VASCULAR AND PIGMENT TREATMENTS
VASCULAR AND PIGMENT TREATMENTS
Our vascular and pigment treatments involve the use of a variety of laser modalities depending on what your particular skin challenge is. Spider veins, reticular veins, broken capillaries, age spots, sun spots, birthmarks, Rosacea and Melasma are just a few of the skin challenges that can be treated at SKinTEGRITY.
Nearly 100% of all people have one or more pigmented lesions. Some are caused by sun exposure, others by aging. Still others are congenital. Regardless of the cause, pigmented lesions are simply spots on the skin where there is a higher concentration of melanin. Some lesions are flat; others are raised.
For most benign pigmented lesions that are of a cosmetic concern, there is a non-surgical option using the technologies at SKinTEGRITY.
By exposing a pigmented lesion to short pulses of visible light or using the pulses from a dual wavelength Q switch laser, the temperature in the highly concentrated melanin can be raised sharply, enough to shatter the cells containing the melanin. The body then replaces these cells with new cells generated by the surrounding untreated area. The laser offers unique wavelengths and pulse width capabilities, allowing it to treat pigmented lesions on any skin type. AFT is the next generation of intense pulsed light. It takes formerly unused short-wavelength light and converts it into part of the usable spectrum through a special filtering system. It increases emission and penetration, for safer and more effective treatments. AFT also delivers Equally Distributed Fluence, which means that every pulse has uniform energy density across the entire output face. This fluence ensures repeatable results and remarkable safety. Your SKinTEGRITY Laser Phototherapist will evaluate your unique needs and will determine which laser or treatment combination will provide you with the best results.
The treatment causes immediate reaction of the pigmented area distinguished by darker discoloration and mild crusting which may last 5 to 10 days. For those that have many generalized brown spots, an IPL photo facial treatment will be repeated 3-5 times to reach the desired goal. For those that have more defined visible spots, SKinTEGRITY uses a dual technology approach using both a Q switch and IPL and a grid that protects the unaffected skin. This can allow the treatment to be increased in intensity and then for the majority of lesions only one treatment is required, however, depending on the size, color, and depth more than one treatment may be required. A heat like sensation will be felt at the time of treatment and for 1 to 3 hours afterwards. The majority of clients can tolerate the treatment without any anesthetic. In some cases, an antibiotic ointment will be applied to the treated areas.
The treated areas will have varying responses depending on the type of lesion being targeted. In most cases, the lesion will darken in color and this is the desired endpoint of treatment. In some cases the response will be resulting “frosting” effect over the lesion.
The term “frosting” as it relates to laser treatments for age spots, sun spots and other types of pigmented lesions is not a medical term. However, it is a term that is frequently used amongst practitioners to refer to a more aggressive treatment of pigmented lesions (sun spot removal, freckle removal, mole removal, birthmark removal) using Q-Switched lasers.
When using specific settings with this type of q-switched laser has the ability to cause a temporary gas reaction on the surface of the skin when the melanocytes (cells that hold color) rise to the surface in response to the thermal energy. This very temporary appearance looks like a light coating of powdered sugar which is what we refer to as “frosting” of a lesion. This is the clinical end point of the treatment for sun spots, age spots, freckles and birthmarks.
When achieving this frosting response, the expectation after laser treatment generally is a crusty or flaky feeling to the skin at the site of the pigment for the next 7 to 10 days. Some refer to this as a light scab, but what is happening is that the melanocytes (pigmented cells) that were destroyed during the laser treatment are rising to the surface of the skin and flaking off as part of the normal cell turnover process (skin regrowth). As this light scab flakes off and heals, the intention is for the age spot, birthmark, freckle or flat mole to come off completely or to provide a dramatic improvement. For those patients that choose not to have this type of treatment, non-frosting methods still offer good outcomes but generally require more laser treatments.
You may shower as usual just allowing the water to fall over the treated area. No scrubbing or picking on the area. Apply an antibiotic ointment for a few days. It is not necessary to cover, however, you may if you want.
Spider veins, broken capillaries and other fallout from photo aging are easy targets for laser systems that use broadband light to repair these defects through a process called photo rejuvenation. Using relatively low-energy, short-pulse broadband light, imperfections such as erythema of rosacea, superficial telangiectasia (spider veins), dyschromia (discoloration), age spots and other discolored signs of photoaging can be gently heated and eliminated, replaced by newer, younger looking skin. This gives the vascular treatments a dual positive result in that it removes the vascular discoloration issue as well as rejuvenates the skin as a whole.
A unique technology utilized at SKinTEGRITY involves an electrical current that targets specific vessels. It is extremely effective and, when generalized redness is not the issue, can produce dramatic and immediate results without the harmful side effects that can happen when when unaffected skin is treated.
The following brief explanations outline the treatment for several specific skin challenges
SKinTEGRITY uses the only effective lasers for laser birthmark removal which are known as Q-Switched lasers. Q-switched laser technology allows for the very high energy that is required to safely break up the pigment in the birthmarks and treat all skin types. There is no downtime for laser birthmark removal. For those that are concerned with the cosmetic impact of birthmarks, laser birthmark removal is a good option for those that understand that a good result involves fading OR complete removal of the mark.
Birthmarks come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and found in different areas of the face and body. Although most birthmarks are benign and may be treated with lasers – it is prudent to have them evaluated by a licensed, medical professional before proceeding with treatments.
Nevus of Ota
These types of birthmarks are associated with deep dermal (lower skin layer) pigment. Because nevus of ota birthmarks are usually deeply situated in the dermis, the results of the treatment can be highly variable. Some respond quite well and partial clearance of the mark can be seen and others do not clear at all. In either case, the only laser option that is considered an effective alternative is the Q-switched laser utilized by SKinTEGRITY.
Rosacea is a skin condition where the small blood vessels in the facial skin appear at or very near the surface, creating a permanent or semi-permanent flushed and/or reddish appearance. Rosacea is a genetically linked condition that normally shows up in those over the age of 30 and of Northern European descent, although it can occur in other skin types as well. As the baby boomer population ages, the number of North Americans with Rosacea has steadily increased.
Dermatologists have been using lasers since the mid-1980s to treat rosacea. Today, a non-laser light therapy called intense pulsed light (IPL) is used for treating rosacea. Using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), SKinTEGRITY can successfully treat the symptoms of rosacea.
The Treatment Procedure
The treatment for vascular issues requires the skin to be clean and dry and, after a layer of cooling ultrasound gel is applied, the laser pulses will be applied to the affected areas. There will be a sensation of heat and tingling at the treatment site.
Post treatment instructions vary depending on which technology is being used. Typically it is required to be gentle with the skin post treatment and avoid exfoliation or scratching. The side effect of "whelping" is when the water has been removed from a vessel and the blood "iron oxide" which remains is coagulated and darker, the vessel can swell above the skin slightly. Allowing this effect to calm before vigorous washing or drying will help keep the skins healing process from being interrupted.
*It is always best to come in for a free consultation to discuss what the options are to treat your specific challenges.