Erin Larson, CLS and Scott Rollins, M.D.
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March 7, 2012
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The iPixel revolution: Laser skin care just got easier

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - If you want to take years off your skin age, reduce sun damage, smooth wrinkles and fine lines, tighten and tone, then the time is now to consider laser skin treatment. Remarkable results from the latest generation of carbon dioxide-powered lasers just got faster and easier with a revolutionary handpiece called iPixel. Faster treatment, better coverage and less downtime are making the iPixel the gold standard in laser skin care.

HOW LASERS WORK

First of all, lasers work by transferring energy in the form of light into the skin where that light energy is absorbed by tissue and converted to heat. Different wavelengths of light are absorbed by different colors and will penetrate to different depths. The exact wavelength of light determines what part of the skin is treated. Some lasers use a crystal to separate out only the desired wavelength of light. More powerful lasers use carbon dioxide (CO2) to power the laser energy.

Shorter wavelengths of laser light will target the surface of the skin, treating brown spots, broken capillaries or fine wrinkles. Using relatively low-energy, short wavelength light, imperfections such as the redness of rosacea, superficial blood vessels, color imperfections, age spots and other discolored signs of photoaging can be gently heated and eliminated, replaced by newer, younger looking skin. This 20-minute "photo rejuvenation" procedure is so quick and easy it can be done over a lunch break as it does not require any medications or downtime for recovery.

Tattoo removal and hair removal require a wavelength of light that is absorbed by the color found in the tattoo or hair. Darker colors are more treatable with laser as the dark color absorbs the light energy and converts it to heat. The laser energy literally breaks down tattoo ink so that is absorbed by the body and disappears.

For hair removal, the laser energy knocks out the hair follicle along with the root, making laser the premiere treatment for hair removal. Forget waxing and plucking - this simple and quick treatment can put an end to the hassle of treating unwanted body hair.

Skin tightening is ideal for targeting those telltale signs of aging, including jowl and neck laxity, sagginess under the eyes, droopy brow lines, and nasolabial folds. Now the laser energy is absorbed in deeper skin layers causing heat-induced collagen shrinkage and micro-thermal injury as well as dermal regeneration, repair (healing) and remodeling. Skin tightening produces dramatic, yet comfortable deep dermal heating without damage to the surface epidermis. The result is a tighter, smoother and fresher appearance to the skin.

FRACTIONAL LASER TREATMENTS

For more significant wrinkling, discolored and sagging skin, the laser treatment needs to deliver energy to even deeper layers of collagen. In years past the only laser treatments for deep collagen restoration involved a more destructive process called "ablation" in which the entire skin surface was treated leading to a complete stripping of the outer layer of skin which involves a higher risk of infection and more downtime for healing.

Seeking a less invasive and simpler approach for these more aggressive treatments laser companies have developed technologies that allow treating only a fraction of the skin at deeper levels while leaving most of the surface skin intact. This is called "fractional" resurfacing.

Different from previous laser technologies, with fractional resurfacing only a tiny proportion of the skin receives the laser light. The laser delivers a series of closely spaced laser spots to the skin while simultaneously preserving the normal healthy skin between. By leaving mostly healthy skin this results in rapid healing following the laser treatment. Fractional lasers strive to achieve the skin improvements obtained with ablative lasers without the associated side effects or downtime.

PIXEL AND THE NEW IPIXEL

Pixel is the name given to the laser handpiece that delivers a 7x7 or 9x9 grid of laser energy. Each pulse of laser light leaves a 7x7 "stamp" showing where the laser energy has been emitted into the skin. The Pixel handpiece is then lifted and precisely moved to the next spot to treat, with a slight overlap onto the last treatment spot, thus leaving a smooth and even coverage over the entire treatment area.

iPixel is a new laser handpiece that revolutionizes fractional laser treatment. Instead of a trigger on the laser handpiece that controls each pulse of laser light the iPixel uses a small wheel that controls the rapid firing of the laser. Instead of a 7x7 grid of energy with each pull of the handpiece trigger and each pulse of the laser, the iPixel leaves a 1x7 grid with each tiny roll of the wheel allowing a smooth continuous path of treatment across the skin. This simple advance in handpiece technology means a much faster, more comfortable and more thorough treatment for patients.

For those patients with mild to moderate wrinkling the erbium crystal laser is powerful enough to produce great results with 3-4 treatments that require a few days recovery. For patients with moderate to severe deep wrinkling who wish to avoid surgical procedures but desire a youthful, refreshed skin tone, Pixel CO2 skin resurfacing is the ideal choice.

CO2 skin resurfacing fell out of favor years ago due to the treatment's long down times and risk of complications. Now with the Pixel CO2, you can get the fabulous results only available with CO2 but with a considerable reduction in downtime. In fact, with Pixel CO2, the average patient will only see about 3 to 5 days of minor social down time.

Visit www.bellezzalaser.com to watch one of our actual treatments using the iPixel handpiece.

If you are considering a laser skin procedure then please don't settle for less. Ask about the new gold standard, the iPixel. To learn more about iPixel and the many laser treatments available, call Bellezza Laser Aesthetics at 970-254-1195 and schedule a free consultation with one of our laser specialists.

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Scott Rollins, M.D., is board certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (www.imcwc.com). Call 970-245-6911 for an appointment or more information.

He is also medical director of Integrative Weight Solutions, a holistic, physician-supervised HCG weight loss program. For more information see www.integrativeweightsolutions.com or call 245-0373 to arrange a free consultation.


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The Post Independent Updated Mar 7, 2012 09:21PM Published Mar 7, 2012 09:20PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.