What is the
Smoothbeam laser and why is it safe?
The Smoothbeam Laser produces an intense but
gentle burst of light that selectively alters the sebaceous
glands that are the cause of acne without
damaging the surrounding tissue. After laser treatment the
surrounding tissue is left intact and normal pigmentation
occurs. The epidermis is protected during
the treatment with the Dynamic Cooling Device, which sprays a
cooling cryogen mist onto the skin before and after each laser pulse,
which also increases patient comfort.
Over 80% of your skin is made up of water.
The Smoothbeam laser emits a wavelength of light that is
strongly absorbed by water in your skin. As the laser penetrates
into the skin, heat is generated in and around the sebaceous
glands in the upper layers of your skin. The heating of the
sebaceous glands creates a mild thermal injury that changes the
structure and function of the glands.
How does the Smoothbeam help improve the look of acne scars?
There is no current method or therapy that
will completely remove scars. The Smoothbeam laser
can improve the look and feel of most scars by
stimulating collagen production in the deep layers of your skin.
Multiple treatments are usually necessary to achieve
improvement; the amount of improvement depends on the size and
severity of the scar. Most patients notice
improvement 6-8 weeks after their first treatment. Please note
that although we have seen significant improvements using Smoothbeam
laser, the laser will not completely remove acne or acne scars.
Are there other ways to treat my
Most patients have already tried
one or more over-the-counter topical acne products that are
currently available. Other alternatives are anti-biotic therapy
and in severe acne cases Accutane. Each alternative has its own
pros and cons. You should discuss your individual case with Dr.
Fisher and his nursing staff.
Patients with darker skin tones may be at an
increased risk of hyper pigmentation and hypo pigmentation. We
usually perform a skin test on darker skinned patients prior to
treatment to make sure the Smoothbeam is safe to use on your
Patients who have recent sun exposure, or who
have had a significant sunburn will not be treated until all
residual effects have resolved.
No, this is a simple procedure that can be
performed in our facility.
With any laser therapy
there is a possibility for adverse effects. The following are
adverse effects that may occur with the Smoothbeam:
- The treated areas
may hyper pigment / hypo pigment or appear darker / lighter after the
treatment. Normal skin color usually returns
within 2-6 months after laser therapy.
- Scarring is a risk
with the use of any laser. The Smoothbeam has had no reported
incidence of scarring. If the post treatment skin care
instructions are not followed, the chances of scarring are
- The treated area
may show a slight depression after the laser treatments.
This depression usually resolves within a few months.
- The treated areas
may welt or blister. These usually resolve within 1-2 weeks
laser treatment hurt? [page
The DCD (Dynamic
Cooling Device) which is built into the laser system, delivers a
short burst or spray of cryogen just prior to and after the laser pulse
is delivered. The DCD has been instrumental in reducing pain
associated with treatment as well as reducing the possibility of
blister/scab formation. In some instances, a topical cream or
anesthetic can be used if requested. The feeling of a laser
pulse has been described as being snapped by a rubber band or a
slight stinging sensation. Following laser treatment, the area
may continue to sting slightly or feel warm like sunburn.
If a large area is to be
treated, anesthesia may be used. A small test area can be
performed before the entire area is treated to evaluate your
pain tolerance. Most patients tolerate this procedure without
any need for anesthesia. Applying ice packs post-operatively can
alleviate any discomfort experienced during the procedure.
We also offer a topical
numbing cream that may be applied 30-45 minutes before treatment
to help reduce the sensation of the laser pulsed. You can
discuss this option with the nurse prior to treatment.
How many treatments
will I need? [page
In most cases, four to
five treatments are recommended for best results.
of your laser treatment depends on the size of the area you wish
to have treated. Most treatments last between 20-30 minutes.
How frequently will the treatments be performed?
Typically treatments are performed every 4-6
What happens after the treatment?
Most patients experience mild redness and a
mild sunburn like sensation in the treatment areas for 4-8 hours
after treatment. You can return to your normal activities
immediately following treatment (no sun exposure).
however, plan any important social engagement for the same day
as your treatment. Do not use make-up or lotion or any other
cover-up in the area of treatment for at least 12 hours after
treatment; this would not allow for heat dissipation from your
skin any may cause blistering or pigment changes.
Please read through out
section on patient guidelines
for more specific information on post-treatment care.