A Guide to Laser Technology

March 20, 2018

Technological advances have allowed there to be a burgeoning selection of multiple laser devices and treatment settings to choose from. Get educated on what’s-what with Laser technology and be empowered to benefit from what Laser science offers. Understanding the basics will allow you to ask informed questions of your provider and make the best choices.

8 Basics of Laser Technology to know

  1. What is a Laser?

A laser is a medical instrument used to treat different aesthetic and health conditions. It produces a highly focused beam/s of light. This light and heat can interact with skin tissue on multiple layers. Many separate factors can be adjusted and set to optimally treat certain conditions.

  1. What is a Chromophore?

A Chromophore is a chemical group or particular element within the skin. Laser treatment targets specific chromophores. The most commonly marked chromophores in skin tissue are Melanin, water, or haemoglobin. Advanced settings and calculations on modern laser systems determine wavelength. Wavelength directs laser light to different skin depths where the light & heat can alter the selected Chromophores.

  1. All about Laser Wavelengths

The wavelength of a laser diode can fall anywhere on the electromagnetic spectrum. Wavelength specifies the exact length of the repeating wave pattern from peak-to-peak. This is measured in either micrometers or nanometres. Wavelength determines the depth to which the laser light penetrates. The wavelength is adjusted depending on what Chromophore is being targeted in the skin tissue and the known qualities of how the cells interact with Laser light.

  1. Pulse-Length Frequency Defined

This refers to the oscillation or duration of each light-pulse & the rate at which they follow one another. This is another setting that is modifiable depending on what the Laser is being used to treat.

  1. What is the difference between an Ablative & Non-ablative Laser and how they work?

Ablative Lasers remove the surface of the skin i.e. epidermis. These lasers are used for Skin Resurfacing treatments. Procedures that employ this type of laser will require some downtime.

Non-ablative Lasers reach the chromophores within the skin without causing effects on the epidermis. Treatments using this type of Laser do not require as much downtime and in some cases may avoid incurring any at all.

  1. Low Intensity Lasers vs. High intensity Lasers

Low intensity lasers preserve the surface layers of skin while targeting the deeper tissue. This means less downtime after a procedure, but it does usually require a series of sessions to resolve an issue.

  1. What is a Fractional Laser Treatment?

Fractional Lasers can be either ablative or non-ablative laser treatments.

Fractional laser treatments get their name because they target a limited ‘fraction’ of the skin surface at a time for treatment. This precise aim and decision to restrict the treatment area permits the use of powerful laser diodes while still allowing the surrounding skin to remain intact.

The main benefit of this – is significantly reduced recovery-time required afterwards. Procedures that take advantage of Fractional Lasers generally require multiple sessions to achieve the aesthetic goal.

  1. Is IPL/OPL treatment the same as Laser?

IPL/OPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light / Optimized Pulsed Light. These treatments are often listed alongside Laser Treatments. While similar, they are not the same. IPL/OPL does not rely on the focused singular diode as offered by Laser technology. Instead, it utilizes more than one wavelength i.e. a wider spectrum of light. This means that the light might be diluted by unneeded wavelengths. It is not as powerful either, so it may not reach as deep as a laser diode is able to.

IPL procedures do, however, offer reduced heat as compared to lasers. This can work to prevent and lessen some of the potentially adverse effects that might be experienced with lasers. IPL is often utilized to smooth, brighten, and even skin tone & texture.

A Note on OPL: Optimized Pulsed Light is a further development in the same family as IPL. It penetrates deeper than IPL and can thus achieve better results with the same benefits.

Lasers at Dr HAACH:

Lasers are not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Don’t settle for less than expert laser treatment.

Choosing an experienced Aesthetic Professional with state-of-the-art equipment affords you the greatest flexibility and opportunity to tailor your Laser Treatment specifically to your unique skin and specific objectives.

Contact Us
Dr HAACH Aestheticians are experienced and highly qualified. Schedule an appointment today to discuss options to address the Aesthetic Goals that you would like to achieve. Let our team assist to ensure that you select the best, from the many advanced laser options on offer.