Dear Doctors, My mother recently underwent treatment for age spots/pigmentation and received a series of IPL sessions using an eMax laser. My mother has sallow skin and for her test patch, the settings were 15/17. On the third treatment, the aesthetician turned up the settings to 27/18. This level of settings has resulted in 2nd degree burns covering my mother's face, she suffered from shock, and has lost weight. Does the eMax laser have a highest recommended setting? Please help.
Maximum EMax Laser Settings for Age Spots
Doctor Answers 1
The eMax laser (FotoFacial SR or SRA) has recommended settings for skin types but the settings are guidelines only and technicians will usually adjust these as patients can tolerate more or less so they can get the best treatment possible. Additionally trained technicians will ask if there has been any prior sun exposure to the treatment or changes in medications, as some medications do have warnings. The type of head used on the eMax has different setting levels as well - SR vs. SRA - and each of those have different max settings, plus each of these has different pulse lengths too - long vs. short (which is the amount of time the pulse of light takes to flash). The numbers you are referencing are pretty normal for a test site. The first number is the fluence level (which refers to the level/intensity of light); and the second number is the radio frequency number (which is colorblind, and is for the depth you want the light to go). While I would say your mom's treatment may have been done a bit high on the fluency level at the second treatment, I'm surprised she had that strong of a reaction. The machine does allow for treatments to be done as high as 45/25. Note that we don't ever do treatments this high in Las Vegas, but mid-20 range numbers are pretty regularly done. I'm hoping you contacted the physician's office that did the treatment, as there are some post care recommendations that can help your mom avoid any long term damage. And to make sure they know how poorly she responded to those settings. We wish you the best of luck and recovery.