Beauty

PicoSure Laser – When all pigmentation spots faded away

WHAT IS IT?

The PicoSure is a laser device that uses patented technology to increase the rate of bursts to

that of ‘picoseconds’, making it so much faster than the usual nanosecond lasers used for

removing pigmentation, dark spots and fine lines. These ‘ultra-short bursts of energy’ hit

your skin in trillionths of a second. According to the brand this means PicoSure can deliver

‘energy where it’s needed without damage to the surrounding skin’. 

The PicoSure laser was originally designed to remove unwanted tattoos, so it sends

photomechanical energy into the tattoo pigment and shatters it into much smaller, micro-particles,

which are more easily eliminated from the body. This same technology is what enables it to be used

for facial pigmentation without damaging the surrounding skin.

There is currently only one PicoSure unit in Singapore at Dr Joseph Yang’s Aesthetic & Medical

Clinic in Wisma Atria.

 

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

The biggest difference between the PicoSure laser and other lasers that are commonly used for

removing pigmentation or fine lines is that you really don’t need to use any sort of painkiller or

numbing cream. According to Dr Yang, numbing cream actually interferes with the way lasers

work, causing them to be less effective than you’d expect.  

Because the PicoSure laser operates at such a fast speed you are barely aware of it working across

your skin, by the time you realise it, the laser has moved on to another area of your face. 

Dr Yang only uses ice cold water to keep the heat in the skin down; there are no painkillers needed

nor numbing cream. After the treatment you need to lie with an iced cloth over your face to continue

to reduce the heat for about 15-20 minutes, and then they apply a ‘recovery cream’ which soothes any

sort of redness or inflammation, but really you can easily go right back to work. Dr Yang suggests you

don’t do anything that will ‘heat up your face’ like exercise; but that’s about it. The next day you can

slap on your makeup and off you go. There really is no ‘down time’ as such.

 

The doctor generally recommends you do around six rounds of PicoSure laser the first time; he will adjust

the strength of the machine depending on whether or not you need ‘spot attention’ if you have various

darker areas. I ended up having five rounds of PicoSure with practically no issues. I experienced some

‘flaking’ on my forehead and nose after round four but that was most likely due to the fact that I got on

a plane two days after the procedure and then spent 10 days in icy Tokyo. Using a richer night cream

for a few days sorted it out easily. 

 

When it comes to skin rejuvenation, laser facials, like PicoSure, are the way to go.

They’re fast, effective and require minimum downtime. We say, beam us up!

When it comes to skincare treatments, you know, the ones where needles are involved, there seems

to be three camps: those who oppose them, those who love them and those who don’t dare admit

they get them. You can blame the fear on the over use of these treatments from Hollywood actresses

whose faces ended up looking rather warped (we’re calling you out Meg Ryan!). It’s a shame, really,

because while a lot of TV personalities get them (yes, almost every person you see on TV gets a little

poke here and there along with others you wouldn’t guess) when it’s done responsibly, the results are

fantastic.

 

In truth, there’s nothing wrong with getting Botox or Filler treatments. As long as you get them done

by a reputable professional (forget those Groupon sale temptations) and use them sparingly.

You want to look as natural as possible.

But for those who aren’t ready for needle fillers just yet, laser facial treatments are fast becoming the

way to rejuvenated skin. While creams and serums help to maintain your skin fitness on a daily basis

(hello, sunscreen!) repairing your collagen through laser facials can easily take years off your face and

give you a more youthful appearance.

 

One of these laser treatments gaining popularity is the PicoSure laser. Why? Because it targets deep

within the dermis to kick start collagen production and rejuvenate the skin’s fibres.

It’s is a quick and easy non-surgical, non-invasive laser skin procedure that can treat many areas of the

body including chest or décolleté, face, hands, legs, and more. (It’s also popular for tattoo removal.)

Patients have also experienced great results for the treatment of acne scars, hyper pigmentation, fine

lines and wrinkles. The great thing about PicoSure is that it offers a gentler form of laser treatment.

Other treatments may sting a little (Fraxel is a bit more painful if you can hack it), but with PicoSure,

you barely feel a thing.

How does it work? The lasers zap below the dermis to wake up the cells, sending them a message to

regenerate and repair themselves in order to create new collagen and elastin.

 

I recently experienced the Pico Laser at SpaMedica in Toronto and can attest to its quick turnaround.

Overall, the laser, which was passed over my face twice, along with cool air for extra comfort.

The actual procedure was over in 10 minutes. The laser felt like tiny, short electricity zaps. (See video below)

I was also pleasantly surprised that there was no downtime. My face looked a bit flushed but that faded

after an hour.

