***The Palomar LUX 1540 is the only FDA approved laser in Canada for stretch marks***
Palomar™ Fractional Skin Resurfacing
The Palomar fractional laser is the latest generation in skin resurfacing technology. The Palomar fractional laser smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin discoloration, scarring, malasma, stretch marks, as well as offers mild skin tightening, but without the downtime or mild to moderate redness associated with other skin resurfacing technologies.
Palomar fractional skin resurfacing treatments are effective only when performed in a series of sessions because each session treats only 20 to 25 percent of the skin. By treating just a percentage of the skin, the surrounding untreated skin drives the healing process, filling in the treated area with healthy, more youthful looking skin. The “fractional” treatment of the skin creates seamless, radiant skin without the unwanted side effects associated with other skin resurfacing technology
What are the benefits of Palomar laser treatments?
The Palomar fractional skin resurfacing laser provides similar results as ablative lasers, but offers the gentle benefits of the non-ablative treatment with little to no downtime. Because the revolutionary technology of the Palomar laser bypasses the outer layer of skin, make-up can be applied immediately following the session. Some people are able to return to work and social obligations the same day as the treatment. Other people may require more time to heal, depending upon their skin condition and treatment. Your service provider can better explain how the Palomar laser treatment will fit into your schedule.
Benefits of Laser skin resurfacing:
• Improves tone, texture and pore size.
• Erases unwanted brown spots.
• Smoothes acne and surgical scars.
• Removes fine lines and wrinkles
• Rejuvenates neck, chest and hands.
Laser skin resurfacing improves:
• Periorbital wrinkles
• Acne Scars
• Brown Spots
How many treatments will I need?
The number of sessions will depend upon the condition treated. On average, an effective treatment regimen is 3 or 4 sessions, spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart. Depending on the severity of the condition being treated, it could take up to six treatments. Results are immediate and progressive. Over the course of two or three months, new collagen begins to form, creating healthy, more youthful skin.
How are Palomar fractional skin resurfacing laser treatments performed?
Safety goggles are worn by both the patient and the esthetician. The esthetician treats one area at a time, cooling the area before moving onto the next section. No topical anesthetic is required because of the unique sapphire cooling tip. The cooling tip helps control the temperature of the skin, making the treatment a comfortable experience. A treatment session may last just over an hour, depending on the size of the area being treated.
Is Palomar skin resurfacing laser treatment painful?
No, most people find that a Palomar laser session is comfortable. The Palomar laser has a unique sapphire cooling tip that cools the skin before, during and after each pulse light, making the treatment comfortable to most people. Most patients describe the treatment as having a mild “snapping” sensation or sunburn sensation.
What should I expect after a Palomar skin resurfacing laser treatment?
For the first 24 hours after treatment, your skin may feel like it is sunburned and it will appear slightly pink or red with some mild to moderate swelling. The redness or pinkness will fade in a few hours. As you continue treatment, the redness or pinkness process will repeat. Using a moisturizer will help to reduce the flakiness.
Laser Scar Removal
A scar is a disfiguring mark left on the skin by the healing of injured tissue. Scars may develop from infections, surgeries, injuries, or diseases. They usually form within the first couple of months after surgery or trauma, and can appear on any part of the body. The look and severity of scarring depends on many factors, including the size, direction and depth of the wound, the blood supply to the area, and the thickness and color of the patient’s skin, etc.
Scars affect approximately 4.5% to 16% of the general population, and are especially common in individuals between the ages of 10 and 30. In addition to low self-esteem, patients may experience limited mobility, itch, or pain.
Types of Scars
To general people, common types of scars include: acne scar, surgical scar, burn scar,injury scar, keloid scar, etc. Proper scar differentiation is critical to ensure that the most effective treatment is chosen. The following are the main types of scars based on clinical appearance:
- Hypertrophic Scar – thick, firm, pink, raised and occur within the edges of a wound and may regress and flatten over time.
- Keloid Scar – look like hypertrophic scars, but extend beyond the wound margins and usually build over time.
- Atrophic Scar- depressed pin-like pockets in the skin that can result from skin conditions or diseases such as acne and chicken pox. Acne Scaris the most commonatrophic scar.
- Contracture scar – tightened texture, usually caused by burn, may go deeper to affect muscles and nerves, and may potentially impair the patient’s ability to move.
