Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about procedures offered at SLMC Skin Clinic. Below are some frequently asked questions:
Cutera - general questions
Cutera combines the ideal laser wavelength with the most flexible parameters to deliver a superior vascular laser system. It treats a broad range of vessels from tiny spider veins to deep blue reticular veins quickly, safely, and effectively. Patients with dark, light or tanned skin can experience outstanding results with minimal bruising or blistering.
The Cutera systems deliver pulses of light energy which cause the blood within the vein to coagulate, eventually destroying the vessel which is later reabsorbed by your body. Blood flow will then be redirected to veins deeper below your skin’s surface, where it should be.
Often, patients find that one or two treatments are sufficient. However, the number of treatments necessary depends on the number, color, and size of the vessels being treated. Since individual results vary, ask your medical professional about your specific condition.
Most patients experience a stinging sensation as the pulses of energy are delivered through the handpiece. Although no local anesthesia or pain medication is typically required, many patients opt to use a topical anesthetic prior to treatment. Following the treatment, the pain is minimal to nonexistent.
Although many patients report few if any side effects, those most commonly noticed are slight reddening and local swelling of the skin. These effects typically last for less than 24 hours. Some patients may experience bruising and, in rare instances, blistering may occur. Consult with your medical professional for complete information on the benefits and risks of treatment.
Most patients find that the majority of the treated veins have shown significant improvement within two to six weeks of treatment. However, your final results may not be apparent for several months. Over time, it is possible for new veins to appear, but these too can be removed with Cutera.
Hair Removal - general questions
The area to be treated is identified. A cool gel is applied to the surface usually. This allows the head to slide readily across the skin. Eyewear is checked. The laser is put off standby. A test dose or so is fired to determine the appropriate laser settings for comfort and effectiveness. Once this established, the session begins in earnest at a rate that is suitable for the area and patient comfort. Areas about the teeth, such as about the lips and cheeks often have a moist gauze placed underneath in the mouth between the teeth and the overlying area to stop laser energy warming the teeth pulp.
The Cool Glide laser is very comfortable. Mostly the patient is aware of the cold tip only. Sometimes some heat or a sharp-feeling sensation occurs. The treatment levels can be adjusted for any locally more sensitive areas.
For dark hairs usually six treatment sessions are required. Lighter coloured hairs usually need around eight sessions (assuming they are sensitive to the laser light – that is that the absorbing melanin pigment is well represented). A very few (usually less than 5%) might need more. The sessions are based about every two months or at such time as there is sufficient growth of new hair to make the treatment worthwhile. Facial hair usually is done every six weeks.
It done by the doctor or a laser trained technician. A very good understanding of lasers and laser safety factors is required of the operators.
All skin colours can be operated on by the Cool Glide laser. This is not so of other types of lasers. Also even tanned skin can be treated. Some of the laser energy will be diverted to and wasted by the skin pigment in this case. And a lesser power might need to be used to stop unnecessary discomfort. But it will still work.
As long as there is some pigment in the hair shaft to bulb, the hair can be treated. White hairs, not having pigment, can not be treated. Very blonde and red hairs tend to be slower to respond. We can test fire individual hairs in these lighter colours to judge how sensitive they will be to the laser treatment. If there is little reaction this way there is no point in pursuing a course.
Some hairs will be forcibly expelled from the hair follicle at the time of the treatment. A number fall out in the next 24 hours. Most tend to gradually work their way up, appearing to still be growing, until about week two to three when suddenly they all seem to disappear. Due to related swelling within the hair follicle, in the first week the hairs will appear firmly attached. Usually by the second week they slide out readily.
Laser light is non-ionising radiation. Apart from some ultraviolet lasers (and the Cool Glide is infrared) there is no risk of damage to the skin that could result in later cancer etc. Care with the energy levels needs to be taken to avoid burns.
IPL Photofacial Treatments
The actual treatment takes 15 to 30 minutes and are spaced every 3 to 4 weeks. They are performed a series of treatments, usually 5 to 8, to get the best results.
Side effects are temporary redness and swelling. Rarely temporary blistering and bruising can occur.
They are usually long-lasting. Sometimes they need to be repeated every 6 months to 1 year for maintenance depending on UV exposure after the treatment.
None. The redness which can occur after the initial treatment can be easily covered.