PicoCare Fractional Skin Rejuvenation in Washington, DC
What is Picocare Fractional Skin Rejuvenation?
The PicoCare Picosecond Nd:YAG laser represents the absolute cutting edge in laser technology. Emitting pulses of light in the picosecond pulse range (around one-trillionth of a second) these lasers have proven effective in multiple aspects of cosmetic laser dermatology, including reduced treatment requirements for decorative tattoo removal, and safer, more effective treatment of pigmented lesions such as birthmarks, freckles, and hyperpigmentation. Recently, a novel use of picosecond lasers has emerged. Utilizing a fractionated micro lens array (MLA) in a specialized handpiece the normally even beam of light is divided into microbeams with individually higher energy due to the focusing effect of the lens.
When these focused beams are pulsed onto skin, a phenomenon occurs resulting in the formation of a small plasma (excited electrons in tissue) which then forms a tiny, very precise bubble, called a vacuole, within the lower epidermis (outer skin layer) or upper dermis (collagen layers). This effect is known as Laser Induced Optical Breakdown (LIOB). While this is very interesting to laser nerds like Dr. Adrian, the effect of these LIOBs on skin is truly fascinating. Through unknown mechanisms, these newly formed vacuoles stimulate the release of growth factors leading to increases in collagen, elastin, and mucin in the upper dermal layers, leading to reductions in fine lines and wrinkles, pore size, and a generalized improvement in skin texture noticeable in the weeks after treatment. There is also an effect on skin tone, as these vacuoles act as pigment shuttles, removing excess pigmentation from the skin, leading to a clearer, brighter complexion and more even skin tone.
Is there downtime associated with PicoCare Fractional Skin Rejuvenation?
Downtime is minimal, and in many cases non-existent. Patients generally have mild facial redness which dissipates several hours after treatment. In the days following treatment skin may feel slightly rough as the rejuvenation process begins. The face may be slightly itchy which can be relieved with antihistamines if necessary. Typically there is no bleeding, oozing, swelling, or pain after treatment.
Is sun protection important after treatment?
Interestingly, due to the novel photomechanical effect of the treatment, little to no heat is transferred to the skin during treatment, reducing the need for stringent sun protection as is needed after Fraxel and Fractional CO2 Resurfacing. We recommend normal sun protection with a mineral-based SPF30 or above sunscreen, but the risk of significant post-inflammatory pigmentation with sun exposure is much lower with picosecond skin rejuvenation as it is with other laser skin rejuvenation modalities.
How many treatments are required?
Results are noticeable several weeks after the first treatment, however, for significant improvement in skin tone and texture we recommend a series of 4 treatments one month apart.