Sun exposure encourages skin cells to produce melanin, a brown pigment. Melanin absorbs or scatters radiation in order to protect the DNA of the skin from ultraviolet rays, and help prevent the development of skin cancer (melanoma) or other health conditions associated with excessive exposure to solar radiation.
However, melanin formation can be uneven, resulting in isolated brown spots or patches of hyperpigmentation. As these are deep-seated, topical applications are of limited use.
At Kaya, the Helios II Q-switched cosmetic laser is the tool of choice to reduce and eventually eliminate pigmentation which occurs in a few isolated spots (as against many diffused spots). Both large and small spots can be treated. It is most effective for spots on the face, chest, neck, arms and legs.
Its pigmentation-reduction capabilities also make it a central part of various treatments such as:
– Tattoo removal
– Skin rejuvenation, as part of the Carbon Peel that renders skin bright, glowing and radiant
– Underarm skin lightening
– Lip enhancement, addressing uneven pigmentation on the lips to make them appear fresher, softer, lighter and plumper.
– A wide spectrum of skin concerns: acquired bilateral nevus of ota-like macules (ABNOM), Becker’s Nevus, lentigo, freckles, cafe au lait spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
– Bleaching of fine hair
Technically speaking, Q-switching is a process by which laser energy is concentrated into a powerful beam that delivers unmatched penetrative power. It derives its name from an optical switch which is inserted into a laser cavity, and is designed to emit two different wavelengths of light. One of them, the green light, treats the upper layer of skin. The other is an invisible infrared light which penetrates deeper and treats the dermal layer of the skin.
The Helios II Q-switched laser emits a short, intense pulses of light energy, for a billionth of a second. This light energy gets converted into heat, causing the pigment to fragment and get released into the skin. The body’s natural processes reabsorb the fragments and dispose of them through the lymphatic system. The discolouration caused by hyperpigmentation thus fades away.
Tattoo removal works quite the same way. Q-switched laser is aimed at the tattooed area of the skin. The embedded ink particles attract the laser energy, while the surrounding skin tissue is excluded. On heating up, these particles shatter into smaller bits which are flushed away. The tattoo fades. A few such sessions later, the area is ink-free.
At this point, let’s turn our attention to another important outcome of Q-switched laser action: collagen production.
As the laser light penetrates deep into the skin, it heats up the dermal layer. The body’s defense mechanism promptly perceives this as an injury and rushes to repair it. This process activates collagen generation, making skin tissue firmer and more elastic, to serve as a lasting solution for wrinkles and lines.
Skin resting on a firm base of collagen tissue, is stretched taut on the bouncy supporting network. As a result, it looks smooth, bright and glowing.
When Q-switched laser treatment is rendered to the lips, it stimulates collagen production in that defined area, adding fullness and smoothness. Any darkening of the lips from sun damage will be reversed as well.
Compared with earlier versions of Q-switched laser devices, the Helios II puts added flexibility and control in the hands of the dermatologist, allowing for a more customized and less painful experience. With the special Fractional Handpiece, pain and side effects are minimal. The Fractional Handpiece divides a single laser beam into 81 smaller beams, leaving the surrounding skin intact while still delivering small beams of laser energy, thereby reducing the heat applied to the skin and minimizing downtime.
There may be mild heat only when the treatment uses the Zoom Handpiece used to treat freckles. Which after the procedure, a crust develops on the area of the pigmented spot. Depending on the location, this crust could take 3-14 days to heal. Arms and legs take longer. The scab eventually falls off leaving behind a red or brown temporary mark, which can be treated if persistent. Else it fades away, leaving behind even-toned skin.
With the Fractional Laser your treated area will look brighter and an even toned. The discoloured spots would have greatly reduced. A single session will show visible signs of improvement; and in a couple of sessions you will see optimum results.
- Do inform your dermatologist if you have a history of cold sores or herpes simplex, since the laser energy can activate the virus.
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant
- For a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the treatment, apply a sunblock with SPF30+ if you cannot avoid sun exposure.
- For 24 hours after the treatment your skin will be hypersensitive to sunlight. So keep away from the sun’s rays and apply sunblock with SPF 30+ if stepping out.
- For up to 48 hours after the treatment sweating will cause a stinging sensation. So avoid vigorous exercise.
- Blisters could appear and last up to 2 weeks, depending on your skin’s sensitivity. Do not pick at these blisters. They are nature’s bandage to keep the skin protected as it heals.Scabs will form as the blisters dry and will be shed when healing is complete. Your dermatologist will provide you with a topical application for relief from discomfort if any.
- Moisturize your skin regularly.
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