The Candela GentleLASE is a non-ablative laser used to treats a variety of pigmentation issues common in dermatology. Also known as Alexandrite laser, the GentleLASE has high-energy and a long pulse making this an ideal choice for darker pigmentation issues that have a brown or purple hue. Alexandrite is also popular for permanent hair reduction in skin types from fair to olive. This laser has an added protective cooling burst of cryogen that helps with comfort during the treatment or DCD (Dynamic Cooling Device) technology.
GentleLASE For the Treatment of Pigmentation
There are a variety of lasers available to treat different types of skin pigmentation so it can get confusing understanding the differences. Darker pigmentation like age spots and sun damage that is deeper in the layers of the skin respond better to a longer wavelength device like the alexandrite. The same goes for facial and spider veins of the legs that are more purple/blue vs. red. Red spider veins, more common in patients with rosacea respond better with the VBeam laser. The alexandrite laser is ideal for the following pigmentation issues:
• Pigmented lesions
• Freckles, Age Spots, and Melasma
• Leg Veins
• Blue Facial Veins
How Does the GentleLASE Treatment Work?
The laser creates a beam of quick high-intensity light that penetrates deep into skin tissue where it delivers a controlled amount of therapeutic heat. Candela’s patented Dynamic Cooling Device™ (DCD™) technology protects the upper layers of your skin with a cooling burst of cryogen. Together, the long-pulse laser and DCD cooling offer optimal treatment with minimal side effects. It does not affect the surrounding tissue or change the surrounding skin color.
What Can I Expect During the Treatment?
The laser treatment will take place in an exam room set up for the laser. You will wear safety eyewear to protect your eyes from the laser light. Your practitioner will guide the laser to the treatment areas with a small handheld probe. Each laser pulse may be preceded and followed by a short pulse of cooling spray. A treatment could take as little as a few minutes to as long as an hour, depending on the area and condition being treated. Most treatments take 30 minutes.
Does it Hurt?
Some patients may feel a slight discomfort with the laser pulse, sometimes described as the snapping of a rubber band on the skin. This discomfort is minimized by Candela’s DCD cooling. For some patients, a topical anesthetic may be used prior to treatment. This will be discussed prior to your appointment so you will know what to expect before, during, and after the treatment.
How Many Treatment Sessions Will I Need?
The number of sessions depends on the treatment you require and the condition of your skin. For laser hair removal, most people require at least two to three treatments, as the process is only effective when the hair follicle is in its active growth phase. Other conditions may clear in as few as one treatment, but many factors impact the efficacy of individual laser treatments, including the severity of the conditions being treated. For most patients treating pigmentation, 3 sessions are typical.
How Do I Prepare for the Treatment?
Patients scheduled for hair removal should avoid electrolysis or hair waxing for six weeks prior to treatment. If you have had a history of perioral herpes and are scheduled for facial hair removal treatment, prophylactic antiviral therapy may be prescribed. Also, any hair should be shaved, and your skin should be thoroughly cleaned and dried, removing any makeup, cream, or oils on its surface before laser treatment. For treatment areas exposed to the sun, you will be asked to restrict sun-exposure for a few days prior to the treatment and wear sunscreen.
What Can I Expect After the Treatment?
Your skin might have redness and minor swelling in the treatment area. This usually resolves in a few hours to a couple of days. Some conditions require laser settings that create purpura (a laser bruise). We advise patients if this is a possibility and the projected time it will take to heal. Some pigmentation can turn darker a few days after your treatment, then become lighter as your skin heals.
Patients should avoid sun exposure after treatment and apply sunblock (SPF 30 or above) when going outdoors. We also advise patients with special events to plan out a reasonable time after your treatment and before your event.
What Precautions Should I Take?
After laser treatments, avoid sun exposure, this is the most important thing you can do. Treated skin can be sensitive to sunlight and temporarily turn darker creating post-inflammatory pigmentation. In the first few days after treatment, you will use a mild cleanser and moisturizer or ointment. You will want to avoid scrubbing or picking at treated skin or using products with alpha hydroxy acid or retinoids.
Scheduling Your Appointment
Contact us to learn more about this and other laser procedures we offer. Patients new to the procedure will be asked to be evaluated by a medical professional, either a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or Dr. Michalak.