Advantages of Sculpsure over Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck - Berman Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Common Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures: How They Work and How Long They Last

There are now some great non-invasive procedures available these days, providing long-lasting results with minimally discomfort or downtime. Below are a few of my favorites:

 

  1. FOR THE FACE: My favorite by far, is the Picosure laser. This laser is a true game changer. It is not super well known, because it is a very expensive laser for the doctor to purchase and therefore is not in a lot of physician offices. You are not likely to find this in a medispa either.What makes this Picosure Laser so special is that because it fires 1,000 faster than other lasers, it can do a facial resurfacing with NO DOWNTIME. This means that you can significantly improve the irregular coloration in your face, neck, chest and hands, with just 3 treatments, spaced a month apart. And again, with absolutely no downtime. .Also, because the Picosure fires so quickly, there is little inflammation – meaning it can be used in skin types 1-4 with little risk of hyper-pigmentation. It will also stimulate your own collagen and elastic production, which will help diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

    How long do results last? This will vary from person to person. The most important thing is to use a good sun block (which we offer in the office) and good skin care after your treatment (also offered in our office). Good skin care that is pharmaceutical grade and can only be found in a doctor’s office, will continue with minor exfoliation and collagen stimulation. It can last a year or several years, depending on your genetics and how well you care for your skin.

  2. FOR THE BODY: Sculpsure is the most popular (and its competitor Coolsculpt) for spot reductions of fat in a completely non-invasive way.  Both of these techniques will destroy fat cells (Sculpsure through heat and Coolsculpt from freezing, which I feel has more complications) and these fat cells are permanently destroyed. They will not come back. However, it is important to work on better dieting and exercising to decrease your overall body fat. If, on the other hand, you eat poorly and put on fat, those remaining fat cells will expand in size and you will look larger. Thus, the total number of fat cells is reduced forever, however, there is no “free lunch” and you still have to look after yourself.
  3. LASER TATTOO REMOVAL: The Picosure laser is the very best tattoo removal laser that exists. It fires 1,000 faster than other lasers to vibrate away the tattoo pigment. You will need half the number of treatments with the Picosure laser than you will need with other lasers. I have seen pure black tattoos disappear after only 3 treatments. This laser rarely causes ghosting. It is also the only laser that removes blue pigments.
  4. LASER HAIR REMOVAL: With our Cynosure Elite laser, hair removal is permanent, unlike the less expensive lasers frequently found in medispas. However, when your hormone environment changes such as with pregnancy or menopause, you can get stimulation of dormant hair follicles. Most people will need 5-9 treatments to eliminate most or all of their hair. It should be noted that no laser treatments will work on white or blond hair or very fair hair.

Laser Hair Removal for Asian and Olive Skin

When it comes to laser hair removal and skin color, not all lasers are created equally. Someone with white or Caucasian skin has much less to  worry about when it comes to getting a burn from laser hair removal.

The lasers work for hair removal because the laser light gets selectively absorbed by the hair, compared to the surrounding skin. This is why laser hair removal systems do not work on white or grey hair. This lighter colored hair cannot absorb the laser energy.

With skin that is darker, including olive skin or that of those of Asian descent, it can absorb too much of the laser energy and thus sustain a burn. The YAG laser is much safer for those with non-white skin. This is a 1064 wavelength laser, in contrast to the Alexandrite laser, which is a 755 wavelength. The YAG laser has a different absorption frequency, providing a safer laser experience (though the skin should still not be tanned when getting a treatment). For those with light olive skin, the Alexandrite laser can likely still be used. But again, the skin should be very light in color.

We can increase the energy setting with the YAG laser and still get an effective permanent hair removal. However, it may require a few more treatments than with the Alexandrite laser. It is also less uncomfortable for most people, because the skin absorbs less of the energy. I still recommend that you apply the numbing cream 45-60 minutes before and cover with Saran wrap. We  always use the cooler during the treatment, which helps to make it more comfortable.

The advantage of our Cynosure Elite Laser is that it is actually an Alexandrite and also a Yag laser, housed in the same unit. With the push of we can switch from YAG to Alexandrite.

Why Laser Hair Removal is Not Ideal in Summer Months

Many people do not consider laser hair removal until the weather gets a little warmer and they start baring more skin. However, by that point, I’d typically recommend against the procedure. The primary reason for this is that you should not be getting laser hair removal on skin that is tanned. You need to use a sunblock in the area for at least 3 weeks and maybe longer. Having said that though, areas such as the bikini area and  axillary area (armpit) are usually not tanned, and laser hair removal on those areas are fine for laser hair removal through the summer. Generally speaking, any area that does not get tanned, even though it is summer, if ok to get treated.

Now you may be wondering if you’ve wasted your money if you’ve already received a few treatments before the summer, and now  you want to hang out at the pool and tan during the summer. Absolutely not! The hair that was destroyed by the treatments (generally 15-20% of the hair treated in one session) remains gone and you can just resume your treatments in the Fall, or when your tan fades – whichever comes first!

How Effective is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular uses for lasers in the cosmetic/aesthetic industry. The reason for this is because it works so well.