- Striae (stretch marks) – red or purple linear bands of wrinkled skin, caused by rapid weight loss or weight gain. But older striae are usually lighter in color and more fibrotic.
Scar Removal Treatment
While no scar can be removed completely, the appearance of a scar can be improved or made less obvious through many procedures like injection, microdermabrasion, certain medications or through surgical revisions.
Introduced in the 1980s, the laser scar removal is now one of the most effective scar treatments. Early laser scar removal procedures were often performed with the Nd:YAG laser or the CO2 ablative laser, which were usually associated with transient or only modest results, high rate of scar recurrence, extended downtime, and undesirable side effects. Now a new technology, fractional laser resurfacing, has become the new gold-standard for laser scar removal.
At Forever Young, we use the Palomar Starlux 500 fractional handpiece Lux1540 in conjunction with other techniques to treat a wide variety of scars.
Palomar Laser Scar Removal F.A.Q.
How fractional laser scar removal works?
Successful scar treatment requires deep energy penetration through the epidermis and into the reticular dermis to activate a dramatic healing response. By creating micro-columns of coagulated tissue that extend through the epidermis into the dermis, the Lux1540 triggers a wound healing response that removes the coagulated tissue and replaces it with healthy tissue. The intact tissue surrounding each microscopic wound will allow for quick re-epithelialization of the treated scarring tissue. Because the 1540 nm wavelength is selectively absorbed by water in the tissue, it is safe for all skin types. The proximity of healthy tissue to the micro-column boundaries enables the migration of normal melanocytes which contributes to rapid pigment re-normalization.
What results laser scar removal can achieve?
Recent study demonstrated that the Lux1540 had successfully treated a broad range of scars (burn scars, avulsion-like trauma scars, dog bites, post-surgical scars, tattoo-removal scars) as well as scars with varying degrees of dys-pigmentation (hypo-pigmentation to hyper-pigmentation) on a variety of skin types. In certain types of scars, the Lux1540 fractional non-ablative laser had produced clinical improvement of 75%.
The texture, pliability and symptoms of scars can improve significantly after a few treatments. Results are long-lasting and recurrences are rare. Scars that are immature will respond best to the laser treatments.
What are the side effects with laser scar removal?
In contrast to side effects following traditional full-surface ablative therapies which may include oozing, crusting, infection, and hyper-pigmentation, patients treated with the Lux1540 experience less pain and only transient swelling and/or redness lasting just a few days.
Laser Acne Scar Removal
Acne scars are much more common than most people believe. If acne is not treated promptly and properly, it can leave acne scarring on your complexion even if you don’t squeeze or pick them.
Causes Of Acne Scar:
The development of bacteria in acne usually triggers our natural defense mechanism – antibodies in the white blood cells will enter the clogged up follicles and eliminate the bacteria. However, in the process of killing off the acne bacteria, the antibodies may also cause inflammation and destruction of the surrounding dermis. When the supporting dermis is damaged, a visible depression appears. This is how most acne scars develop. Individuals with a scarring history or with weakened immune systems tend to get more pronounced acne scars.
Type of Acne Scars:
- Macular acne scar – flat, with increased or decreased pigmentation in the skin.
- Boxcar acne scar – round or oval shaped when seen from above, with sharp vertical edges on cross section, appear similar to post chicken pox scars.
- Rolling acne scar – appear like undulations in the skin, caused by tethering of skin to the underlying tissues.
- Deep pit acne scar- sharp and deeply indented, caused by the loss of subcutaneous tissue volume.
- Ice-pick acne scar – small holes in the skin, appear like the indentation left by an ice-pick.
- Hypertrophic acne scar – raised and pigmented.
- Keloid acne scar – raised, thick, red or purple, may enlarge over time.
Acne Scar Treatment
If acne scarring appears, the treatment chosen to get rid of them will largely depend on the type of scarring you have and your skin type. In some cases, a combination of different techniques may achieve best results of scar revision.
At Forever Young, we use microdermabrasion, chemical peels and light therapy to treat mild or shallow acne scarring such as macular acne scar and shallow boxcar acne scar. In each case, we ensure that any active acne is under control during or prior to the acne scar treatment, since the impacts to the skin caused by acne may last for a long time.
