A new laser skin treatment is taking the beauty world by storm. Pico laser treatment – which is very popular in Asian countries, especially Korea – has come to the west and beauty publications like Allure and Haute Beauty are loving it!
What is Pico Laser Treatment?
Also called a picosecond laser, pico laser treatment is a groundbreaking new, non-surgical, non-invasive laser skin treatment that can treat a variety of cosmetic concerns and is safe on many different areas of the body.
Dr. Qazi recommends the pico laser for treating:
- Sun damage
- Dark spots
- Unwanted freckles
- Pigmented lesions & scars
- Stretch marks
- Acne scars
- Wrinkles & fine lines
In some cases, it can even be used to effectively remove unwanted tattoos. While lasers are most commonly used on the face, the pico laser has also been proven for safe use on the neck, chest, legs, arms, hands, back, and behind.
This means that there is finally a laser treatment that can get rid of back acne scars and other embarrassing body acne scars for good!
What Makes Pico Lasers So Unique?
Most lasers used for cosmetic treatments work roughly the same way: the device pushes energy waves deep into the skin to promote healing and boost collagen production. However, pico laser treatment is a little bit different. This laser uses high energy instead of heat to destroy skin discolorations, while promoting the production of elastin and collagen. When the body produces a greater quantity of these proteins, it results in firmer skin, improved skin texture, and greater smoothness.
This laser gets its name from the time metric “picosecond,” which is one trillionth of a second, because the laser delivers energy in ultra-short bursts.
Because of the speed of the energy pulses, pico laser treatment is considered one of the most gentle laser treatments on the market. It is also one of the fastest. You could pop in for an appointment the way you would for a mani/pedi and be out in half the time!
One benefit of not using heat in a laser treatment is that the device does not damage the surrounding skin. This means that you will have a significantly shorter recovery period and that you will be able to do things like wear makeup and go out in the sun immediately, without fear of hurting your results.
The pico laser is also unique because it is one of the few lasers that has been proven to be safe and effective for treating all skin types and skin tones.
In the past, darker skinned patients with melasma, acne, or wrinkles would have to opt for non-laser options like chemical peels or RF microneedling. Previous versions of laser treatments would damage dark skin because heat on pigment-prone skin only results in inflammation and worsened dark spots. Because pico laser treatment uses energy, rather than heat to penetrate the skin, it will not damage darker skin tones.
Benefits of Pico Laser Treatment
There are many types of cosmetic laser treatments, one of which is the fractional CO2 laser. The CO2 laser is designed for resurfacing, which promotes your body’s natural healing by creating a small amount of damage to the surface of the skin. While many patients have been satisfied with their CO2 laser results, this treatment can be less than desirable for other patients because of the discomfort and the longer recovery time.
Whereas the CO2 laser requires up to 1 week of downtime, no makeup for 1-2 weeks, no sun exposure, and post-treatment redness, the pico laser does not. Because this laser treatment does not damage the surrounding skin, it comes with almost no downtime – usually 1-2 days maximum – less redness and swelling, and allows you to wear makeup soon after. The pico laser is also less uncomfortable than other laser treatments; in some cases, patients may not even require topical numbing cream.
Dr. Qazi’s Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Treatments
1. How Many Treatments Will I Need Before I See My Results?
The number of treatments will depend on your unique cosmetic concerns. The best way to get an estimate of how many sessions you will need is to schedule a consultation. On average, most patients get between 3 and 6 sessions; however, some patients see their desired results after only a single treatment. People with wide-ranging cosmetic concerns or who are looking to treat large areas of their body may require up to 6 sessions.
Dr. Qazi recommends scheduling laser sessions 2-4 weeks apart. This interval gives your skin time to completely recover; it also allows you to see your initial results and decide where you want to go from there. Out of caution, it is recommended that patients with darker skin tones do 4 to 8 week intervals between treatments. This allows both you and your doctor to evaluate the success of the procedure and address the needs of your unique and beautiful skin tone.
The good news is that pico laser treatments are very fast and efficient. The laser device gives off ultrafast energy bursts that are 1,000 times more powerful than other lasers. Depending on the area being treated, it usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes for the procedure. That is less than the time it takes to get a perm – and less time than you would spend waiting in line at In-N-Out Burger.
2. Does It Hurt? Should I Be Worried?
You never need to worry about procedures at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. Our entire team is dedicated to keeping you calm and comfortable. If you have any concerns, feel anxious, or have more questions, be sure to let Dr. Qazi know so he can help you. Compared to other laser treatments, pico laser is considered significantly more comfortable. Most patients have ranked it as a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale.
