that received single-wavelength treatment. The researchers believe that their results indicate that the sequential delivery of both the 595-nm and the 1064-nm lasers is a superior method compared with the standard single-wavelength laser therapy.