The traditional way of treating severe and deep acne scarring involves dermabrasion or surgical excision, during which the top layers of the affected skin are sanded off. They require the use of anaesthesia and need a lengthy recovery period. In the mid 90’s, CO2 laser resurfacing became the most common method to treat deep scarring. However, CO2 laser resurfacing still requires prolonged recovery time and often causes new scarring, or the loss of pigmentation.
Fortunately, a revolutionary advance in aesthetics technology has brought us a far less invasive solution to deep acne scarring. Fractional Non Ablative Skin Resurfacing can now improve deep acne scars dramatically, without the risks and side effects related to surgical procedures and ablative lasers. In certain types of acne scars, a clinical improvement of 75% has been reported with these treatments.
At Forever Young, we use the fractional laser handpiece Lux1540 of the Gold Standard Palomar Starlux 500, in conjunction with other techniques to safely and effectively treat a wide varity of scars. The laser energy is fractionated – the fractional microbeams pass through the affected skin without injuring it, while stimulating the creation of new collagen. After a series of treatments scheduled 4-6 weeks apart, the appearance of acne scars gradually improves or disappears.
Laser Melasma Treatment
Melasma (chloasma) is a disorder of cutaneous pigmentation stimulated by estrogen. Though it does not pose any health risk, it can be cosmetically embarrassing.
Quick Facts About Melasma:
- Though the cause of melasma is wholly unknown, some common causative factors include: pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone abnormality, and prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- Melasma mostly affects women, although it may occur uncommonly in men.
- It usually appears as large brown-grey patches on the face, symmetrically located on the cheeks, lips and forehead, and occasionally found on the neck and arms.
- Most melasma patients tend to have a more olive or dark complexion.
- Melasma is more commonly found on individuals who have a previous family history of the condition.
Classification of Melasma
Melasma can be classified into epidermal, dermal, or mixed subtypes based on the distribution of excessive melanin within the cutaneous layers.
Melasma treatment can be difficult, especially for the deeper type. In fact, if treated improperly, the condition may worsen. However, several effective treatment options have been available over the years. More recently,fractional laser resurfacing became the first light-based technology approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
In our Med Spa Forever Young, we have also found that the intense pulse light (IPL),chemical peels and microdermabrasion may also help to improve melasma of different cutaneous layers.
Post-treatment of Melasma
UV radiation is a main factor that worsens melasma, therefore sunlight protection is essential for melasma patients , We recommend the Vivier SPF 45 sunscreen, which effectively protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It is also a moisturizing cream and has tint as make-up for coverage of the treated areas, so basically an all-in-one. Protective clothing and hats are also highly recommended. Some melasma patientsshould discuss alternative options of oral contraceptive with their gynecologists, as it may significantly increase the chance of reoccurance
Stretch Mark Treatment
Stretch marks from pregnancy or weight gain/loss result from the breakdown of collagen in the skin. The reversal of stretch marks is impossible, but it is possible to provide some appearance improvement by gently resurfacing the skin and stimulating new collagen formation.
Fractional Resurfacing is to date is one of the more effective systems for accomplishing this improvement. The laser’s energy both selectively alters damaged skin areas and stimulates the cells under the stretch mark to cause the fibroblasts to begin to divide again.
Stretch Marks – Old and New, White and Red
There are two basic varieties of stretch marks: white and red. Older, mature stretch marks are commonly white or silver-colored; newer stretch marks tend to be reddish or purple in color.
Stretch marks closely resemble scars. In fact, stretch marks are the most common type of skin lesions. The majority of pregnant women get stretch marks. They also affect adolescent females and young males.
1540 Fractional Resurfacing
Palomar’s patented Fractional Laser technology provides non-ablative skin resurfacing with no to minimal downtime. The Palomar Lux1540 Fractional™ laser is one of the more recent skin resurfacing technologies. It helps smooth the skin surface and improves skin discoloration.
StarLux Fractional Laser Stretchmark Treatment
The Palomar 1540 Fractional™ laser delivers light in an array of microbeams. These microbeams penetrate below the epidermis and into the dermis, leaving vital tissue surrounding each microbeam undamaged. The untreated tissue surrounding the treated columns initiates a natural healing process that accelerates the formation of new, healthy collagen. The fractional treatment of the skin allows for faster healing. The result is improvement in skin color, texture, tone, fine lines and wrinkles.
