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Launched in the US in April 2006, the Pixel® 2940 laser device from Alma Lasers. Pixel is a Non ablative technological treatment known as fractional laser skin resurfacing, aimed at rejuvenating aged and sun damaged skin with less downtime than normally associated with traditional ablative laser skin resurfacing procedures.
About This treatment
The Pixel is a skin resurfacing laser that briefly direct an intense burst of laser energy onto the surface of the skin. This energy heats water within the surface layers of the skin, causing both the water and the tissue of the skin to turn to vapor. Every time the laser passes over the skin, some of the outermost layers of the skin are removed in a precise and controlled way to the appropriate depth.
What happens during this treatment?
The treatment grid produced by Pixel®’s 2940nm Er:YAG laser is delivered to the skin through a micro optics lens. This creates 49 (7x7) or 81 (9x9) pixel sized ablation dots on the skin, within an 11mm x 11mm treatment zone, which each penetrate between 20 – 50 microns deep, (a micron is one millionth of a meter).
Unlike with traditional ablative laser resurfacing which removes the whole top layer of skin in the targeted treatment area. Almas fractional method damages only certain zones within the selected target area, (producing tiny white dot, or pixel-like areas on the skin), leaving the other zones within it perfectly intact. Therefore only treating approximately 20% of the skin within the treatment area. This allows the skin to heal much faster than if the whole area was treated, as the ‘healthy’ untreated tissue surrounding the treated zones helps to fill in the damaged area with new cells. This causes collagen remodeling, skin tightening and an improvement in skin texture as the area heals.
The Pixel® 2940 treatment for a full face will take approximately 15 minutes, with hands taking approximately 10 minutes or less.
What equipment do we use?
The Pixel® 2940 hand piece is designed to be incorporated as part of Alma Lasers’ Harmony® multiple application laser platform.
What skin features can the treatment improve?
The Pixel® 2940 machine is used for the treatment known as skin rejuvenation, which includes;
- Reduction and possible removal of fine lines and wrinkles,
- Improvement of deeper wrinkles, repair of sun damaged skin
- Reduction of age spots and blemishes, acne scars and hyperpigmentation (areas of darker pigment or brown patches in the skin
Unlike traditional ablative lasers, used only on the face, the Pixel® 2940 is targeted at treatments on the face, neck, chest, arms and hands, giving it a wider scope for treating aged and sun damaged skin.
Can all skin types be treated?
Pixel® is not suitable or safe for use on all skin types, and therefore cannot be used on those individuals with
***Fitzpatrick skin type VI; i.e., very dark skin tones such as Afro-Caribbean and African black skin.
What is the pre treatment care?
It is imperative to protect the treated skin from the sun for a full 4 weeks prior to your Pixel treatment. This is best accomplished by the use of SPF 30 sunscreen daily and a hat worn during times of greater exposure to the sun’s rays. Any tan or “color” from the sun can cause side effects.
To avoid bruising, discontinue aspirin and ibuprofen for 1 week prior to a Pixel treatment.
Contact your doctor if you know you have a tendency for cold sores (herpes simplex) or skin infections. You will likely need to be prescribed medication to prevent cold sores during and after the procedure.
What is the post treatment care?
For the 2 days following the procedure, apply a thin film of Vaseline or Aquaphor to the skin every few hours. After 2 days a fragrance free moisturizer should be used every few hours. If the skin is uncomfortable, continue with Vaseline or Aquaphor.
You may use Tylenol for discomfort after the procedure. Cool tap water compresses may be used for discomfort. Sleep on an extra soft pillow to minimize swelling around the eye area.
After a gentle treatment, flaking and redness may be seen for 3-5 days. With more aggressive treatments, dark brown scales and a leathery appearance may be visible in certain areas. Swelling may last up to 5-7 days. Scrubs and exfoliation should be avoided for 7 days, but then can be used gingerly to help remove the dissolving brown age spots that appear to be flaking off the skin. Glycolic, retinol, Retin A and Renova creams may be restarted after 7 days.
Sun protection including SPF 30 sunscreen, and preferably a hat, are mandatory for at least 4 weeks after each treatment. To maintain your excellent results, these sun protective measures should continue indefinitely.
Am I a good candidate?
People wishing for fuller, firmer, smoother skin who have lost some of their natural collagen - remain excellent candidates for this procedure. One of the major benefits of laser skin resurfacing is the strong stimulation of new collagen growth. Clients with very little existing collagen essentially have nothing to stimulate and will see minimal improvement. Pixel skin resurfacing is a procedure that spares healthy tissue, it can be performed on delicate skin areas such as face, neck, chest, and hands.
What results can I expect?
The treated skin will look better after approximately 10-14 days, following the first treatment, and then results steadily improve over the months with repeated sessions. New epidermal skin develops within 24 hours. This process of skin repair involves various stages. The skin will have a bronzed appearance that lasts anywhere from 3-14 days depending on the treatment level.
Redness and swelling after each treatment are expected for 24-36 hours. Peeling for 5-7 days often follows this.. Greater swelling occurs in the lower lids when the eye area is treated. More serious side effects are rare, but most can be avoided by proper sun avoidance before and after the procedure and by following the post procedure instructions. Possible adverse effects include discoloration (lightening or darkening), prolonged redness, significant swelling and extremely rare infection or pinpoint scarring. During the treatment, shields are worn to protect the eyes. Please contact your doctor if you have a history of cold sores and have him/her prescribe you medication to prevent this from occurring after treatment.