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Melasma Treatment - Illinois

I just had the treatment today, so this review is...

I just had the treatment today, so this review is currently reserved for commenting on pain/downtime. Here are a few pertinent facts: My skin: very fair, burns easily in the sun Age: 37 Gender: female Hair color on face: invisible Treated for melasma all over face (about the color of light freckles and in patches on my forehead and cheeks primarily) and for 3 acne scar areas (two on chin, one on nose).

The Palomar Lux1540 laser was used with 2 different head attachments. The first attachment was for the melasma and my practitioner initially set it around half power, she said. I don't know if she increased the power or not when she saw I was tolerating it well, but she did decide to go over my skin in 3 passes. I was given topical numbing gel about 15 or 20 minutes prior to the procedure.

The procedure itself was not as bad to me as when I had an IPL photofacial. The 1540 laser did not feel like a rubber band snapping to me--it felt like little pinpricks of heat. If you have ever used a derma-roller of .5 mm or more, I think you will be well prepared to deal with any pain from the 1540, at least on the settings used on me. After she went over my entire face in 3 passes, I could definitely feel the heat in my skin. It felt like a strong sunburn and I was happy to have the icy roller my practitioner provided to roll over the hot skin.

I cooled my face down with the roller while she switched the heads on the 1540. The new head was used for the acne scarring. I didn't really notice any difference with the pain level, but I do see a small 'waffle' pattern from the acne scarring head. This pattern is very difficult to detect, and there is no way anyone more than a few inches away would notice it.

It's been about 8 hours since the procedure, and I am slightly pink but it isn't very noticeable. It looks like I've been exercising. My face feels a little tender when I smile but it doesn't hurt. One thing that I did as soon as I returned home after the procedure was to wash my skin in cold water using the gentle cleansing milk from Yon-Ka that I have always used. I also put on some Yon-Ka Juvenil, which gets absorbed more deeply into the skin and hopefully will ward off any breakouts that the procedure might otherwise induce.

I'll update this to let you know how it all turns out. Overall, the procedure was for melasma, which calls for a less intense procedure I was told, and is likely why my downtime has been so short.

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Update: I made an error above--it wasn't the "Lux...

Update: I made an error above--it wasn't the "Lux 1540" that was used but the newer "1540 Fractional Laser." The 1540 Fractional Laser attachment is used for the Palomar Icon, whereas the Lux 1540 attachment is used on the StarLux. You can compare the two products on Palomar's site: http://www.palomarmedical.com/products/palomar-icon.aspx

I don't know if there is any difference between the two attachments, but I'll let you know if I discover anything.

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Okay, I have a bit more information about the two...

Okay, I have a bit more information about the two 1540 heads used for the melasma and for the acne scarring:

Melasma attachment: 15 mm 1540 Fractional Laser; pulse width 10; 7 mJ/microbeam

Acne scarring attachment: either the 10mm or the 12x12 mm 1540 Fractional Laser; pulse width 10; 40 mJ/microbeam

I checked the differences between the StarLux 1540 attachments and the Icon 1540 attachments, and they appear to be identical. You can check yourself here for the StarLux: http://www.palomarmedical.com/products/starlux/handpiece-specifications.aspx

Here for the Icon: http://www.palomarmedical.com/products/palomar-icon/handpiece-specifications.aspx

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More information still: Wavelength (obvious,...

More information still:

Wavelength (obvious, but...): 1540 nm
Spot Size & Microbeams per square cm:
Melasma: 10 mm (100 spots per cm2)
Acne scar: 15 mm (320 spots per cm2)

The above helps explain why the acne scar attachment results in a 'fabric' texture to the skin--the beams are larger and they aren't as tightly together. The resulting Joules delivered to the skin for each pass should be as follows:

Melasma: 320 microbeams * 7 mJ = 2.24 J per cm2
Acne scar: 100 microbeams * 40 mJ = 4 J per cm2

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Oops--should say: Acne Scar: 10 mm (100 spots...

Oops--should say:

Acne Scar: 10 mm (100 spots per cm2)
Melasma: 15 mm (320 spots per cm2)

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96 hours later: All areas treated for melasma are completely normal in color and the skin really does look better than it did. The skin tone and texture are both more even, and I will definitely return for a second treatment in 6 to 8 weeks.

The areas treated for acne scarring, however, are *still* pink. Yes, they can be covered with make-up, but I would not be happy if my entire face looked like that and I had to go back to work. The fabric texture is still evident and the pinpricks of blood are still there (though reduced, I think). Also, I did get a single break-out in two of the areas treated for scarring, though they cleared up quickly. But if I had this all over my face, I would definitely want a much longer recuperation time at home before venturing out in front of the world again.

I'll update again once the pinkness from the acne scarring treatment is gone.
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Oops--the above should say "120 hours later."

Thanks for being so diligent with your updates! Glad to hear you are at a point where make-up will cover it and you are able to return to work. I hope the pinkness fades fast for you!

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