There has been an explosion of laser technologies over the past ten years. As a result of this, we can treat a lot of conditions that were previously untreatable. One of the major developments within this time is fractional laser technology.
Background to fractional resurfacing
The skin essentially consists of two layers: epidermis on top and dermis at the bottom. Some skin problems, such as uneven pigmentation and uneven texture resulting from sun damage, are primarily epidermal in origin. Other problems, particularly wrinkling and scarring, occur deeper in the dermis.
The gold standard treatment to address all these problems has for many years been CO2 laser resurfacing. It is highly effective in improving uneven pigmentation, textural irregularities and ingrained wrinkles. However, it is also beset by long downtime and recovery period, as well as a high incidence of complications.
Fractional lasers were developed in the early to mid 2000s. The goal is to treat a fraction of the area of the skin (hence the term fractional), and to leave a significant portion of the skin untreated to assist in healing, in effect reducing the down time and the complication rate whilst still offering good results. Fraxel laser was the first fractional laser to come on the market in the mid 2000s. It is a non-ablative fractional laser. Whilst it can improve pigment and texture to some extent, it gives little or no improvement in wrinkles. 4 to 6 treatments are required to obtain optimal results.
Ablative fractional lasers began to appear in the late 2000s. These have little in common with the non-ablative fractional lasers, they include fractional CO2, erbium YAG and then YSGG (Pearl Fractional) lasers. These are much more effective compared to the older generation Fraxel type lasers. They improve wrinkles to a much greater degree and only 1-2 treatments are needed.
What is Pearl Fractional?
Pearl Fractional is a third generation, ablative fractional resurfacing, single treatment laser designed to improve imperfections due to aging and sun damage. Pearl Fractional offers the best combination of safety, patient experience and recovery time. Patients also notice a smoother, brighter complexion overall. It offers a powerful and effective treatment that yields far superior results to older generations of fractional laser (such as Fraxel), at a lower total overall cost to you. It really comes to the fore in the treatment of wrinkles and scarring.
The Pearl Fractional Procedure
During the procedure, the laser uses heat to create tiny holes deep in the skin. The process removes sun-damaged tissue and then stimulates the growth of healthy, new skin, full of fresh collagen. This plumps the skin from below, repairing photodamage and other skin imperfections.
What does "fractional" mean? How does the Pearl Fractional treatment work?
Fractional therapy describes a treatment that affects only a fraction or small percentage of the skin. One of the first fractional lasers to enter the market was Fraxel laser. Successive generations of fractional laser became more powerful and effective. With Pearl Fractional, laser pulses treat damaged cells deep in the skin. This fractional treatment selectively removes columns of tissues leaving surrounding skin intact. This treatment shortens healing time and stimulates the body's own natural process for creating new collagen from below and reversing photo aging and other imperfections. Pearl Fractional can achieve the same results in one treatment what older generations of fractional laser need several to achieve.
How many treatments are recommended?
Most patients will see significant results after just one treatment. This means less down time and much lower total overall cost for you.
Who is a candidate for a Pearl Fractional treatment?
Patients with light to medium skin tones and skin imperfections due to aging and sun damage will benefit from a Pearl Fractional treatment. Certain types of scarring, including acne scarring also respond well to Pearl Fractional. Lastly treatment for stretch marks is one of the newest indications for Pearl Fractional.
Dr Leung has also pioneered Periorbital Pearl Fusion treatment for fine wrinkles around the eyes and lower eyelid.
What areas of the face can be treated?
Pearl Fractional can treat the entire face and is uniquely effective in the delicate periorbital (around the eyes) and perioral (around the mouth) areas. These areas often show the first signs of aging and can be the most challenging to treat. Scars and stretch marks on any area of the body could be treated.
How does a Pearl Fractional treatment feel?
Most patients describe the treatment as a series of fast, hot pinches. Dr Bernard Leung uses a series of local anaesthetic blocks to numb the areas to be treated.
When will I see results?
Many patients see improvement one week after treatment. Maximum results are visible in one to three months as new collagen formation and collagen remodelling take place over time. Patients may apply makeup five days after treatment.
Are there any restrictions on my activity after a Pearl Fractional treatment?
After treatment, the skin looks sunburned and may be slightly swollen. Patients report little or no discomfort post treatment. During post care, patients apply ointment to the skin for four to five days and should limit sun exposure and wear protective clothing.
Can Pearl Fractional be part of a combination therapy treatment?
Many patients have a Pearl Fractional treatment in combination with other cosmetic therapies. These include other Cutera laser and light procedures, such as Pearl, Laser Genesis and LimeLight. Dr Bernard Leung will discuss your suitability for a combination therapy treatment.
How does Pearl Fractional compare to other fractional laser treatments?
Pearl Fractional's unique laser wavelength offers a safe but intense treatment to reverse the signs of aging. This combination gives patients dramatic results in a single treatment with approximately one week recovery.
Please click on the following link to read more about Cutera Pearl Fractional.
To request an appointment with Dr Bernard Leung please email us or call us on 02 6255 8988.