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Laser Facials

Laser facials available at our Richmond medical spa are designed to reduce or eliminate environmental skin damage including a red or ruddy complexion, spider veins, uneven pigmentation, and uneven skin tone. Other benefits include an improvement in acne and acne scars, reduction in pore size, and overall skin tightening especially along the jaw line where we need it most. The most benefit is seen with consecutive treatments at 3 to 4 week intervals. Depending on the condition of your skin, you will need several treatments to achieve optimal correction. This treatment is not recommended for male clients, as treating in the beard area of the face and neck may cause blistering and/or irregular hair loss. Most individuals need an average of 5 treatments. The cost per session is $325.00 and takes approximately 1 hour

How does it work?

Our Cynosure Elite laser system utilizes two different wavelengths to help target your specific skin needs. The Alexandrite 755nm will first address the melanin in brown age spots on the face and along the jaw line. These dark, hyperpigmented lesions tend to appear darker after treatment and slowly flake off in the upcoming weeks. Some brown spots are dense with melanin and improve over time with multiple treatments. Next, the YAG 1064nm hand piece is utilized, playing a prominent role in laser facials. Discrete blood vessels around the nose, spider veins in the cheeks and chin, and those little red dots or cherry angiomas are treated when the hemoglobin in the blood is heated, causing the vessel walls to collapse and close off circulation to that area. Some veins disappear instantly while others slowly resolve several days after treatment. Angiomas turn dark in color and slough off over time. Veins that are resistant to the laser the first time tend to improve with future treatments.

The YAG is next utilized to target the face and jaw line in quadrants. A “painting” technique is used to rapidly laser over a quadrant or area of the face to slowly heat the area to provide a multitude of benefits. The laser light will penetrate into the skin and stimulate the collagen and elastin fibers to contract and stimulate new production of collagen and elastin. The bacteria-causing acne is diminished, and background redness in the skin is improved. Tissue contraction occurs helping the pores to appear smaller, wrinkles to appear smoother, and scars to lessen in appearance.

Am I a Candidate?

Light-skinned individuals, without recent direct sun exposure, are the best candidates for treatment. Patients with a history of melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation should be treated with topical bleaching agents for several weeks prior to laser treatment and for a minimum of 2 weeks after. For those individuals with a history of oral herpes or cold sores, a prescription anti-viral medication should be taken before treatment.

The following medical conditions are considered contraindications to treatment: uncontrolled diabetics, history of keloids, taking antibiotics that cause photosensitivity, taking anticoagulants, suspicious skin lesions, unprotected tanning and tanning creams or sprays 4 weeks prior to treatment. Those with Lupus, a history of poor wound healing, are immunosuppressed, photosensitivity disorders, or seizures induced by light are also not candidates for treatment.

Will it hurt?

The majority of patients tolerate the procedure without any topical anesthetic. On very rare occasions, a topical numbing agent may be used. Any discomfort from the laser exposure is typically described as the sensation of being “snapped with a rubber band”. Ultrasound gel and a Zimmer device is used during part of the laser treatment which blows very cold, chilled air directly onto the skin during the laser pulsing, making the treatment nearly painless.

Post Treatment

Immediately following treatment, the area may appear flushed and warm. Any redness will fade over the course of a few hours and should not interfere with daily activities. Local swelling, crusting and redness may also result from the exposure. Dark spots may appear darker and will flake off within the next week. Veins will disappear, look red and enlarged, or appear darker bluish/purple and start to fade over the next week.

After treatment you may gently cleanse your skin with a gentle or creamy cleanser, one without abrasive granules or strong fruit acids. A moisturizer should be applied twice a day along with a sunscreen in the morning. The treated skin will be more sensitive to sunlight and heat for the first 3 days.