The ins and outs of pulsed light rejuvenation with Varilite and FotoFacial
I attended my first laser symposium at a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in 1986 and began performing pulse dye laser treatments over 20 years ago. It has been incredible to see the innovation and technological advances made in laser medicine over the last two decades. Lasers, of course, are devices that emit light. We select a particular laser based on what it targets well.
FotoFacial, which uses “intense pulsed light,” or IPL, is a treatment that many people have heard of because it’s been around a relatively long time. I owned my first IPL device, the Photoderm, in 1997, and started doing FotoFacials in 2001.
IPL is a band of light rather than a single wavelength of light, and therefore has multiple targets and can be used to treat splotchy sun-damaged pigmentation, broken capillaries, and rosacea. I’ve also found it very helpful to improve red scars and red stretch marks. It also stimulates collagen, which improves the surface skin texture and can help to tighten pores.
Several years ago, I started using another laser wavelength, 532 nm, immediately after a FotoFacial in order to enhance the results. This wavelength targets small superficial broken capillaries as well as splotchy, pigmented spots. The combination was very well tolerated and did indeed provide improved outcomes.
About two years ago, I began using a Varilite laser, which has both a 532 nm and a 940 nm wavelength. The 940 nm wavelength targets larger and deeper broken capillaries, as commonly found on the sides of the nose and cheeks.
So, I now routinely combine all three types of lasers/light- IPL, 532nm and 940 nm in a treatment I call Pulsed Light Rejuvenation. We use cold gel during IPL and a cold air blower during the 532 and 940 laser treatments. The treatment causes only mild discomfort and is easy to tolerate.
There is almost no recovery time – most people are a little rosy for about 30 minutes. Some pigmented areas may get darker and then lightly flake off after a few days. Normal skin care is fine, and make-up can be applied immediately. Most commonly, we treat face, neck, chest and/or arms and hands.
You can expect to see a gradual decrease in overall redness, flushing, dilated capillaries and pigment splotchiness. People with visible aging from the sun can expect to see their skin become smoother with some refinement of pores. Many people with rosacea see an improvement in breakouts.
Most patients notice improvement even after the first treatment. These improvements are gradual and will be more visible with each treatment. For most patients, a series of five treatments is appropriate. Some patients will benefit from additional treatments.
The best candidates include:
• People who suffer from rosacea and experience flushing and redness of their skin.
• People with splotchy pigmentation and sun damage who desire healthier, more youthful skin.
• People who do not want to take time off to heal from laser resurfacing or chemical peels.
• Active people who want to improve their skin but do not want to interfere with social or outdoor activities.
There are so many treatment options out there today, which can be very confusing. A great dermatologist will work with you on your goals, help you understand available treatment options, and determine which procedure will deliver the best results. You can experience a naturallooking improvement in your appearance while also maintaining optimum skin health and working towards a longer, healthier life.
Dr. Steven Zimmet has been practicing in Austin, Texas for over thirty years. He is a sought-after cosmetic dermatologist and a world-renowned expert in vein care. Dr. Zimmet has over 20 years of experience with laser treatments, and recently received the honor of being named by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America for dermatology/phlebology. As the Founding President of the American Board of Phlebology and Editor of the Phlebology Journal, Dr. Zimmet travels the world to share his expertise in vein treatment and patients come to Austin from as far as Europe, South Africa, Mexico and the Philippines to seek his care. At Zimmet Vein & Dermatology, Dr. Zimmet is the first doctor in Austin to offer both Liposonix and CoolSculpting and also offers an array of aesthetic services, including Ultherapy, Pulsed Light Rejuvenation, EndyMed, Botox and fillers. Dr. Zimmet’s mission is to help his patients achieve optimal results through clear information, thorough guidance and clinically advanced treatments.
Call (512) 861-8901 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zimmet. MentionCultureMap for an exclusive 15% discount on the procedures mentioned in this article.