Laser and light therapy can help you address a myriad of clients’ concerns, and this is the ideal time of year for clients to begin a series. The latest incarnations are especially appealing, as they are quick, effective, and have little to no downtime. We talked to Samuel Shatkin, JR, M.D., board-certified plastic surgeon, about how he uses lasers in his practice and ensures all clients have a pleasant experience during recovery.
In your opinion, what are the most exciting and effective updates in laser and light therapy for facial services?
New devices with fractional light ablative resurfacing are the state of the art today. Devices like the Picosure Focus Array and the Cynosure ICON 2940nm fractional ablative laser allow for customized depth and quick recovery.
I have also found that LED therapy has been beneficial for our patients for both anti-aging and acne management. We incorporate the Celluma Panel by Biophotas. It applies a combination of blue and red light to treat aging skin, sun damage, and acne. The biophotonic technology with the Celluma panel has been a great add on to decrease inflammation and skin discoloration, and we incorporate this following laser treatments for rejuvenation.
How has laser technology changed in the last 5-10 years?
The advantages of a customized approach has allowed for quicker recovery, less pain, less side effects, and better results. And the technologies continue to improve. What was state of the art 10 years ago now are hardly used. Sort of like a computer, they still work but there are better products available.
What laser or light therapy device do you rely on most in your practice?
Cynosure Icon both IPL- Intensed Pulsed Light for reduction of brown and red spots on the face and fractional non-ablative 1540 nm and ablative 2940 nm resurfacing for wrinkle reduction. We also have begun to incorporate the Picosure Focus Array for facial rejuvenation, the newest addition to our wrinkle busting armamentarium.
What skin concerns and conditions does this device treat effectively?
IPL treatment does wonders with spider veins, sunspots, and sun damaged aging. Laser resurfacing is ideal for wrinkle reduction and can be used for fine lines or more aggressively for deep lines and acne or facial scars.
Who is the ideal client to treat with this laser? And who performs the service?
A wide range of skin aging and wrinkling, customized settings for the individual. Depending on the severity doctor, nurse, PA, or esthetician performs the service.
How long does a typical appointment last, and how many appointments are generally needed for the best results?
15 min to 30 min. Focus Array two to four treatments for fine lines, brown spots, light resurfacing, every three to four weeks. 2940 laser approximately two treatments.
When are results visible? And how do they change over time?
IPL and focus array immediately, darkening brown spots then lightening within 2 to 4 weeks.
What time of year is the best to begin a treatment series?
Fall/winter or anytime for patients who are a lighter skin type and use sunblock diligently.
What homecare treatments and products do you recommend for best results?
Retinol, Lactic acid, arbutase for brightening prior to laser six to eight weeks to decrease PIH risk and always sunblock.
I have customized some of my own skin products for our post treatments and incorporate Repêchage products for hydration, inflammation, and recovery following lasers. Pre and post laser treatments, whether I am using ablative or non-ablative devices, are critical. With proper preparation using exfoliation and post laser hydration and skin protection, the optimum result can be achieved with quicker recovery. I also recommend the Repêchage Vita Cura 5 Phase Firming Facial
in the early stages of post-laser recovery to speed healing.
What do you think is next in laser and light therapy? What does the future hold for laser skincare treatments?
More selective targeting of the skin structures to improve quality of skin. I also expect that nano technology will afford better penetration of the specific ingredients to the deeper parts of the skin.