BY LISA WILLIAMS
Long before the birth of skin renewal lasers, Cleopatra already had science on her side, taking milk baths which contained lactic acid to exfoliate and rejuvenate skin, dead sea salts for its mineral healing properties, honey for its hydrating properties and many more. Today we have medical technology on our side, using supercharged lasers to resurface the skin, effectively plumping up skin and erasing away spots, fine lines and wrinkles. But if you thought only those with problem skin needed lasers, that’s where you are wrong. Lasers now come in wavelengths which also target dyschromia or uneven skin tone and also brightens skin, resulting in the coveted dewy photoshop effect. We speak to Dr Kenneth Lee, who founded The Sloane Clinic 15 years ago and now, helms the 8000 sqft large SW1 Clinic.
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Q : Which lasers are best for smoothening wrinkles and scars?
Dr Kenneth: Traditionally, the CO2 lasers such as the SmartX laser are best for these. New versions of CO2 lasers are now fractionated and delivered in a scanning pattern– laser beams are delivered in microscopic columns, leaving skin between laser columns untouched. This reduces the heat and downtime per session, compared to the older total ablative lasers where 100% of skin is ablated. This treatment penetrates deeply to stimulate collagen, resulting in a skin smoothening and skin tightening effect.
Q: How does the Fraxel laser differ from the SmartX laser?
Dr Kenneth: Fraxel is an erbium:glass laser. It is more suitable for people with darker skin types, because there is even less burning of surrounding tissue. Downtime is also usually lower. Less swelling, redness, scabbing. It works well for superficial or moderately deep wrinkles and scars. Our Fraxel Light settings has even lower downtimes and we use it mainly for our patients whose skin will benefit from some re-texturizing. Generally a very good treatment for patients who need a little bit of everything – brightening, pigmentation lightening, evening out skin tone, pore minimizing.
Q: We’ve heard about the latest picosecond laser. What do you normally use it for?
Dr Kenneth: Before the picosecond laser, the slower nanosecond Nd:Yag Q-switched laser was the workhorse of aesthetic lasers. Although I say it is slower, a nanosecond is actually one billionth of a second. A picosecond is one trillionth of a second. So it is really, really fast. Picosecond lasers can do what nanosecond lasers do, but more effectively. I use it for tattoo removals and I find that it is less painful and more effective at clearing pigments. It is also a very safe treatment for pigmentation problems such as melasma, without any downtime.
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Q: Your SW1 team created the Pico Smooth treatment. What does it do?
Dr Kenneth: We use a diffractive lens using the picosecond laser for Pico Smooth. This creates LIOBs – laser-induced optical breakdown beneath the surface of the skin, resulting in a productive wound healing response. We are finding its pore minimizing and scar regeneration response quite impressive so far. Like the SmartX, there is a little bit of downtime but there is less heat so it is suitable for darker skin types.
Q: Who is most suitable for Pico Smooth treatment?
Dr Kenneth: Actually this treatment is suitable for most skin types, but is especially useful for those who wants a ‘glass skin’ effect. Owing to its highly powerful collagen stimulation effects, it is able to transform dull, porous skin to a smoother, more luminous texture. Patients with acne scars can also benefit from Pico Smooth’s effects, as can patients who wants an overall skin rejuvenation response.
If you are less than happy with the state of things Don’t get left behind especially when one can get all the help you need in today’s skin revitalization market!