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Offline Nikki613  
#1 Posted : Monday, June 6, 2016 12:06:24 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 6/3/2016(UTC)
Posts: 399
Woman
Canada
Hi everyone,

I am very inexperienced when it comes to lasers.

For years I have had red spots on my upper chest area and one big red spot in between my eyes. I think the spots are broken capillaries. I tried IPL for hair removal, general complexion issues and the red spots on my chest (6 sessions with a friend/technician and her machine) but the results were not noticeable.

The hair removal was slightly effective (it reduced amount of hair by about 40% but it came right back upon stopping treatment).

In addition to the barely apparent results, the red spots on my chest got burned during one session and scabbed over, I don't know if this is normal with IPL but I don't think it is.

I have also developed slight acne scarring on my chin since hitting my 30's... I guess this is karma for not getting many zits in my teens.

I like the idea of one strong treatment over a series of lighter treatments.

I'm wondering if there is one laser that can fix multiple concerns in 1 treatment (ie red spots, acne scars and tightening/fine lines) or would that be too good to be true?

Does anyone know if CO2 is the best for that or are there other more preferred one treatment lasers?

I'd love to hear some laser experiences.

Thanks in advance,

Nikki
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Offline MissJ  
#2 Posted : Monday, June 6, 2016 1:12:54 PM(UTC)
Rank: Administration

Joined: 5/14/2008(UTC)
Posts: 26,549
CO2 is more for ABLATING the skin as in burning off a whole layer of it. So, it is NOT the laser for discolorations. IPL 'photo facial' can address skin discolorations but is not technically a LASER.

I'm not an expert on all the possible lasers out there as there are MANY, they change the technology every year and for the many, there are in turn many companies with lasers aimed at the same goals.

In my experience, Candela lasers (this is the brand name of the company) worked ok (for hair removal). They have other lasers with different settings on them to target red spots, broken caps, brown spots (V beam?) and I believe skin tightening. So, maybe start searching for Candela products to see what they do and from there spring board to other companies products.

Ultimately for LASERS, it is best to go to a practice that has a LOT of them where the practitioners are 'known' experts on the devices. That's because the LASER companies will sell ANY doctor a device. So, you want a provider who is very conversant in lasers. When that's the case, they have a 'whole bunch' of them. Not just a few that they try to sell you on to pay for the laser investment.

LASERS are pretty impressive devices that can do a lot of things. But since they are also capable of doing (unwanted) damage, they are very operator dependent. Hence, instead of looking for specific lasers, one looks for good operators who are very knowledgeable about the devices and have a LOT of them to offer for various and assorted conditions.
Miss J. Seeing eye companion to the aesthetically blind since 1998.


If reading these posts has been helpful to you, consider helping out the board by purchasing via my AMAZON PORTAL seen at the top of each page.

Sales DIRECTLY from here help defray costs of this board. (Works for US residents only.)
Offline KenCarson  
#3 Posted : Monday, June 6, 2016 10:00:39 PM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/6/2009(UTC)
Posts: 911
Man
United States
  • For wrinkles and acne scarring, CO2 works best. With fractional treatments like Active FX and Deep FX, you will still need multiple sessions - 4 or 5. There's also the traditional resurfacing where they completely remove your epidermis. It's the gold standard, but the recovery is much longer. There are also Erbium lasers but they are more superficial, so if you want results, go with CO2.

  • For redness and capillaries, V-Beam works best because it targets the red pigment.

  • For hair removal - that depends on your hair color and skin type. For fair skin and dark hair, Alexandrite works best.
    Also, if you're treating a smaller area, you can try electrolysis - it's the only permanent solution.

I've had all of the above multiple times and continue getting them, for maintenance. Happy with the results but you have to be patient, it's a process!

Don't waste your money on IPL. It's the least effective of all, if it does anything at all. Just a bright lamp really :)
Offline Larazelle  
#4 Posted : Monday, June 6, 2016 10:39:09 PM(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Joined: 6/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 3,111
I had just one round of Fraxel (light) in 2007. I got a severe case of hyperpigmentation as I am olive skinned - however I do think it made quite a difference in my skin - it got "tighter" - and generally better looking. It was VERY PAINFUL though as they did not administer any anesthesia - so I was screaming all through it - lol - the hyperpigmentation took a long time to leave but all in all I think I got a good result - I would like to have laser again but worried about fat loss and hyperpigmentation etc. I am waiting and praying for a "breakthrough" laser for darker skins - I will be the first in line - lol -
Offline KenCarson  
#5 Posted : Monday, June 6, 2016 11:06:46 PM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/6/2009(UTC)
Posts: 911
Man
United States
Yes, they work best on lighter skin types. I can't believe they didn't use an anesthetic on you! For resurfacing, they should be using numbing cream AND nerve block injections. And it still hurts like hell! lol.

