Learn everything you need to know about the most advanced laser uses in aesthetic medicine.
Laser treatments have vindicated their place as being the most painless and effective methods for facial rejuvenation and for improving the appearance of your skin which over time and due to sun exposure develops fine lines and discolorations. We present in cooperation with the plastic surgeon, Dr. Apostolos Gaitanis the latest developments in laser technology: The new Harmony Laser 360 device which includes 3 different treatments that can also be combined with each other depending on the problems that have to be treated.
Facial Resurfacing with Erbium Pixel laser
So far, the methods used for facial resurfacing had the disadvantage of a prolonged recovery period; a situation that is difficult for our daily routine to accept. The developments in laser technology introduced the Pixel method which improves skin texture and appearance with a minimum of recovery time. This new laser, selectively targeting only the problematic areas, does not inhibit healing and is less aggressive compared to lasers in the past, achieving, however, accurate and drastic results.
Erbium Pixel laser can restore areas which show aging signs; smooth fine lines; (e.g. “crow’s feet”, the so-called “smoker wrinkles” on the upper lip); significantly improve acne or injury scars; give the dull face a more youthful and firm appearance. This treatment is not a substitute of surgery in cases of great relaxation with deep wrinkles and an overall aged look. What it does , though, is that it rejuvenates the face having fewer side effects than a chemical peel.
The method is based on the selective destruction of the target with micro-beams which selectively penetrate the skin without disturbing the healthy tissue, thus, accelerating the healing process. The Erbium Pixel effect is based on vaporizing the damaged tissue and removing the upper skin layer. What the laser does, is that it “maps” the skin as a network consisting of many smaller sections (pixels) and aims only at the problematic ones, such as scars, relaxation and fine lines. By maintaining the surrounding tissue environment intact, recovery is made rapid, as only the affected particles are being removed through the lymphatic channel. Therefore, skin appearance is restored faster since the injury is partial and does not affect the healthy cells.
Each session lasts no more than 10-15 minutes while the treatment is painless and requires no anesthesia. The energy level of the device is fully controlled and the treatment can be made either on a deeper level or more superficially depending on the size of the problem. As the treatment proceeds, the number of sessions is being defined (an average of 2-3 repetitions) recommended to have an in-between time gap of at leat 10-15 days.
After each session the skin exhibits a mild redness which, however, lasts no more than 48 hours. There is a possibility that you experience a burning sensation, like after extensive sun exposure, and that your skin may exfoliate for a few days. You can get back to your daily routine immediately by using a high protection sunscreen. Also, a mild swelling may develop in particularly sensitive areas (e.g. under the eyes) at least for the first hours following the treatment. In any case, after about 6-7 days the skin has completely recovered with the help of a good moisturizer recommended by your doctor.
Even a week after the first session the skin already looks and feels much better while after the completion of the treatment (it requires 2-3 sessions spaced at least 10 days apart) the end result is immediately visible. Always depending on the problem, scars and fine lines disappear and the skin becomes more youthful and radiant. The Erbium Pixel method has the great advantage that results are gradually achieved without damaging the skin on a deep level and without leaving laser marks.
Treating melanocytic lesions with the intense pulsed light Laser 540
This specific head is used either on the face, neck, d?collet? and the hands, that is, areas where skin discolorations appear or on feet for treating spider veins.
Unwanted melanocytic lesions are due to endogenous pigment concentrations, mainly melanin, and usually occur after sun exposure which affects the skin causing photoaging. Most of the times, they are seen on light-skinned people who get a sun burn easily and tend to have freckles. Other times, though, the lesions are either associated with hormonal disorders or occur during pregnancy or menopause. Most often they are found on people over the age of 30. Lesions increase and grow darker over the summer while they become substantially colorless during winter. In addition, pigment irregularities can occur after specific drug use on trauma or surgery scars. In other cases, they are merely considered to be “photoaging” signs occurring together with other symptoms such as wrinkles, lines and dull skin, especially after summer.
