What is a Pixel laser?
The Pixel laser is very different to most lasers because it hits the skin as a series of tiny laser beams, rather like a pepper pot, instead of a solid beam. This allows us to significantly reduce the side effects and down time normally associated with a laser that removes the superficial layers of skin.
Why is Pixel less invasive than normal resurfacing lasers?
The Pixel technology reduces the treatment area down to pin prick sized holes which heal very rapidly because they are completely surrounded by normal skin, so each laser pass treats approximately 20% of the skin surface and this can be repeated up to a total of 60% coverage. This laser uses the same wavelength as an Erbium Yag laser, like the ones used on programmes such as Ten Years Younger, which are normally associated with a two-week down time.
What does the laser do?
Because the laser causes tiny puncture holes in the skin, known as "micro thermal damage units" (MTDs) this stimulates a healing mechanism that leads to the formation of new collagen in the area. In combination with the evaporative or "ablative" effect on the surface of the skin, this leads to a tightening and smoothing effect overall. It is therefore possible to reduce the depth of fine lines and pitted scars by reducing the "shoulders" surrounding the defect.
What are the side effects?
The first side effect is heat build-up in the skin and this is managed by cooling at the clinic and on the day of treatment at home as necessary.
The redness after treatment takes two to four days to settle but can be covered with our pure mineral make-up after 48 hours if necessary.
There is a peeling effect, which takes place at 3 days and lasts up to 4 or 5 days, but it is very fine and easily managed and takes the form of tiny skin flakes as the MTDs form little crusts and shed. The appearance is a little bit like skin dandruff and is easily removed each day by using the exfoliator provided in the treatment pack.
Because the laser makes thousands of tiny holes in the skin, one of the main side effects is water loss through the holes. This can result in extreme dryness of the skin if not managed properly by using our moisturising agents and petroleum jelly to seal the skin and prevent water loss.
How often is the treatment carried out?
Only treating a percentage of the skin surface at each session allows us to create an improvement carefully over a period of time. The treatment is repeated every four to eight weeks for as many sessions as are necessary.
Because of the more invasive nature of the Pixel laser there is a short down time attached to each treatment. Depending on the depth of treatment, this down time is 2-4 days during which time the skin is very red and sensitive. It is possible to apply i.d. bare escentuals make-up after 48 hours since the zinc oxide it contains acts as an anti-inflammatory.
There are a number of pre and post treatment requirements that are very important and we will provide you with full instructions regarding these at the pre treatment consultation.