Laser Skin Resurfacing
Many nonablative laser skin resurfacing types target hemoglobin as their chromophore. This reduces the damage to deeper skin layers, and is absorbed more readily by pigmented and erythematous lesions. A popular type of superficial resurfacing laser is broadband light (BBL) laser, which uses light of different wavelengths in the visible light spectrum. This is a nonablative type laser, unlike Er:YAG and CO2 type lasers, which are geared towards addressing deeper defect such as scarring and surface irregularities. As a nonablative laser, BBL has faster recovery times and less severe post procedural discomfort and pain.
Skin resurfacing is typically done via multimodality treatment. Typical treatment options include broadband light, intense pulsed light, and infrared lasers, ultrasound, chemical peels, microneedling, dermaroller treatment, and dermabrasion. Lasers can be categorized as both ablative and nonablative, depending on the specific resurfacing goals. Typically, multiple sessions of each of the above are needed to get a strong result. Different methods are chosen based on severity of the cosmetic concern, balanced with the patients expectations for post procedural recovery time.
Melasma is a condition that results from hyper functioning melanocytes in the skin. After exposure to sun, patients may develop an exaggerated darkening of particular patches of skin faster than others. It typically occurs in young female populations, and individuals with more fair skin types. Melasma presents as mild, symmetric, brown to grey patches on the face or other sun-exposed areas. Most of the time, patients do not have symptoms other than cosmetic concerns, but rarely melasma can cause itching, irritating, and dryness.
The Sciton Joule BBL laser is a nonablative laser, the chromophore (affected cell component) of which is hemoglobin. The depth of tissue vaporized is roughly 3-5 micrometers. Using the monitor display, the provider can adjust wavelength depending on the blemish type treated. For melasma and other pigmented lesions such as freckles and age spots, the 515 nm setting is desired. Other wavelengths utilized are 420 nm (acne blemishes), 560 nm for vascular lesions (cherry hemangiomas, telengiectasias, rosacea), and 590, 640, and 695 nm (hair removal).