When it comes to laser treatments it can often get very confusing for patients who know they would like a treatment but don’t know how to decide which laser based treatment would be best suited to them. The medical aesthetic industry is saturated with a multitude of different technologies with interesting names, all promising to deliver the quickest, most painless and most noticeable results. It is important to understand that certain laser procedures will require a series of different treatments to achieve the desired result (think laser hair removal) and other more aggressive treatments that target specific tissue can achieve the desired result after only one or two treatments (think fractional skin resurfacing).
What is the difference between IPL and Laser Technology?
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) also known as BBL (Broad Band Light) emits a broader spectrum of light wavelengths, in short pulses and at less intensity than a laser. IPL is considered non-ablative. This means that the light energy leaves the skin’s top layer (epidermis) intact, and targets structures below the epidermis, like hair roots or spider veins.
Common uses for IPL devices are:
Broken capillaries and spider veins
Aging skin and minor wrinkles
The treatment feels like tiny rubber bands snapping against the skin. Side effects are generally minor and include redness, mild swelling and pigmentation changes. At Skin Technique we offer a variety of IPL/BBL services:
Forever Clear BBL: specifically targets acne
Forever Young BBL: acts as photofacial and targets wrinkles, brown and red spots.
Forever Bare BBL: a quick and painless hair removal procedure.
The word Laser is actually an abbreviation – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, and each Laser type emits a single direct wavelength of light. Different wavelengths are able to penetrate to various skin depths. Laser devices can be either ablative or non-ablative. Ablative lasers can vaporize the skin’s outer layer for total skin resurfacing, while non-ablative lasers uses a Fractional technique, where only portions or columns of skin are treated leaving the untreated areas to promote and facilitate a repair process.
Common uses for laser equipment include:
Deep wrinkle correction
Stimulating collagen/Skin Tightening
Ablative lasers are more invasive and have more down time, but they tend to work quicker to achieve the intended goal.
Non-ablative lasers for fractional resurfacing cause less skin injury to get the desired skin rejuvenating effect. Since the technique preserves the most upper layer of the skin, healing time is shorter for a procedure like skin resurfacing.
At Skin Technique we proudly offer the latest in Fractional Skin Resurfacing: The Halo.
While RF is a non-laser based treatment it is often included in the same group. Radiofrequency energy treatment is a technology used for non-surgical tightening of the early signs of loose or sagging skin. At Skin Technique we offer EndyMed 3DEEP. EndyMed’s 3DEEP RF applicators use radio frequency technology to firm, tighten and lift sagging skin on the face and body by heating the collagen in the dermis (a Kardashian favourite). The devise also comes with the Intensif applicator that allows the clinician to deliver RF while microneedling the skin for even more incredible results. Microneedling with RF is a very effective way to treat acne scars, stimulate collagen, induce skin tightening and overall facial rejuvenation.
Ultimately, the goal with energy devices is to deliver the best results with a reasonable number of treatments. If results are not being achieved with multiple treatments it may not be the right treatment modality for you. It is also VERY important to realize that when certain treatments are being advertised at significantly low price points as compared to industry standards it may mean that the technology being used is redundant or not effective enough to produce results after one or two treatments. Just because a Fractional Resurfacing treatment is cheap doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective. It probably means you will need at least 6 of them to get the result you would likely have achieved had you invested in one proper treatment (at the same ultimate cost). This means being red 6 times instead of once. Having to stay in 6 times instead of once, making 6 appointments instead of one, etc., etc..
Be well informed when it comes to laser or energy based treatments. It is just as important as asking all the right questions about injectable procedures or skin care products. Honour Your Beauty by taking the time to have a thorough consultation with an experienced clinician.
My team at Skin Technique will help formulate a treatment plan for you based on your skin type and desired outcomes, with all the necessary pre and post care required with these treatments. Laser treatments may be offered on just about every street corner these days, but we believe that our treatments, just like you, are one of a kind.