The first thing a prospective client needs to ask of the practitioner performing the service is whether their laser provides laser hair reduction or hair removal. This is very important because the laser hair reductions are exactly that – they only reduce your hair. These much less expensive lasers are frequently owned by spas,  and therefore they are able to charge much less. Almost all of the clients I have spoken to who have received these treatments in a spa setting don’t understand this limitation.

 

How does it work?

Essentially, the laser light strikes and travels down the hair shaft to destroy the hair root. To be effective, the hair must be in the growth phase. Only about 20% of body hair is in the growth phase and about 15% of facial hair. The hair needs to be very short so you need to shave or cut it the day before. You cannot wax, tweeze or pluck the hair for 3 weeks prior to your session.

 

Does it work for all hair types?

The hair must have pigment – so it will not work on white, blonde or grey hair. Very light colored hair can be iffy.

 

Is it safe for all skin types?

There are essentially two laser types, an Alexandrite, which is used on light colored skin and a YAG, which is safe for darker skin types. If you have darker skin, you should make sure that it is a YAG laser. The Cynosure Elite laser, which I have in my office, has both an Alexandrite and YAG laser in the same unit. If you have darker skin, it is important to know that you’ll be shooting for an 80-90% hair reduction, since it can be hard to get 100% with this skin type.

 

How often should I have a treatment?

For the body, you can get the treatment every 6 weeks, and for the face, about every 4 weeks. You can do it a bit more frequently, but this is the optimum timeframe. It is also perfectly fine to wait longer between treatments.

 

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed to remove the hair varies from area to area, and person to person. I have seen some women do their axillas (armpits) in only 3 treatments. I think a good average for the Alexandrite (white skin) is about 5-8 sessions. Some people will need more. In each session, if we see that there is not much or any redness from the previous session, we can increase the energy of the laser.

 

What do I need to do before the treatment?

You’ll want to shave the hair the day before your treatment. Most people should put a numbing cream on the area and cover with saran wrap 45 minutes before their appointment. We ask patients to arrive 5 minutes early so they can wash it off before your session. You’ll also want to use a sun block between sessions since you should not be tanned for the laser sessions. We use a cooler, which blows cold air on the area being treated, making it much more comfortable. If not receiving this treatment in our office, definitely be sure that your treatment location uses a cooler with their laser.

 

Do men ever do laser hair removal?

Yes! We are seeing more and more men coming in for treatments for their backs, chest, abdomen, neck, legs and pubic area. Both sexes will find laser hair removal much more comfortable than waxing.

Laser Hair Removal: Is it Right for You?

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular uses for lasers in the cosmetic/aesthetic realm. The reason for this is because it works so well.

The first thing a prospective client needs to ask before getting laser hair removal is, “Does your laser provide laser hair reduction or does it remove the hair?” This is very important because the laser hair reductions are exactly that – they only reduce your hair but will not remove it. These much less expensive lasers are frequently owned by spas,  and therefore they are able to charge much less. Almost all of the clients who get these treatments don’t understand this limitation.

 

How does it work?
Essentially the laser light strikes the hair shaft, and travels down the length of the shaft to destroy the hair root. To be effective, the hair must be in the growth phase. Only about 20% of body hair is in the growth phase and about 15% of facial hair. The hair needs to be very short so you need to shave or cut it the day before. You cannot wax, tweeze or pluck the hair for 3 weeks before a session.

 

Does it work for all hair types?
The hair must have pigment – so it will not work on white, blonde or grey hair. Very light colored hair can be iffy.

 

Is it safe for all skin types?
There are essentially two laser types, – an Alexandrite which is used on light colored skin and a YAG which is safe for darker skin types. IF you have darker skin (ie not white), you should make sure that it is a YAG laser. The Cynosure Elite laser, which I have in my office, has both an Alexandrite and a YAG laser in the same unit. If you have darker skin, it is important to aim for about an 80-90% hair reduction since it can be hard to get 100% with this skin type.

 

How often should I have a treatment?
For the body, about every 6 weeks, and for the face, about every 4 weeks. You can do it a bit more frequently but this is optimum. Also, if you wait longer between treatments, that is fine.

 

How many treatments will I need?
This varies from area to area and person to person. I have seen some women do their axillas (armpits) and only need 3 treatments. I think a good average for the Alexandrite (white skin) is about 5-8 sessions. Some people will need more. Each session, if there is not much or any redness in the previous session, allows the energy to be increased.

 

What do I need to do before the treatment?
Shave the hair the day before. Most people should put a numbing cream on the area and cover with saran wrap for 45 minutes before their appointment. Please arrive 5 minutes early so you can wash it off before your session. You’ll want to use a sun block between sessions since you should not be tanned for the laser sessions. We use a cooler that blows cold air on the area being treated, making it much more comfortable. You should make sure that the place where you have your hair removal uses a cooler with their laser.

 

Do men ever do laser hair removal?
Yes, more and more men, are doing their backs, chest, abdomen, neck, legs pubic area etc. Both sexes will find laser hair removal much more comfortable than waxing.

To schedule an appointment for laser hair removal or any of our other services, please call our office at (703)406-2444 or email us at bermanbeautyva@gmail.com.