After completing three sessions, most of my brown spots disappeared as well as a few fine lines around

my eyes. My skin looked brighter. Even months after my treatments my skin feels super soft and smooth.

In my case, there wasn’t a significant before and after, but at this point I do these treatments to maintain

my skin’s health and fitness. I like to refer to it as “laser toning.”

This all kind of came about inadvertently. I think I had always known about cosmetic medicine centers but

never really sought out more information about what they do for their patients. It’s not a side of healthcare

that is covered in nursing school, so when my friend, Christen, was telling me about that industry and what

she personally does for a living within it, I was really intrigued. Growing up in Florida, and being raised by

a generation of adults who glamorized putting baby oil on to get tan, I can’t say that I’ve been on my best

behavior in the sun. Smart sun protection practices and taking care of my skin couldn’t have been further

from my mind or certainly not a concern of mine.

For my skin concerns and issues, in particular, Dr. Schallen recommended that we do three treatments with

the PicoWay laser and then use Alastin skincare products to help expedite the healing process and provide

your skin with nutrients that will help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.

 

My hope in covering this experience and sharing this type of content is to shed a positive light on the cosmetic

medicine industry. Dr. Schallen has been an emergency medicine physician for over 20 years – she actually

knows a lot of the doctors I use to work with when I was a nurse – and, she said that her favorite thing about

having also practiced cosmetic medicine [for the last 10 years] is that she gets to see a patient through the

entire patient experience. She shared that she sees it as an honor to see people in their scariest moments

in the emergency room and to help save their lives but, once she’s made the decision to admit them, she

doesn’t see what happens to them [unless she discharges them, of course]. With cosmetic medicine, she said,

she gets to see the patient through their entire experience – the beginning to the end – and these patients

always walk out feeling more confident and happy with themselves. It’s so cool that she gets to see both sides

and, with only having had one laser treatment, I can attest to how much better I feel about myself and it’s

encouraged me to take even better care of myself in the future.

I personally believe we have a choice to make about what is best for us [i.e. autonomy] in terms of what makes

us happy and what we want to do about our self-proclaimed imperfections medically, surgically, physically,

etc. If you want to be more toned, work out a few times a week with some weights! Do you have some fine

lines you want Botox to take care of? Go for it! Want to take care of those chin hairs for good? [Yes. Yes, I do.]

Let me introduce you to laser hair removal! Do I think people go a little overboard with it? Sure. But, I just think

we should be better to each other and let that person make that decision for themselves. And, also,

the nurse in me thinks you should be under the counsel of a doctor who knows what is best for you and isn’t out

to just tell you yes to a procedure so they can benefit financially. Choose your doctor wisely and they’ll give you

the necessary information and professional opinion to help you make your decisions.

 

What is the procedure called, what does it treat and how does it work?

The procedure I had done was called the PicoWay Resolve, also called the Picosecond Holographic Fractional.

It is a new fractional treatment capability on the advanced Picoway laser device for benign pigmented lesions,

like freckles, age spots, sun spots, etc.

 

The PicoWay laser sends ultra-short pulses of concentrated high-power energy to the targeted pigmented

particles on your face ensuring that the pigmentation is effectively treated, while the least amount of heat gets

transferred into the skin. It essentially shatters the pigment into tiny, tiny particles that can easily be removed

by the body. The dark spots eventually lift off of your face as superficial flakes.

 

If you are in the Jacksonville area, I highly recommend Dr. Schallen and her nurse practitioner, Korrie.

They are both so pleasant and experienced in this field. They are offering my readers 15% off their

procedure if you mention Haley or Sequins & Things when booking your appointment. Treatments

offered at the clinic include laser hair removal, botox and filler placement, tattoo removal, body sculpting,

platelet rich plasma treatment (which can be helpful in stimulating hair growth), and facial rejuvenation

procedures to help restore tone & texture and reduce redness & pigmentation.

 

Also, remember that what I had done might not necessarily be what you need to have done. My issues

prior to the procedure were redness, a ruddy complexion, MANY sunspots and discoloration from years

of sun exposure and poor use of sunscreen / sunblock. Keep an open mind when you go into your

consultation appointment. It’s also important to ask about the different payment options. One thing

that really impressed me about  Dr. Schallen is how much more important it is to her to allow patients

to have these procedures than it is to get their money immediately after. She offers so many payment

and options to make this something that more people can consider. Obviously, you have to seriously

look at your finances and be honest about whether this is something you can do right now but that’s

why I would say it’s an important thing to consider before having this done.

