Laser & Intense Pulsed Light Treatments from Idaho Dermatologic Surgery & Laser Center in Southern Idaho


 

Tattoo Removal

 
 
Arm Tattoo removal - laser treatments in Boise ID
 
Legs tattoo removal - laser treatments in Boise ID
 
The following information has been written to answer questions about treatment of your tatoo with the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser.

How are tattoos removed?

The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser uses an intense beam of light to significantly lighten or completely remove your tattoo. When the ink particles of your tattoo absorb he light from the laser, they are broken up into tiny fragments. These fragments are then absorbed through your body's natural cleansing mechanism. This cleansing process generally takes a few weeks.
Tattoo removal with the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser uses this intense light to penetrate the top skin layer and target the tattoo ink. The treated area scabs over. After several days, the scab falls off, taking some of the ink with it.
 

How many treatment sessions will it take to remove the tattoo?

Multiple treatments may be required to obtain your desired result. Presently, there is no standard method of applying tattoos. The inks are not standardized. Multiple colors are utilized. Different particle sizes, depth of application, and concentration of the ink make it extremely difficult to exactly determine the number of sessions. There are also regional differences in the body in the thickness of the skin as well as individual natural skin pigmentation variability. On average, professional tattoos require more treatments than amateur tattoos. Amateur tattoos may require between 3 and 5 treatments to achieve maximum response. Professional tattoos rarely clear in less than 5 treatments and may require 10 or more treatments. However, visible lightening should be achieved after 1 or 2 sessions. Treatment sessions are usually spaced 8 weeks apart for tattoos.

Does the process hurt?

The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser emits extremely short high energy pulses of light. These high energy pulses create a shock wave when they hit the skin and the energy is absorbed by the pigment. The shock wave feels like a rubber band snapping the skin. Over the counter topical anesthetic creams can make the treatment more comfortable. LMX 4 is the brand most commonly used. It should be thickly applied to the tattoo one hour prior to treatment and covered with plastic wrap.

Do all colors of ink disappear equally as well?

No. Dark inks including blue, black, and red fade the best. Oranges and purples respond well. Green and yellow inks are the most difficult to remove with this laser.

Will the tattoo completely disappear?

Frequently, tattoos can be removed completely. Since there is no standard regulation of tattoo application and tattoo inks (there are over 100 tattoo inks currently in use), there is no way to guarantee that all of the ink will be completely removed.

Are there side effects?

Occasionally, hypopigmentation, or a whitening of the skin, may occur. But, normal skin tone should return within 6-12 months following your last treatment session. Occasionally the hypopigmentation is permanent. Since the ink used in tattooing is not regulated, some patients have only partial clearing even after several laser sessions. Scarring is not a common side effect of laser treatment, but has been occurred and is an uncommon risk of the procedure.

What type of post-treatment care is necessary?

The treated area may develop small blisters or bruising, depending on the color of light used to treat the area. It is important to clean the treated area with lukewarm water followed by the application of antibiotic (such as Polysporin) ointment. The object of cleaning the wound is to keep the treated lesion moist, which aids in the healing process. The area should be covered with Telfa gauze cut to the size of the wound and secured in place with non-allergic paper tape. If swelling occurs, ice packs or cold compresses may be used. The area should be covered as long as blistering or crusting is present.

May I be exposed to the sun following the procedure?

Direct exposure of the sunlight should be avoided following laser therapy. If there is no crusting or blistering, sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher should be applied to the treated area for 2 months following the treatment to avoid sun damage.

How long must I wait before I am allowed to use makeup over the treated area?

Makeup, creams, lotions or sunscreens should not be used over the area treated until it has completely healed.

How often can I have the treatments?

Treatments should be spaced no more frequently than every 8 weeks, for maximum healing and ink removal to occur.

How much will the treatment cost?

The total cost of the laser treatment will depend on the number of treatments required and the size of the area treated. There is a charge for each laser treatment. The cost of laser treatment is $200-500 per session. Payment is expected at the time of the visit by credit card, cash, or personal check
For more information or to schedule and appointment, please call our office at (208)327-9521.
 

Laser Hair Removal

 

What is the Candela GentleLASE and why is it a safe treatment?

Lasers have been used for many years for a variety of medical procedures, including treatment of facial and leg veins, age spots and smoothing fine lines of the face. The GentleLASE, a revolutionary long-pulse, high-energy Alexandrite laser system, emits a gentle beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicle where it is absorbed.
The laser energy is transformed into heat which can disable the follicle, leaving the surrounding skin unchanged. The skin is further protected during treatment by a dynamic cooling process where a cryogen is sprayed onto the skin, cooling the upper layers and resulting in increased patient comfort. This selectively helps to protect the skin while effectively treating the unwanted hair.

Why should I have the GentleLASE treatment?

Traditional hair removal techniques, such as shaving, plucking, waxing and chemical depilatories provide only temporary relief. Until now, the only semi-permanent way to remove hair has been by electrolysis, which can be painful, time consuming and limited to small cosmetic areas.
One pulse with the GentleLASE treats all actively growing hairs within a 15 millimeter area, where the laser energy comes in contact with the skin. It is, therefore, much faster than electrolysis. Facial and bikini areas are usually completed in less than 10 minutes; legs and larger areas will take longer.

What conditions are treated with the GentleLASE?

This is a procedure to remove unwanted hair. The best results have been achieved on darker hair, but other factors may influence the treatment process and are generally best evaluated and discussed in person. The GentleLASE process offers safe and effective treatment.

What does the treatment include?

Depending on the amount of hair treated, the procedure varies from patient to patient. Generally the treatment will include:
  • Safety eyewear to protect your eyes during the procedure from the intense laser light.
  • A small handpiece will be used with a probe that touches the skin to deliver the laser light. A light spray or coolant onto the skin will be felt just before each laser pulse.

