Updated: Feb 21
LASER technology for tissue rejuvenation is moving faster than consumers can keep up!
Every time I turn around a new laser for facial rejuvenation is surfacing. Well, how the heck do you know which laser is best for you?! In short, the answer is simply that it depends on what you want the laser to do for you.
Since it’s my business to know about lasers let me first tell you some basics. LASER is an acronym that stands for light amplification by simulated emission of radiation. Light itself is electromagnetic radiation that can vary in wavelength. The eye can see “visible light in colors” ranging from about 400 nanometers (nm) to 700 nm. Other lengths on the spectrum longer than visible light are near infrared (NIR), infrared (IR), microwaves, and radio waves. Whereas the opposite end of the spectrum includes ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays. This entire spectrum can be used a “laser beam”, however, when discussing “laser technology” most scientist refer to the NIR or IR spectrum (Kent, J. L., 2022).
Within the IR spectrum various mediums are used to omit this intensified light. A medium can be either a solid or liquid creating their own unique types of protons and when excited by an external power source they replicate themselves. These protons are then purposefully shoved into one another by special mirrors within the laser machine and focused or expanded outward in various sizes and patterns depending on how deep you want the beam to go or area you want to extend the therapy to. For example, beams can be full ablative to shed the epidermis or patterned/fractionated to leave tissue in between for a quicker healing time. The depth also depends on the layer of skin intending to treat (Bhargava, S., et al., 2022).
The discussion of which technology is better usually surrounds the medium in which the protons are stimulated to make electromagnetic rays. The medium chosen for the laser depends on what you want to aim for. You see, the medium’s protons are not all attracted to the same source. In the same way a medication may have an infinity for a receptor site on your cell so do the protons excited within the medium. Crystals like yttrium, aluminum and garnet doped with neodymium ions or (ND: YAG), erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (ER: YAG) or liquid gasses like Carbon dioxide (CO2) are often used as mediums within a tissue rejuvenation laser device because of their ability to be attracted to water within human tissue.
When choosing a laser for resurfacing scientists have found ER: YAG to have various purposes such as tissue tightening and resurfacing but also more effective as CO2 with a quicker healing time and less pain. When choosing a laser to stimulate collagen growth studies have shown that ND: YAG is gentler and can penetrate deeper than CO2. Most likely you will need a variety of modalities, energy levels and medium to achieve the results you are looking for. Consumers are choosing the Fotona at the Med Spa at Clinical Edge because the technology uses both ND:YG and ER:YAG with various hand pieces unique to the delivery of several treatments in just one session.
Nonablative radiofrequency devices target the dermis and are also effective for wrinkles and laxity. These devices generate electromagnetic radiation that is utilized to heat the dermis. The depth of heating varies with the type of delivery. The results are collagen contraction and immediate skin tightening as well as the induction of subsequent collagen remodeling. Radiofrequency can be administered via monopolar, bipolar, tripolar, and unipolar devices (Alexiades, M., 2022).
What's hot right now? The aesthetics industry has added a bipolar radio frequency assisted lipolysis (RFAL) contouring treatment called FaceTite/AccuTite . This treatment specifically contours the jowls, submental and nasal labial folds and is available at the Med Spa at Clinical Edge!
What is right for you? Discussing your concerns with a practitioner who is well versed in laser technology can help guide your decision making. Call 609-336-3313 for more information!
Alexiades, M. (2022). Nonablative skin resurfacing for skin rejuvenation. UpToDate. Retrieved February 21, 2023 from https://www-uptodate-com.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/contents/nonablative-skin-resurfacing-for-skin-rejuvenation?search=cosmetic%20dermatology&source=search_result&selectedTitle=3~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=3
Bhargava, S., Goldust, M., Singer, H., Negbenebor, N., & Kroumpouzos, G. (2022). Evaluating resurfacing modalities in aesthetics. Clinics in Dermatology, 40(3), 274-282. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2021.01.019
Kent, J. L. (2022). Understanding the electromagnetic spectrum. UpToDate. Retrieved December 18, 2022 from https://www.clinuvel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Electromagnetic-Spectrum-FINAL.jpg