The acronym 'LASER' stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser works by emitting a specific and highly accurate wavelength of high energy light, which when used appropriately on the skin, causes cellular changes to treat various conditions. Various kinds of lasers are available; they are differentiated by the medium that produces the laser beam. Each of the different types of lasers has a specific range of utility, depending on its wavelength and penetration. It is important that the correct diagnosis has been made by the clinician prior to treatment, particularly when pigmented lesions are targeted.
- • Eye protection is provided and must be used during laser treatment sessions.
- • Treatment consists of placing a hand piece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser. Many patients describe each pulse feeling like the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
- • When necessary, we can apply anaesthetic (numbing) cream prior to treatment.
- • Skin surface cooling is applied during all hair removal procedures. Some lasers have built-in cooling devices.
- • Immediately following treatment, an ice pack may be applied to soothe the treated area.
- • Care should be taken in the first few days following treatment to avoid scrubbing the area, and/or use of abrasive skin cleansers.
- • A bandage or patch may help to prevent abrasion of the treated area.
- • During the course of treatment, patients should protect the area from sun exposure to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation.
1. Nd:YAG 1064/532nm
Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) is laser medium and this laser may be operated at either 1064nm or 532nm wavelengths to treat conditions at different depths in the skin, including brown age spots (solar lentigines), freckles, naevus of Ota, naevus of Ito, Mongolian spots, Hori naevus and café-au-lait-macules.
Side effects from Nd:YAG laser treatments are minor and may include:
- • Pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling and if necessary, topical anaesthetic)
- • Redness, swelling and itching immediately after the procedure that may last a few days after treatment
- • Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy and blistering can occur (this settles by itself)
- • Changes in skin pigmentation. Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged, leaving darker (hyperpigmentation) or paler (hypopigmentation) patches of skin. Generally, cosmetic lasers will work better on people with lighter rather than darker skin tones
- • Bruising affects up to 10% of patients. It usually fades on its own
- • Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat or to prevent wound infection.
2. Spectra™ Laser Peel (Carbon Peel)
A popular laser-based anti-aging procedure that was developed in Asia for Asian skin. A process of Facial Rejuvenation that is safe and pleasant. The carbon laser peel leaves the Facial skin invigorated with reduced pore size, promotes uniform skin coloration and tone from collagen stimulation and resolves acne without medication. Patients with oily skin enjoy the noticeable reduction in excess oil production in as little as two sessions. Patients universally love the carbon Spectra laser peel and the way their face looks and feels afterward. Plus, no downtime!
The Spectra laser Peel is a 3 stage process that is quick and painless:
- • First the skin is gently cleansed of any extraneous make up, perfumes and oils. Then a patented Carbon Lotion is gently applied over the face. After allowing the lotion to dry the first laser process is begun. The laser is set to a high energy but slow delivery. This slow release of laser energy makes the process extremely comfortable as laser energy absorbed by the carbon spectra lotion gently warms the deeper tissues promoting collagen production the most important factor for anti-aging which leads to better skin tone.
- • The second stage uses a completely different laser system, one that is designed to gently and accurately remove the carbon lotion. The carbon fragments and vaporized taking away the superficial outer layer of dead skin cells and simultaneously clears and shrinks pores. The laser peel is a fast and easy means of facial rejuvenation.
- • The third step requires the slow delivery laser again this time removing any remaining debris, oils, dead cells and carbon. Rejuvenating the skin for a better anti-aging result.
Although you may see improvement after the first session, optimal results are obtained with five sessions spaces 2 weeks apart then followed by a maintenance scheduled as best determined by your doctor.
3. Carbon Dioxide CO2 Laser
The CO2 laser is used to deliver a high-powered, continuous energy beam for the precise excision and removal of surface lesions in particular for moles, skin tags and warts.
A local anaesthesia is usually given by your doctor over the targeted lesion. The CO2 laser procedure itself will usually take less than 20 minutes depending on the type of lesion involved with very minimal pain involved. Skin healing thereafter is dependent on a myriad of factors and your doctor will discuss with you the post-procedure care plan which may involve topical antibiotics, scar therapy gels and UV-protection. Bigger and/or deeper lesions may require multiple sessions for maximal benefits with minimal downtime.