Laser skin rejuvenation is a non-invasive procedure that uses light energy to improve the appearance of the skin. Skin problems such as pigmentation (freckles, birthmark, age spots, sun spots, melasma), acne or scars and uneven skin tone can all be fixed by laser skin rejuvenation. It can also reduce the fine lines, pore size and helps in skin firming.
Caption: Age Spots
Source: Medical News Today
Source: Mental Floss
Caption: Acne/Acne Scars
Source: Art of Dermatology
There are many different kinds of laser, and you may be wondering which is the most powerful and effective. Read on as we explore the science behind laser and compare the different types of laser, including the popular Q-switch laser, and the newest and most powerful Picosecond (Pico) laser.
Rejuvenation lasers make use of intense beams of coherent light, with different wavelengths changed to target different tissues or molecules. Melanin is the skin pigment that gives our skin colour. When an abnormal amount of Melanin gathers at a particular part of the skin, it causes skin pigmentation. The laser is targeted at melanin. The light is then absorbed by melanin and converted into heat, destroying the melanin molecules. Laser energy also at the same time stimulates collagen production, and hence resulting in firming effect.
Q-Switch Laser (Nd-Yag Laser) is a rejuvenation laser used for skin pigmentation. It is used to disperse or destroy abnormal concentration of melanin, getting rid of the pigmentation. Q-Switch laser can also be used for tattoo removal, by breaking down the tattoo ink. Q-Switch laser not only clears acne marks, but also acne problems. The laser energy can kill P. acne, the bacteria that cause acne, and also shrinks the oil glands in the skin providing better oil control.
During the process, the laser energy feels like having many tiny dots on your skin, but there is no real pain, and is in fact very tolerable. Numbing cream might be applied before the treatment if necessary. The process takes about 5-10minutes, depending on your skin condition. After the process, you may experience some pinkish flush, but it should subside within 15 minutes. Makeup can also be applied immediately.
Same like Q switch, Pico Laser is used for pigmentation removal, skin rejuvenation and brightening, treating acne scars, removing tattoo, reduce pore size and skin firming. It is a more effective and safer laser compared to Q switch.
The Pico Laser works in ultrashort picosecond laser pulses, which is 100x faster compared to Q-Switch Laser which uses nanosecond pulses. This means that more laser shots can be fired by a Pico Laser in the same amount of time compared to a Q-Switched Laser. Shorter pulse duration also reduces the risk of hyper-pigmentation, which can sometimes form due to laser procedures, as the skin is exposed to the laser for shorter period of time.
Pico Laser can deliver higher power safely, making the it the most powerful laser in its class. Pico laser can break down pigmentation into a much smaller fragments, allowing the skin to clear faster and more easily.
Caption: Pico vs Q-Switch in breaking down pigmentation into fragments.
There is no down time for Pico treatment and you can resume normal lifestyle immediately after the treatment.
However, due to unavoidable circumstances such as sun exposure, aging and hormonal changes, pigmentation may recur. Regular maintenance treatments should be undertaken to achieve the best long-lasting results.
Before any laser treatments, you need to consult a doctor to assess your condition. This is also the best opportunity to clarify any doubts you may have about the procedure and your suitability for it.
Inform your doctor all medications you are on, if you are on any, and you may have to avoid certain medications before and after the treatment.
Possible side effects include temporary dryness, swelling and redness. In rare cases, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) may happen, due to excessive laser energy causing over production of skin pigment. PIH risk is much lower in PICO laser.
After the treatment, you should avoid sun tanning and minimize sun exposure for the next 1 week. Always apply appropriate amount of sunscreen, especially when going outdoor.