That the term ‘Laser’ is an acronym? It stands for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. Lasers are sources of high intensity light with the following properties:
- Monochromatic i.e. the light is of a single wavelength
- Coherent i.e. the light beam waves are in phase
- Collimated i.e. the light beams travel in parallel
Laser light can accurately focused into small spots with very high energy. The light is produced within an optical cavity containing a medium, which may be a gas, liquid or solid. Each medium produces a specific wavelength of light, which may be within the visible spectrum (violet 400 through to red 700nm) or infrared spectrum (more than 700 nm).
Vascular skin lesions contain oxygenated haemoglobin, which strongly absorbs visible light at 418, 542 and 577 nm, whereas pigmented skin lesions contain melanin, which has a broad range of absorption in the visible and infrared wavebands.
The aim is to destroy the target cells and not to harm the surrounding tissue. Short pulses reduce the amount that the damaged cells heat up, thereby reducing thermal injury that could result in scarring.
Skin Doctor SA uses the “Dual Yellow” Laser, so called because it emits light with two peak emissions, at wavelengths 511 (green) and 578 nm (yellow).
The yellow light is used very effectively to treat vascular lesions (red)
- Facial telangiectasia and small red facial veins (spider veins)
- Spider angiomas
- Cherry angiomas
- Small port wine stains
Treated vascular lesions blanch when exposed to the yellow light. A a single session rarely exceeds 30 minutes, depending on the extent of the skin problem. The treated skin appears red for a few hours. The following day there may be localised swelling and on occasions crusting. Eyelid swelling occasionally occurs but rarely lasts more than a few days.
Combined yellow and green light is sometimes used to treat “bulk” surface skin lesions as an alternative to cryotherapy (freezing) or surgery.
- Seborrhoeic keratoses
- Solar keratoses
- Skin tags
- Benign moles
As well as being ideal for the treatment of individual, discrete vascular and pigmented lesions, the Dual Yellow Laser, used at Skin Doctor SA, also has a unique contact scanner which uses a combination of light for skin tightening reducing large pores, fine lines and wrinkles while freshening up the tone and texture of the skin. These treatments can be achieved in a single lunch break with very minimal side effects and makeup can be worn straight after.
At Skin Doctor SA in Semaphore the selection of light colour and hand piece will be decided by clinical staff depending on the type of blemish or the area of skin being treated.
The clinical staff at Skin Doctor SA are medically trained and are certified for safe use of laser and IPL equipment.
Points to note:
- Avoid sun exposure in the days and weeks before and after treatment.
- A topical anaesthetic may be applied to the area but is usually not necessary.
- The smooth glass surface of the IPL treatment head is applied to the skin, delivering precise pulses of light top the area being treated.
- Treatment sessions usually last 5-20 minutes, depending on the area to be treated.
- Most clients can return to work immediately after treatment.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects are minor and include:
- Pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling)
- Skin turning pink and a little sore immediately after the procedure.
- Sensation of a mild sunburn (redness, peeling, swelling) that may last a few days after treatment.
- Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy and blistering can occur.
- Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged leaving darker or paler patches of skin. White patches or scars are rarely permanent.
- Hair loss may occur in the treated area.