Others have compared it to getting Botox.
Of course, it does depend on which area is being treated and your pain tolerance. Certain areas of the body have more nerve endings, so sensations will be more acute there. If you are concerned about discomfort, one option is the use of topical numbing cream. Dr. Qazi will apply this before the procedure to prevent you from feeling any discomfort.
While a majority of patients do not require numbing cream, it is our goal to keep you comfortable. The sensation of the laser feels a lot like the snap of a thin rubber band. Either way, this is not the kind of procedure that you need to psych yourself up for.
A majority of patients do not require topical numbing cream because the procedure was over so quickly.
3. What Can I Expect After My Procedure?
As with most laser treatments, you can expect some redness and swelling. For most patients the redness gives them a slightly flushed look, but the extent of it will depend on the intensity of the procedure and which areas you are treating. Unlike other cosmetic procedures that require recovery time, pico laser treatment has no downtime.
You are immediately safe to return to work or school. The redness and swelling will subside shortly, usually between a few hours and a day or two.
While it is technically safe to wear makeup and go out in the sun, it may be best if you refrain from doing so. There is very little risk of skin burn after the pico treatment, but your skin will be much happier with you if you don’t expose it to any more damaging UV rays. Makeup with certain fragrances and oils can block your pores and interfere with your skin’s healing process. This is why it is good to avoid wearing foundation or face powder. However, eye makeup, brow filler, and lipstick is fine.
To ensure the best results, you should avoid rubbing or scratching the treated area. As tempting as it may be, this could irritate your skin and interfere with its healing process. Instead, it is recommended that you wash your face as gently as possible until the redness goes away. This means using cool water, an oil-free cleanser, and touching your face gently.
4. What Are The Potential Side Effects?
The most common side effect is lingering redness or swelling, but this rarely lasts beyond 24 hours in most cases. One potential side effect is unwanted pigmentation associated with acne scarring. If this occurs, the scars will appear slightly white during and after treatment, darken over the next day, and shed after 2 to 5 days. This side effect is not harmful, nor is it very common. If you have any concerns or feel excessive discomfort after the procedure, contact Dr. Qazi.
5. Is Pico Laser Treatment The Trick To Achieving “Glass Skin?”
“Glass Skin” is a Korean beauty trend that has everyone jumping on the bandwagon. The term describes having flawless skin with no pore, discoloration, or pimple in sight. It also means having a certain glow to the skin – a look normally achieved with highlighter makeup.
In short: pico laser treatment can certainly help get rid of the acne, scars, wrinkles, discoloration, and melasma that are standing between you and your “glass skin.” However, a lot of effort, products, procedures, and a dedication to skincare goes into that look. If you want to discuss your options and get Dr. Qazi’s recommendation for achieving “glass skin,” schedule a consultation!
It is recommended that you always get expert advice from experienced cosmetic physicians on how to achieve your aesthetic goals. Do not waste your time and money on life hacks, snake oil creams, and DIY solutions when an expert can give you correct, scientifically-proven information.
What To Expect For The Procedure
- When you have your consultation, you can explain your aesthetic goals and cosmetic concerns. Dr. Qazi will also ask questions about your medical history, your pain tolerance, and your skincare habits. Then he will customize the laser treatment to suit your needs.
- Preparation for the procedure is very minimal. It certainly helps if you stay hydrated and wear sunscreen for at least a month before the procedure. Even though you are getting your acne scars, wrinkles, and dark spots removed via laser, that is not an excuse to skimp on your skin care routine.
- If necessary, a topical numbing agent will be applied. In most cases it is not required, but this is something to discuss with Dr. Qazi ahead of time. You will also be given a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from the laser device.
- Dr. Qazi will then apply the laser device to the treatment area, targeting irregular pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, and any areas with uneven skin texture. This process is not painful; most patients rank it as a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale and compare it to a light snap by a rubber band.
- The actual lasering of your skin usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. After the area is treated, a serum or ointment may be applied in order to help your skin’s healing process.
- After you leave the office, you are safe to go about your day while the treatment area heals. Redness and swelling are to be expected, but these normally subside quite quickly. During this time, you should continue to take good care of your skin by avoiding sun exposure, drinking lots of water, avoiding oil-based foundations, and washing your face gently with cold water.
- You will see your results within days. Then, depending on your goals, you are safe to schedule a followup appointment 2-4 weeks later.
- Now you can enjoy taking lots of selfies, evoking envy among your friends, and proudly being a glowing example of skin goals for 2021.