Lip Hemangiomas & Venous Lakes
What Are Lip Hamangiomas?
Lip hemangiomas and venous lakes are blue or purple lesions that occurs on the upper and/or lower lip. Hemangiomas are caused by a cluster of vessels, while a venous lake is simply a single dilated blood vessel. The deoxygenated blood in these vessels give these lesions their characteristic blue color and the dilation of the blood supply causes them to remain elevated and dark at all times. These may occur because of trauma or prolonged sun exposure, but just as frequently, these lesions occur spontaneously. These lesions may remain stable or continue to increase in size, but rarely do they resolve without treatment. Although these lesions may be unsightly, there is no cancerous potential, and therefore the treatment is for cosmetic purposes only.
Venous Lake Treatment
The treatment for lip hemangiomas is the use of the ND YAG 1064 long pulsed vascular laser. This is a non-ablative laser (does not cut the surface of the skin) that targets the deep, underlying vessels. The laser energy targets a specific wavelength that constricts the blood vessels causing the elevated lesion to collapse and shrink. Because there is no ablation to the tissue, there is no cutting or suturing required. However, the laser energy may cause the lip to swell and blister at times as it targets the blood vessels. Ice packs and cool cloths and topical moisturizers such as Aquaphor ointment will help the recovery process.
Depending on the size of the lesion, one to three treatment sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart may be required. Rarely will they recur once they have been successfully treated. However, some new lesions may develop over time and will need to be treated.