Since their introduction to the field of dermatology in the 1960s, lasers have evolved into the most versatile and effective tools available for treating a wide variety of skin conditions. Medical laser manufacturers have also driven innovation in other energy-based solutions such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Radio Frequency (RF), Near Infrared (NIR), and other novel technologies.
We’ll refer to these devices as “lasers.” Laser is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Lasers emit light of only one wavelength – in other words, one color of light. In aesthetic applications, this process is called selective photothermolysis, meaning that particular device modulates the frequency of light in order to produce energy that targets a specific area of tissue with the goal of destroying it. This is done by matching the wavelength of the light beam with the color of the target area, whether that be brown spots, red or purple broken capillaries, tattoo inks, water, melanin, or other tissue anomalies.
Since the wide range of human skin conditions and colors require different wavelengths (or, different colors of light), many different technologies have been developed. Your practice may require a variety of laser systems and/or hand pieces, depending on what conditions your patients expect you to treat.
C02 lasers were one of the first energy based devices introduced to the aesthetic market. They remain popular because of their versatility and their utility for treating the root causes of cosmetic imperfections. Aesthetic professionals recommend Co2 lasers for ablative skin resurfacing and rejuvenation.
Fractional CO2 lasers offer a compromise between long-pulsed Co2 laser systems (which offer more dramatic results) and technologies like IPL or RF (which offer quicker recovery times). These lasers are effective at treating acne scarring, pigmented lesions, stretch marks, and other relatively superficial imperfections.
Fractional lasers may also incorporate other technologies such as RF, Q-Switched, Nd:YAG and Erbium YAG.
Intense Pulse Light
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a non-ablative technology that uses short pulses of broad spectrum light to correct a wide range of benign skin conditions. Administered over the course of several “lunchtime treatments,” this technology offers maximum results and patient satisfaction with minimal downtime.
YAG lasers create precision targeted, high-energy pulses that prompt the production of collagen, ultimately creating younger-looking skin. The most common YAG systems for cosmetic applications are the Nd:YAG laser (designed for the treatment of deep structures, veins and hair removal) and the Er:YAG system (designed for treating superficial lesions in the skin’s uppermost layers, and for fractional skin resurfacing/rejuvenation).
Alexandrite laser systems introduce a timed pulse of laser energy through the skin to target tattoo dye or hair follicles. The light energy is converted to heat energy, dissolving the targeted tissue while leaving the surrounding area largely undisturbed. The alexandrite laser emits a shorter wavelength than other lasers, which enables the energy to be more easily absorbed by fine hair follicles and melanin.
Radio Frequency Systems
Near Infrared Machines - Diode
Pulsed Dye Lasers
Oscilla Lasers can provide comprehensive insight into the wide variety of laser options available. We want to help you choose the right system for your unique practice. We don’t expect you to have all the answers for your practice before you call. Speak with our aesthetic laser experts today for help in determining the best technology for your clinical needs.