Frequently Asked Questions

Tattoo Removal Q & A

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How does the PicoSure® laser remove tattoos?

PicoSure® laser tattoo removal technology uses highly focused laser energy to break apart pigments under the skin, turning them into tiny fragments that can be removed by the body over the course of a few weeks. Each laser pulse lasts about a trillionth of a second and can be adjusted to reach different depths of tissue and break apart different colors for faster, safer tattoo removal compared to other options, offering an effective option even for dark tattoos that have not responded well to other types of treatment.

How many visits will I need to remove my tattoo?

Most tattoos can be removed in five treatment sessions scheduled about six to twelve weeks apart to enable the body to remove the pigments through its natural “waste disposal” system. A few tattoos may need additional treatments to remove all the dyes. Treatment plans are carefully developed based on each patient’s skin type and the size, color, age and location of the tattoo.

Does tattoo removal hurt?

Most patients liken the feeling of PicoSure® tattoo removal with the snapping of a rubber band as the laser passes over the tattoo to break apart the pigments located beneath the skin surface. A topical anesthetic can be applied prior to treatment to minimize discomfort and keep the skin cool. Once treatment is complete, the area may be slightly sore and red, similar to the way skin looks and feels following a sunburn. With PicoSure® tattoo removal treatment, there’s no downtime and patients can go back to their normal routines immediately afterward.

Is tattoo removal with the PicoSure® laser a good choice for everyone?

PicoSure® laser tattoo removal is safe for all skin types, but it may not be an ideal solution for every person. Before any treatment is performed, a thorough assessment will be performed to evaluate the age, location and color of the tattoo, the patient’s skin type and color, and other factors. Once the assessment is complete, we can help you decide if PicoSure® laser tattoo removal is the best option for you.

How does the PicoSure® laser system remove wrinkles?

The PicoSure® laser system uses super-fast pulses of laser energy transmitted through the skin to the deeper layers of tissue where wrinkles form, stimulating natural tissue regeneration and other healing properties to reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, the heat of the laser gently warms surrounding tissues to promote the production of collagen and elastin, two important elements of skin that help it look and feel firmer and more resilient. The focused laser energy also allows for a high degree of precision. Patients can get custom results based on their needs without fear of damaging healthy surrounding tissues.

What is treatment like?

PicoSure® laser wrinkle removal is noninvasive, meaning there are no incisions and no needles. Prior to treatment, the skin will be cleansed and a topical gel anesthetic will be applied to the skin to numb the treatment area and keep the skin cool. Some patients report a mild stinging sensation similar to the snap of a rubber band as the laser energy is fired. Each laser pulse lasts only about a trillionth of a second. Most treatments can be completed in 15 minutes or less, depending on the extent of the treatment area.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments varies based on each patient’s skin type, the depth and extent of wrinkling, the individual patient’s goals and other factors. Generally speaking, a series of three to five treatments is recommended to achieve maximum benefits, with some improvement visible after the second session in most patients. Improvements in the skin’s appearance will continue in the weeks following treatment as new collagen and elastin are formed. Be sure to ask about our Treat to Complete package!

How will I feel after my treatment?

There is no downtime with PicoSure® laser wrinkle treatments, and most patients resume their normal activities immediately afterward. There may be some mild swelling or redness after treatment, both of which should resolve within a day or two.

Sun Spots Q & A

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What causes age spots and sun spots?

Age spots, sun spots and other types of dark spots and discoloration can be caused by different factors, but most of these types of hyperpigmentation (excess skin coloration) appear as a result of long-term or chronic sun damage, age-related changes in the skin, hormone fluctuations and genetics. Age spots, sun spots, and other brown spots can occur on just about any area of the body, including the face, hands, and dècolletè.

How does the PicoSure® laser system remove dark spots on the skin?

The PicoSure® laser system features a unique energy delivery system designed to transmit highly-focused laser energy deep below the skin surface to break up dark skin pigments. Darker areas of the skin attract and absorb more of the laser energy, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue undamaged. Once the pigmented areas are fragmented by the laser, the body’s natural waste removal process carries the fragments away. Areas around the spot will be gently warmed by the laser energy, stimulating the production of new skin cells and collagen as part of the healing process so skin looks and feels firmer and more youthful.

What is treatment like?

First, the skin in the treatment area will be gently cleansed and a topical anesthetic may be applied to reduce discomfort and keep the skin cool during treatment. Most patients report minor or no discomfort during treatment, and an average treatment takes about a half hour or less. Once treatment is complete, the area may be mildly red or swollen for a day or two, but there is no downtime and patients can resume their normal activities right away.

How many treatments will I need?

That depends on the size of the area being treated, the characteristics of the skin and other factors. Many brown spots respond to one to three treatments with the PicoSure® laser. Each treatment plan is individually tailored to suit the patient’s needs and objectives.

Melasma Q & A

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What is melasma?