 

I used the Alastin Skincare‘s Procedure Enhancement products [the Invasive System] and also purchased

their HydraTint Pro-Mineral Broad Spectrum Sun Screen. It’s tinted so it offers you that protection but is a

better sunscreen option to apply to your face before applying your foundation. Those products together are

$400.So, obviously, that’s very pricey for most people and I completely understand that. One of the purposes

of this post is to educate and I hope that talking about price allows you to process that price, see what that

means to youand then make a plan if this is something you really want to explore for yourself. Please don’t let

price make you completely write your hope to have a procedure off. As mentioned before, if you do have

this done at CMA Medicine,

you will find that there are so many financing options to make this more reasonable and, after speaking with a

professional in the field that has worked with multiple clinics throughout the Southeast, it seems other clinics

do the same.

 

Here are some ways I can help you with the cost:

Tell the ladies at CMA Medicine that Haley from Sequins & Things sent you to enjoy 15% off your first procedure

Buy $200 worth of Alastin Skincare get a free SPF 30 with code MYFREESPF30.

Head HERE to check out some of the products Alastin has to offer. I use the products within the Invasive Kit.

 

Is it covered by insurance?

Most cosmetic medicine procedures are NOT covered under insurance.

How should I take care of my skin after the procedure?

After the procedure, it’s important that you keep your face moist with the Alastin products and protected

against the sun with broad spectrum sunblock.

In the morning, I wash my face with the Alastin Cleanser, then apply a few products in this sequence: Alastin

Nectar, Alastin Moisturizer and, finally, my Alastin HydraTint Sunscreen.

At night, I take my makeup off and wash my face with the Alastin Cleanser again. Then, I apply more products

in the following sequence: Alastin Nectar, Alastin Moisturizer then Alastin Occlusive Moisturizer. The occlusive

moisturizer makes you feel like a glazed donut. It eventually dissolves into your skin but you’ll always feel a bit

‘sticky’, almost like you have Vasoline on your face.

 

Why are these products unique and why are they helpful?

These products are specifically formulated to elevate the results you see from your ablative procedure. They

also strengthen the fragile state of your skin, minimizes the risk of complications and supports the recovery

process.

 

Is this procedure similar to an IPL?

The PicoWay laser treatment is different from an IPL in that it stimulates collagen on a deeper level because

it uses three different wavelengths of energy to target specific skin issues. An IPL uses a broader range of

wavelengths. It is a good treatment in some cases but isn’t as safe on darker skin types and doesn’t stimulate

collagen in the same way.

Can the PICO Way Laser treat my melasma?

Yes, it can treat and minimize the signs of melasma, however, your skin cells have great memory so, with

continuous sun exposure and heat, melasma can return. Therefore, diligent skin care and sun block are

necessary to prevent the recurrence of melasma.

 

Can you wear makeup immediately after you’ve gotten it done?

You can wear make up the next day. You can cover up the dark spots with foundation but you can likely

still see them through it.

 

Here is what I looked like the day after with makeup on:

Should I bring anything to the procedure on the day of?

A wide-brim hat for the ride home!

 

How does your skin feel the day after?

The pigmented lesions were sensitive to touch but, otherwise, my skin felt fine.

 

Do you really bring a hat with you everywhere?

I typically wear a hat when I go out after the procedure, yes, and I always have sunscreen on.

Applying SPF every 2 hours is unrealistic being that I wear a cream foundation. What do you suggest?

There is a makeup brand called Colorscience that offers beauty products that are good for your skin

and provide protection against the sun. I am going to be applying their powder foundation with SPF20

over my makeup every two hours while I’m traveling. I HAVE to be consistent about reapplying because

I’ll be outside most of the time and, especially in one of the places I’m visiting, there are a lot of white

buildings and water so everything will reflect back on me so bringing a hat and being consistent about

sun protection is SO important.

 

Will you still use TULA after your treatments are complete?

Absolutely! I still love Tula and stand behind products and everything I’ve said about their products in

the past.

How long until you get your next treatment and how long until the one after that?

All treatments are four weeks apart so I will get my next one when I get back to Jacksonville in early May.

It’s crazy how difficult it is to really see the damage until AFTER the laser treatment was performed, in my

opinion!

  

This was the morning after the PicoWay laser treatment. Sorry the lighting isn’t very good. I think

I got up and at ’em pretty early and that’s why I took them in this light, but you can see the sunspots

are still very dark and pigmented.

But, on this morning, your skin, especially the pigmented lesions are pretty sensitive to touch, as they

are directly after the procedure. Skincare is super important and keeping yourself out of the sun is, as

well. Do NOT go outside without sunscreen and a hat.

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