Laser for Aging Skin
With all the constant advancements in our industry, estheticians have never been in a better position to achieve the best anti-aging results for our clients’ skin. There are endless choices of products and modalities available that promise to improve our bottom line, attract and retain new clientele, and gain a competitive edge over other skin care professionals in our area.
Having a results-oriented product line is one part of the equation, the other is purchasing the right tools and equipment. In selecting the right equipment for your esthetics practice, take into consideration your budget, the space in your treatment room, and your clientele demographic. Will this device increase your profits, and how long will it take to recuperate the cost of the device?
In addition to the factors above, you may only operate devices that are listed within your scope of practice as an esthetician. Although all of the equipment in this article is intended for anti-aging and rejuvenating purposes, not all of it is accessible to estheticians. For example, IPL and laser devices are designed with different wavelength settings. In a medical esthetics practice, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and estheticians will operate these devices. In most states, only a physician or registered nurse is allowed to operate IPL and laser machines. You have to check with your own state.
In the U.S., there are four classes of medical devices. The class is a FDA classification that refers to how aggressive the device is and whether it requires a physician or nurse under the supervision of a doctor to operate it. I will discuss several types of lights in this article, they are all different, and are classified as Class I- Class IV. LED lights are (most likely) Class I – Class II, IPL and laser are Class III or IV medical devices found in medical offices and medical spas.
Because IPL and lasers are medical devices, they are not included within our scope of practice. The light device you can buy as an esthetician is an LED light therapy tool, which is the most gentle type of light treatment, with no contraindications. Laser is an acronym. It stands for Light Amplification Stimulated Emission Radiation.
An IPL laser (Intense pulsed light) usually gives good results for diminishing redness, fresh hyperpigmentation, and stimulating mild collagen growth. A series of 6 is recommended, and the cost is usually around $500.
Photorejuvenation laser treatments are most commonly used for lightening and removing hyperpigmentation on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body, as well as reducing redness and rosacea. It has a lesser effect of improving skin texture through collagen stimulation and improves pore size minimally by temporarily reducing oiliness. Like all laser treatments, it’s best to do this treatment in the winter time, and the client will need maintenance treatments when brown spots reappear, usually once or twice a year. This treatment can be administered by a doctor, PA-C (certified physician assistant), ARNPs, RNs, or MAs.
During the treatment, the IPL device sends short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. The light bypasses the epidermis and gently heats the cells in the dermis. The fibroblasts start to produce more collagen, which improves texture and fine wrinkles. The new skin that forms is smoother and firmer. The client has a sensation of light sunburn immediately after the treatment, and may experience a prolonged redness, swelling, oozing, delayed wound healing, scarring, crusting or scabbing, pigmentary changes, and acne flare-ups.
Fractional lasers are newer and also treat wrinkles and post-acne scars. The non-ablative fractional lasers, like the Fraxel, may cost as much as $5000 for 6 treatments, and have a two day down-time. This laser will take two to six months to give the best results.
Ablative fractional lasers, like the Active FX, have a four to eight day down-time day downtime and give a better result for the crinkly areas on the neck. The cost of this procedure is usually $1,000-$2,000 per treatment, and a series of four is recommended over a six month time span.
LHE (Light Heat Energy)
LHE Skin Rejuvenation uses the combination of light and heat energy at low fluencies to target the dermis. This process is completely safe for the client and requires little downtime. The natural fusion of light and heat energy increases overall effectiveness of the procedure and speeds up the healing process compared to other skin rejuvenation techniques that only use light or heat. Skin rejuvenation also accelerates blood circulation, allowing better absorption of anti-aging serums and creams.
LHE Skin Rejuvenation can be separated into several treatments used to treat skin concerns that most clients experience in older age:
• Collagen Renewal
• Wrinkles Reduction
• Rosacea Treatment
• Pigmented Lesion Treatment
• Vascular Lesion Treatment
Using LHE technology, skin rejuvenation works by applying short pulses of light and heat energy into the dermal-epidermal joining area deep in the skin. The procedure affects the skin just enough to trigger a wound-healing response which produces new collagen under the undamaged layer, thereby replacing the old collagen. Fibroblast stimulation then occurs to help further build collagen and elastic fiber cells in the connective tissue of the inner layer of the skin. The effect of the LHE method gives the skin the elasticity it needs to look firm and plump.
The skin rejuvenation process can occur over a few weeks or up to a few months. During this time, the wound-healing response will significantly improve the skin tone and texture of the skin. The healing process will also fade away fine lines and wrinkles. Depending on the type of treatment you get, a full treatment course ranges from six to eight sessions spaced one to three weeks apart to get maximum results.