Fraxel is just another brand. Their CO2 version is called re:pair, and their erbium version is called re:store.

Lumenis has Active FX (very superficial) and Deep FX (deeper treatment, produces more tightening). You can get both in one session. They call it Total FX. Those are all CO2 based. Downtime is about 4 days.
Offline Mike D  
#6 Posted : Monday, June 6, 2016 11:40:35 PM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/24/2008(UTC)
Posts: 3,062
Location: Between the moon and NYC
Originally Posted by: MissJ Go to Quoted Post
Ultimately for LASERS, it is best to go to a practice that has a LOT of them where the practitioners are 'known' experts on the devices. That's because the LASER companies will sell ANY doctor a device. So, you want a provider who is very conversant in lasers. When that's the case, they have a 'whole bunch' of them. Not just a few that they try to sell you on to pay for the laser investment.


Very good advice.
Offline MissJ  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 12:17:18 AM(UTC)
Rank: Administration

Joined: 5/14/2008(UTC)
Posts: 26,549
Thanx Mike D.
Miss J. Seeing eye companion to the aesthetically blind since 1998.


If reading these posts has been helpful to you, consider helping out the board by purchasing via my AMAZON PORTAL seen at the top of each page.

Sales DIRECTLY from here help defray costs of this board. (Works for US residents only.)
Offline Larazelle  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 12:26:00 AM(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Joined: 6/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 3,111
Originally Posted by: KenCarson Go to Quoted Post
Yes, they work best on lighter skin types. I can't believe they didn't use an anesthetic on you! For resurfacing, they should be using numbing cream AND nerve block injections. And it still hurts like hell! lol.

Fraxel is just another brand. Their CO2 version is called re:pair, and their erbium version is called re:store.

Lumenis has Active FX (very superficial) and Deep FX (deeper treatment, produces more tightening). You can get both in one session. They call it Total FX. Those are all CO2 based. Downtime is about 4 days.



Ken - you seem quite laser savvy -

Yes, I suffered the "horrors of hell" during that laser treatment - At that time (2007) Dr. Anderson was not giving anesthesia to anyone - don't know if it has changed.

Considering my darker skin do you think Lumenis would be the "lesser" of two evils for me - lol - when you say "tightening" what do you mean - is it good for "sag" or wrinkles? I don't have any wrinkles except for a couple under my eyes - thanks to my oily skin which was the bane of my adolescence - however I think there is slight sagging and I think that Fraxel helped with that a bit - but not much - I would like to do Deep Fx but worry about the hyperpigmentation. Also what about fat loss - you never know perhaps ALL lasers create fat loss -


Offline KenCarson  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 12:45:25 AM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/6/2009(UTC)
Posts: 911
Man
United States
Sorry to hear that! I can't even imagine how painful that must have been for you.

I have to say I haven't researched what is recommended for darker skin types, so it's best to to talk to a dermatologist. They will definitely have to use gentler settings and it will take more treatments.

The tightening I was talking about is basically the collagen shrinking due to the thermal damage. This triggers the formation of new collagen over the next 1-3 months, so you won't see the full result until then. But all this is done with Deep FX.

Active FX is too superficial, kind of like a peel. It doesn't go deep enough to cause collagen remodeling, etc.

I'm surprised you got hyperpigmentation, though. It's normal to have some redness for a few weeks, but it fades away pretty quickly.

I've never experienced fat loss from lasers, so I wouldn't be worried about that. Just make sure you go to someone who knows what they're doing and you'll be fine.

Lasers will improve the overall texture of your skin, will soften scars and wrinkles, but they won't help with sagging, etc.

Btw Lumenis is a firm that makes lasers, not a type of treatment. But CO2 may be too much for you if you've had a reaction to Fraxel. Maybe you could try Fraxel again but at a lower setting. Do a test patch if you've had problems in the past. Or maybe just stick to chemical peels like TCA.
Offline Annaport  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 1:19:16 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 1/16/2012(UTC)
Posts: 687
I did a series of Clear and Brilliant laser treatments on my skin (face) and neck/decolletage which made a tremendous difference in my skin which is already pretty nice but unfortunately my chest is not as well kept as my face. Sure wish I had been as careful with that as my skin on my face. The VBEAM works wonders on redness. Clear and Brilliant is very much like Fraxel but the wavelength is not as destructive to the dermis and you don't have the downtime. Consequently you might not have the level of collagen remodeling although my derm said that is not true. Who knows? That said, I started with already pretty good skin so maybe an Active FX/Clear and Brilliant wouldn't be enough?

