Home' Clinical Aesthetics : CA issue - 3 Contents SKINCARE
Of all pigmentation cases you see in your practice, the so-called
“ma sk of pregnancy”, melasma, is likely the most distressing for
your (primarily female) patients.
It is deep, dark and capricious. You may achieve stunning results
and then ... it’s baaack. It can develop during pregnancy because of
hormonal swings in the body, but also from hormonal fluctuations
at any stage of life (eg. menopause) and is significantly worsened by
After pregnancy it often fails to resolve post-delivery and
becomes an often debilitating cosmetic concern that is difficult to
be disguised by even heav y duty camouflage makeup.
Most patients will have large blotches on the cheeks or forehead,
but occasionally thinner patches of pigmentation will show over the
eyebrows or upper lip.
Picosecond laser technology has been a major game changer in
the tattoo removal industry over the past couple of years.
But an “incidental” by-product – that of treating pigmentation
– looks as if it will far outstrip the results and revenue potential of
using picosecond lasers for removing tattoos. Currently the global
market for treating pigmentation is twice that of tattoo removal.
“Melasma, particularly, can be a real demon to treat, and most
of the time we manage rather than cure it,” says Canadian plastic
surgeon Dr Rick Green, who visited Australia recently for the Non-
Surgical Symposium and to hold training workshops on behalf of
Cutera around the country.
“ We instruct patients to diligently use sunscreen every day, even
“At our practice [in Salmon Creek, Vancouver] we have
experienced var ying degrees of success in using laser to treat
melasma over the years.
“Laser applications that treat superficial pigmentation due to
sun damage tend not to work as well when the pigment is deeper, as
“In the past six months, though, we have been using enlighten
to go after this very stubborn pigmentation, with ver y encouraging
results. A bonus is we can use it on all six Fitzpatrick skin types.
“It has the ability to deliver energy pulses ver y quickly (750
trillionths of a second) which allows it to break down very fine
pigmentation so that the body can absorb it.
“ We use this to our advantage in tattoo removal, but it is helping
in this challenging situation as well. The prospects are ver y exciting.
“A laser with such extremely short pulse durations produces
pulses that achieve a very high peak power and can focus that energy
onto a small volume of space, in order to ablate material from the
surface quickly and cleanly without damaging the underlying areas.
“Picsecond devices work in two ways: first, the mechanical
or acoustic effect simply breaks up the pigment; and second is a
thermal effect. When the energy is absorbed it induces heat, which
also plays a part. The tattoo ink or pigmentation is then absorbed
and eliminated by the body’s natural processes.”
Dr Suzan Bekir, cosmetic physician at Sydney’s Taylor Clinic, has
used picosecond laser (PicoSure, with PicoFocus handpiece) for
pigmentation on herself, as well as patients.
“It’s just a total increase in power and effect; going from
nanosecond technology to picosecond speed wavelengths comes w ith
a game changer in results,” she says in her blog for the clinic’s website.
“Although this spectacular increase in technology has been
paraded every where in the tattoo removal industry, what people
haven’t realised is that this exact industr y-leading technology and
advancement is lying dormant in front of every woman and man out
there who wants to get the best rejuvenating facial experience with
the capacity to knock age off their looks.
“ The same technology that shatters tattoo pigment in the dermis
annihilates those sun spots that creep up on you in your 30s then
stains you for the rest of your life.
“My tip is to invest in getting your complexion fixed so you can
walk out the door confident without any makeup on.
“[Picosecond lasers] get rid of pigmentation, have an excellent
crack at melasma, incredibly improve acne scars and assist with fine
lines and wrinkles; the technological step up from Fraxel without
the tiger stripes and down time.
“I have tried [this technology] myself and happily vouch my
post-inflammatory pigmentation has faded and my skin improving.”
TRIED AND TRUE LASERS AND IPLS
Cryo Broadlight (CBL) allows therapists to treat many conditions
with a single device: acne control (430 nm), epidermal pigmentation
- Fitz 2, 3 - and lentigo (515 nm), vessels, melasma, telangiectasia and
rosacea (560 nm), large vessels and dermal pigmentation (585nm),
photo rejuvenation, enlarged pores and hair removal (640nm), and
hair removal (700 nm). The CBL is equipped with six slide-in cut-
off filters that minimise treatment time associated with having to
change handpieces and maximise treatment outcomes.
Laser and Light Technologies
REVOLUTION IN A PICOSECOND
Before treatment with Cutera enlighten
After treatment with Cutera enlighten
CLINICAL AESTHETICS | 33
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