Melasma is a condition that produces brownish or grayish discolorations on the skin, most often on the cheeks, chin or forehead, but also on other parts of the body that receive regular sun exposure, including the arms and neck. Women are much more likely to develop melasma, as are those with a family history of the condition and those with darker skin tones. Because it can often occur on the face during pregnancy, melasma is sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.”

Why does melasma occur?

The underlying cause of melasma is not well understood, but researchers know there is a link between the condition and unprotected sun exposure. Hormonal changes such as those associated with pregnancy and some types of birth control also appear to play a role. Chemical ingredients in cosmetics and certain skin care products also may cause symptoms of melasma to worsen.

How is melasma treated?

The PicoSure laser has proven very effective in treating discoloration due to melasma, directing highly-focused beams of energy directly to affected areas of the skin and breaking up pigments so the body’s waste processes can carry them away over time. Because the energy is delivered in a very precise manner and absorbed by the darker pigments, the healthy skin surrounding the treatment areas remains unharmed. In addition to breaking up pigments, the PicoSure laser also stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells for better healing.

What should I expect during laser treatment for melasma?

Prior to treatment, the skin in the treatment area will be cleansed and a cooling gel will be applied to numb the skin. The laser handpiece will be passed over the skin, firing off laser energy very rapidly. Once treatment is complete, a second cream may be applied to soothe and moisturize skin. Most procedures take about 15-30 minutes and there is no downtime.

Acne Scar Removal Q & A

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What causes acne scars?

Acne involves an inflammation in the skin which doesn’t always heal properly. Abnormal healing responses can result in changes in skin color and texture, leaving scars that can be darker or shinier than the surrounding skin. Scars can also change skin texture or cause hard lumps to form underneath the skin. Acne scars usually form from more severe types of blemishes that cause deep inflammation, but some patients can experience scarring even with milder forms of acne.

How does the PicoSure® laser system remove acne scars?

The PicoSure® laser system uses the most advanced laser technology to target scars and scar tissue, even in the deeper layers of skin. The highly-focused energy of the laser helps remodel scar tissue, promoting the development of healthy tissue and stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. As old, damaged tissue is replaced with new, healthy tissue, scars begin to fade, and new collagen helps skin feel and look firmer and more resilient.

What happens during treatment?

Prior to treatment, the skin will be cleaned and a numbing cream will be applied to reduce discomfort. During treatment, the laser handpiece is passed over the treatment area and the laser is fired in very rapid bursts, each burst lasting about a trillionth of a second. Most patients report very little discomfort beyond a mild stinging sensation. Each treatment session lasts about 15-30 minutes, and the number of sessions required will depend on the depth and extent of scarring, the patient’s objectives and other factors.

Is PicoSure® laser acne scar removal safe for everyone?

The PicoSure® laser uses a special delivery system to target just the scar tissue while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed, so treatments are fast and highly customizable and can be used on all skin types and in any area of the body. Prior to treatment with the PicoSure® laser, patients undergo a careful evaluation of their skin and their objectives to ensure the best possible results.

Botox® Q & A

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How does BOTOX® work to reduce wrinkles and lines?

BOTOX® is a neuromuscular agent that works by interfering with nerve signals traveling between the brain and specific facial muscles. When we smile, frown or make other facial expressions, the brain “tells” the muscles in the face to contract. These contractions tug on the skin, resulting in lines and wrinkles. Over time, repeated facial expressions can result in permanent wrinkles and creases that can make men and women look tired, worn, annoyed or simply older than they feel. By blocking these signals, muscles aren’t told to contract and wrinkles and lines don’t form. Wrinkles that form as a result of facial motions are called dynamic wrinkles.

Does BOTOX® work on all types of facial wrinkles?

No, BOTOX® only works on dynamic wrinkles, not on wrinkles that develop as a result of sun damage, age-related changes, genetics or gravity. For these wrinkles (called static wrinkles), fillers or techniques like dermabrasion or chemical peels are better options. Many patients opt to have injections of BOTOX® and cosmetic fillers to treat wrinkles and lines throughout the entire face to address both types of wrinkles.

Are BOTOX® injections painful?

BOTOX® uses very fine needles, much thinner than the needles used for vaccinations. Most patients report very little discomfort beyond a little pinching. Ice can be applied after treatment to reduce any minor swelling that may occur, but it’s important not to rub the area to prevent the BOTOX® solution from moving out of the treatment zone.

Where is BOTOX® used?

BOTOX® is used primarily to treat crow’s feet (lines at the corners of the eyes), forehead lines and lines between the brows (glabellar lines). In some cases, they may also be used to treat tiny vertical lines around the lips.

How long do the results of BOTOX® last?

Typically, BOTOX® results last about six months. “Touch-up” treatments can help results last indefinitely, and many people who have BOTOX® injections on a regular basis report their wrinkles and lines soften over time so touch-ups can be performed less often while still maintaining results.

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