Here is one thing you must think about lasers: they are not a one time fix all for treatment. My dermatologist finally nailed it for me by likening it to going to the dentist for bi-annual dental tx. This is an ongoing thing, not a one of. So budget for that and most importantly, stay out of the sun.
Offline Nikki613  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 2:10:05 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 6/3/2016(UTC)
Posts: 399
Woman
Canada
Originally Posted by: MissJ Go to Quoted Post
CO2 is more for ABLATING the skin as in burning off a whole layer of it. So, it is NOT the laser for discolorations. IPL 'photo facial' can address skin discolorations but is not technically a LASER.

I'm not an expert on all the possible lasers out there as there are MANY, they change the technology every year and for the many, there are in turn many companies with lasers aimed at the same goals.

In my experience, Candela lasers (this is the brand name of the company) worked ok (for hair removal). They have other lasers with different settings on them to target red spots, broken caps, brown spots (V beam?) and I believe skin tightening. So, maybe start searching for Candela products to see what they do and from there spring board to other companies products.

Ultimately for LASERS, it is best to go to a practice that has a LOT of them where the practitioners are 'known' experts on the devices. That's because the LASER companies will sell ANY doctor a device. So, you want a provider who is very conversant in lasers. When that's the case, they have a 'whole bunch' of them. Not just a few that they try to sell you on to pay for the laser investment.

LASERS are pretty impressive devices that can do a lot of things. But since they are also capable of doing (unwanted) damage, they are very operator dependent. Hence, instead of looking for specific lasers, one looks for good operators who are very knowledgeable about the devices and have a LOT of them to offer for various and assorted conditions.


Thank you Miss J.

Offline Nikki613  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 2:24:41 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 6/3/2016(UTC)
Posts: 399
Woman
Canada
Originally Posted by: Annaport Go to Quoted Post
I did a series of Clear and Brilliant laser treatments on my skin (face) and neck/decolletage which made a tremendous difference in my skin which is already pretty nice but unfortunately my chest is not as well kept as my face. Sure wish I had been as careful with that as my skin on my face. The VBEAM works wonders on redness. Clear and Brilliant is very much like Fraxel but the wavelength is not as destructive to the dermis and you don't have the downtime. Consequently you might not have the level of collagen remodeling although my derm said that is not true. Who knows? That said, I started with already pretty good skin so maybe an Active FX/Clear and Brilliant wouldn't be enough?

Here is one thing you must think about lasers: they are not a one time fix all for treatment. My dermatologist finally nailed it for me by likening it to going to the dentist for bi-annual dental tx. This is an ongoing thing, not a one of. So budget for that and most importantly, stay out of the sun.


Thanks for the info, I think there's one clinic in Ottawa that really has a wide variety of machines. I think the wait list to get in is 6-9mos though...

Offline KenCarson  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, June 7, 2016 8:39:42 PM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/6/2009(UTC)
Posts: 911
Man
United States
Originally Posted by: Annaport Go to Quoted Post

Here is one thing you must think about lasers: they are not a one time fix all for treatment. My dermatologist finally nailed it for me by likening it to going to the dentist for bi-annual dental tx. This is an ongoing thing, not a one of.


So true! It's maintenance, especially for those of us with less than perfect skin.

I read somewhere that we lose 1% of our collagen every year after the age of 20! So we have to make up for it with lasers and fillers.
Offline Nikki613  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, June 8, 2016 11:35:17 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 6/3/2016(UTC)
Posts: 399
Woman
Canada
Originally Posted by: Larazelle Go to Quoted Post
I had just one round of Fraxel (light) in 2007. I got a severe case of hyperpigmentation as I am olive skinned - however I do think it made quite a difference in my skin - it got "tighter" - and generally better looking. It was VERY PAINFUL though as they did not administer any anesthesia - so I was screaming all through it - lol - the hyperpigmentation took a long time to leave but all in all I think I got a good result - I would like to have laser again but worried about fat loss and hyperpigmentation etc. I am waiting and praying for a "breakthrough" laser for darker skins - I will be the first in line - lol -


OMG I thought fraxel was supposed to be a milder laser?? Was the pain all because of the lack of anestesia or does fraxel always hurt really badly?

I was thinking of CO2 or something but I'd imaging it would be much more painful.
Offline Nikki613  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, June 8, 2016 11:39:33 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Joined: 6/3/2016(UTC)
Posts: 399
Woman
Canada
So for early 30's with light skin tone would you think fraxel would be enough or would something like CO2 be ok. I'd do it during or right after surgery so I wouldn't mind looking terrible for a week or two since I'll be in recovery already. My laser goals are to make pores smaller, correct some acne scarring (very mild/only purplish no real indentations) and improve texture and tone. Any suggestions?
Thanks
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