Palomar™ 1540 fractional skin resurfacing treatments are effective only when performed in a series of sessions because each session treats only 20 to 25 percent of the skin. By treating micro-island of skin, the surrounding untreated skin drives the healing process, filling in the treated area with healthy, more youthful looking skin. The “fractional” treatment of the skin creates smoother skin without the long-term down time associated with traditional skin resurfacing technologies.
Throughout the process, the integrity of the skin is maintained, which protects the tissue from infection as it heals. At left: Cross-section diagram of treated skin. Source Palomar Medical
The Palomar Lux1540 offers a wide range of energy per microbeam, and a substantial depth of penetration (up to 1 mm). This stimulates quick healing within the surrounding deep tissue for the most effective deep corrections. In addition, the Lux1540 delivers uniform microbeam penetration which differs from other devices.
Comfort and Contact Cooling
The Palomar Lux1540 delivers its microbeams in one short pulse at a time with active contact cooling. This allows the treatments to be as comfortable as technologically possible. The Palomar Lux1540 requires only topical numbing.
Why we’ve selected Palomar Laser and Light Systems
Forever Young uses Starlux technology for all laser and light procedures. Palomar Medical, makers of the StarLux system, maintains intensive research and development programs in laser technology.
Special handpieces have been developed to treat a variety of skin problem from the simplest unwanted freckle to the skin resurfacing power of the Lux 1540 Fractional Laser.
All Starlux procedures have factored in patient comfort with patented smooth pulsing and active contact cooling (as opposed to sprays or air cooler). This means your skin stays cooler.
PRE FRACTIONAL LASER TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS
Patients should NOT be treated with the following:
• Active cold sores or warts • Open wounds or lesions • Sunburn• Excessively sensitive skin • Dermatitis, Psoriasis or Eczema • Untreated skin cancer in treatment site • Recent surgery in treatment site • Permanent makeup in treatment site • Rashes, allergies or sensitive skin reactions • Accutane use in the past 12 months • Radiation or chemotherapy in the past 12 months • Pregnant or breastfeeding
2 weeks before your treatment avoid:
• Electrolysis, waxing, depilatory creams • Laser or IPL treatments • Chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatments • Retin-A, Renova, Differin, Tazorac • Products containing, Retinol, AHA, BHA or Benzoyl Peroxide • Exfoliating products that may be drying or irritating • Sun exposure or sunburn • Sunless tanning
If you have any history of Herpes Simplex, notify the laser technician BEFORE receiving Fractional treatments.
POST FRACTIONAL LASER TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS
After resurfacing, your skin will feel hot, much like a sun burn. Cold compresses will be applied immediately after the procedure. This sensation will decrease significantly within 1 or 2 hours, but may persist for 24-48 hours but usually in a milder form. You may apply ice or cold compresses as needed. Some people will have mild swelling of the treated area. If it is bothersome, over the counter antihistamines are helpful. Occasionally itching may occur and the antihistamine will help that as well. Itching will also respond to a cold mixture of 1 tbs of white vinegar in one quart of water applied as a cold compress.
Just after the treatment use a thick moisturizing cream, and apply it 4 times a day for at least 3 days.
After the procedure you may have a bit of “oozing” or pin point bleeding. This is generally kept soft by the moisturizers and can be easily washed off. Occasionally you may get a bit of a scab. If you do, clean it with a Q-tip and hydrogen peroxide. Washing should be done with a mild soap like Cetaphil twice a day for at least 1 week. Wash in tepid, NOT hot water. Wash gently initially. Do not scrub. After 3 or 4 days, wash gently with a wash cloth. Do not use a luffa or other abrasive.
Mineral based make up can be applied in 3 days, other types in 5 days.
Sun exposure should be avoided for at least 1 week. After 3 days begin using a sun block with SPF 30 twice a day. Remember sun is what did most of the damage to your skin and sun block is your best defense against further skin damage.
You should not exercise or work out for 1 week. You may resume the use of topical retinoids and glycolic acid compounds in 3 weeks. After 3 months you may resume waxing, microdermabrasions and light peels. You may have Botox or fillers injected 1 week after resurfacing.
Remember most people have the best results with a series of 2 or 3 treatments and the improvement continues for 4-6 months after the procedure. Repeat treatments should be done in 8-10 weeks.