We have used light-based machines for skin rejuvenation for many years. These include lasers (an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) and IPL’s (Intense Pulsed Light). Lasers put out a single wavelength of light. By controlling this wave length and its power and width multiple different treatments are available. IPL’s produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths. By matching the wave lengths emitted by the machine and how far it penetrates the skin, we can choose what problems to treat. Although there are many machines touted to do amazing things, there are actually only a few they do well. Because of this, we are very selective in the technologies we offer, offering only those with significant benefit and minimal risk.
CO2 lasers were one of the first machines used for cosmetic purposes. It allowed us to remove the surface of the skin like in a leveling chemical peel but in a more controlled manner. Most CO2 lasers heat the dermis significantly. This causes marked redness for a significant time. The Erbium laser removes the surface of the skin without causing redness. However, the results at a year are significantly inferior to those of the CO2 laser. We discovered that you also need to stimulate the dermis to grow new collagen rather than simply smoothing the surface of the skin. Many CO2 lasers now attempt to cool the dermis somewhat to reduce the redness but still allow stimulation to cause the skin to make new collagen. At the Center For Plastic Surgery in Highlands, NC, Dr. Robert Buchanan offers the Luxor® Specialized CO2 Laser to precisely remove your wrinkles, scars or abnormal pigment that skin care or peels do not easily correct. This machine’s design, using more intense bursts of laser light with more time between bursts, prevents overheating of the skin and achieves the desired result with fewer risks and less prolonged redness. It also allows us to target precisely your specific lines, wrinkles or scars to remove them with faster recovery. Most people heal within 5-8 days, and it is rare that anyone has any open area past 10-14 days. This is as fast as any laser on the market. Once healing occurs, we will show you how to apply makeup to disguise the small amount of redness that remains.
At the Center For Plastic Surgery in Highlands, NC, we offer the Ellipse IPL. The IPL works like a laser by targeting specific, chromophores in the skin to treat certain problems. It is similar to a Laser but uses a band of light instead of a single wavelength. This allows the targeting of multiple chromophores at the same time so that the amount of energy needed is less. This is especially useful in treating both red and brown to blackish areas on the skin since each problem generally absorbs multiple wavelengths of light. Since light is energy, the more absorbed the higher the energy applied to the problem. The Ellipse® IPL® offers the advantages of Intense Pulsed Light therapy but does so more safely with fewer problems since the wavelengths used are very precise. Most IPL’s simply shield all light below a specific wave length, whereas the Ellipse® IPL blocks wavelengths both below and above the desired spectrum. Blocking wavelengths above 1000 nm is especially important since above that the water in the cells will absorb the energy. This heats the cells and injures them instead of simply targeting the red or brown. Because of this there is absolutely no downtime with the Ellipse® Intense Pulsed Light allowing services not otherwise possible. Each treatment provides improvement of the problem. Because of this, you can select the endpoint you desire.
If you’re interested in learning more about how laser and light procedures can enhance the appearance of your skin in the Highlands, NC and Greenville, SC area, click here or call our office at (828) 526-3783.