The head of the intense pulsed light can remove the dullness and restore an even contour for the skin by targeting a whole area where the skin feels coarse and by insisting on areas with freckles and dark spots. In such a way, it achieves greater accuracy and more effective results. The doctor covers the problematic area with a gel or serum containing glycolic acid or vitamin C. Only now is the skin ready to come in contact with the laser head. With this method the temperature of the pigmented lesion is increased leading to an increase in the temperature of the pigment causing it to breakdown into very small particles. The unwanted melanin now attracts the intense pulsed light energy and, thus, the destruction of the target is achieved.
The treatment is painless apart from a minor sense of discomfort while the probability of side effects is minimal. After each session it is important to avoid sun exposure at least for the first few days and using a sunblock with a high SPF is essential. An interval of 1 week between sessions (which will be no more than 2-3) is necessary. Except for a mild redness on the areas treated , the method has no other undesirable side effects and allows your immediate return to your daily routine.
This treatment deals successfully with photoaging signs, skin color breakdowns, such as facial freckles and leg spider veins and gradually restores an even appearance, a smooth texture and a radiant effect for the skin.
Facial firming with the Near Infrared head
This device is used to regenerate and firm skin tissue. It manages to do so by emitting laser heat onto the areas of application. It is a painless and non-surgical treatment for facial rejuvenation addressed either to younger women who are not yet in need of a more drastic surgical treatment, such as a face-lift, or to more mature women who wish to enhance their skin’s flexibility and radiance without resorting to the scalpel.
With the special Near Infrared ST (Skin Tightening) head by Harmony laser, infrared light energy penetrates the skin on a superficial level remodeling the connective tissues by heating the area treated without damaging the skin.
A plastic surgeon or a dermatologist spreads over the problematic area a special gel and then applies the laser head with gentle circular movements that cause no pain or discomfort. A necessary prerequisite is the existence of an adequate quantity of fat under the skin in the area where the laser is applied. This is exactly why the laser head is suitable for areas such as the cheeks or the neck.
Tissue firming is caused by the infrared light heat emitted by the device. When the device reaches 40 degrees the doctor interrupts the laser’s contact with the skin and within the same session repeats the process twice more on the problematic area with intervals of a few seconds between the applications. The doctor also uses a special thermometer in order to monitor the temperature at all times so that it does not exceed 40 degrees, thus, excluding the possibility of skin damage.
The wide surface of the head is able to cover large areas and in order to develop the required thermal effect remains on the skin for 90’’ without interruption every time it is applied. The heat gradually decreases as the infrared bearn penetrates deeper into the tissues while its beam gradually spreads and gets thinner.
Skin tightening and facial rejuvenation are realized through the superficial micro-injuries caused by the fact that the laser emits a great amount of thermal effect. It does so in order to stimulate the collagen to contract but also to reconstruct and multiply the structures that are important in rejuvenating the skin. These skin structures extend their function so as to achieve healing. It is a painless and effective method. Also there is no danger of side effects when applied by a qualified plastic surgeon or a cosmetic dermatologist. Apart from an intense redness after each session the procedure will not prevent you from getting back to your daily routine. Finally, sun protection is necessary even in the shade.
Combination of therapies
The 3 functions of Harmony laser- the pixel head for resurfacing, 540 for treating pigment irregularities and infrared light for facial firming- can be applied on a complementary basis meaning that they be combined by the doctor depending on each woman’s problem so as to develop an individualized treatment especially tailored to the needs of each face. The 3 different can be rotated (for example-you can start with the intense pulsed light Laser 540 treatment and then, after 2 weeks, you can continue with the Pixel treatment and so on) in order to simultaneously deal with many kinds of aesthetic problems (e.g. fine lines, freckles, scars, sagging skin, dullness). During your first visit you will discuss with your doctor your needs and priorities.