What do I need to know pre-treatment?

  • Avoid sun exposure 3-4 weeks prior to treatment.
  • Please refrain from wearing makeup when you come for your treatment.

Do I need to inform the doctor of anything?

  • Yes. Those patients that have a history of frequent cold sores or fever blisters should tell the doctor so appropriate medication can be prescribed.
  • Stop plucking or waxing hair 6-8 weeks BEFORE laser treatment. Laser hair removal works best if a fully developed growing hair is present at the time of treatment. Shaving one day prior to treatment is necessary.
  • Inform your doctor if you are or may be pregnant.

What do I need to know post-treatment?

  • Will my skin be irritated?
    • Immediately after treatment there may be redness and swelling at the treatment site which may last two hours or longer. The redness may last 2-3 days. The treated area will feel "sunburned" for a few hours after treatment.
  • When can I wear makeup?
    • Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment. unless there is blistering. If there is blistering, keep the area clean and coated with Vaseline or antibiotic ointment until it heals, then makeup may be worn.
  • When will the hair "fall out"?
    • About 5-7 days after the treatment, shedding of the target hairs may occur. Shedding of the hair may look like hair regrowth. Shedding is NOT return of the hair but rather extrusion of the treated hair. You can usually remove the shedding hairs by washing or gently wiping the area with alcohol.

What other information is important for me to know?

  • Laser hair removal should not be performed on sunburned or suntanned skin or on those patients currently taking Accutane or who have taken Accutane within the past six months.
  • Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation or darker pigment. Use sunscreen at all times through the course of treatment.
  • Also avoid picking or scratching the treated skin since this may cause the area to become irritated and may even lead to infection.
  • Avoid harsh soaps, scrubs or using a loofah for 2-7 days after treatment.
  • Do not wax for at least 3-4 days after treatment.
  • Avoid topical acne preparations, glycolics, retinoids, acetic acid products or bleaching creams 2-7 days after treatment.
  • Call for your next appointment when you notice significant regrowth of hair in the treated area(s).
For more information and pricing please call our office at (208) 327-9521.
Please review our Office Policies regarding fees, cancellations, rescheduling, insurance and billing.
 

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy Treatments

 
 
 
 
 
Intense pulsed light treatment uses high intensity white light to treat various areas of the body affected by sun damage, undesired vascular lesions, or certain birthmarks. The advantages of IPL therapy include ease of use, low risk, quick treatment time and minimal downtime to the patient. The heat is generated below the skin's surface, protecting the outer layers of the skin and minimizing downtime and pain.

Who can be treated?

Most skin types can be treated. However, if you have very dark or tanned skin, you should discuss this with us to see if this procedure is right for you.

What can I expect during the treatment?

Prior to the procedure, the doctor may recommend a mild topical anesthetic on the area to be treated. Although this isn't necessary, some patients prefer to have this topical anesthetic before treatment. Prior to the procedure, a thin layer of a Plume Barrier Lotion is applied to the treatment area to prevent any material from sticking to the light output window of the treatment hand piece. When the light flashes, it feels like a warm pulse against the skin.

Is the procedure painful?

Most patients will feel minimal discomfort during the procedure. A topical anesthetic can make the treatment more comfortable if desired.

What can I expect after the treatment?

The treated area will feel like a very mild sunburn and may be slightly pink and swollen for a few hours. Many patients have the treatment performed and are able to return to work that day. Age spots, freckles, and sun spots will get darker after treatment and flake off in 3-10 days leaving fresh, new skin with the pigmentation having faded. Blood vessels may disappear immediately after treatment or fade after a few days. Since collagen is produced slowly and in small amounts after each treatment, skin smoothing and fine line reduction may be noted nine to twelve weeks after the third treatment.

How long does the procedure take?

This varies greatly depending on the area being treated. Also, 2 to 6 treatments may be necessary depending on the skin type and condition being treated.

Skin lesions that can be treated with the Intense Pulsed Light device:

Hemangiomas
A hemangioma is an abnormal build up of blood vessels in the skin. Hemangiomas of infancy are the most common benign tumors in children. They have several phases of growth. The first phase, or proliferative phase, is the phase of rapid growth, and can last from several months to a year or more. The second phase is the involutional phase where the hemangioma shrinks in size and may completely resolve. In general, 30% of childhood hemangiomas resolve spontaneously by age three, 50% resolve by age five, and 80% resolve by age eight. The classically recognized hemangioma is a visible red skin lesion that may be in the top skin layers (capillary hemangioma), deeper in the skin (cavernous hemangioma), or a mixture of both. Pulsed light therapy can be used to reduce the size and the redness of the lesion. The addition of other lasers that treat deeper vessels may be necessary, as well as other treatment modalities may be needed to treat large hemangiomas that are in functionally critical areas of the body. Talk to your physician. She will formulate the best treatment plan for you and your child.
Port Wine Stains
This is a birthmark in which swollen or dilated blood vessels cause a reddish-purplish discoloration of the skin. They are usually present at birth, appear on one side of the body, and do not spontaneously resolve. They occur most often on the face but can appear anywhere on the body. Port wine stains occurring around the eye may indicate involvement of the eye and should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Early port-wine stains are usually flat and pink in appearance. As the child gets older, the color may deepen to a dark red or purplish color. Nodules may develop within the area that may spontaneously bleed. There is evidence to suggest that the earlier the treatment is begun, the better the long term results. Pulsed light/laser therapy can destroy the tiny blood vessels without significantly damaging the skin. It usually takes several treatments to achieve the desired fading.
Telangiectasias
Telangiectasias are small dilated blood vessels on the skin. Common areas for them to occur are the cheeks and sides of the nose. An example of a common lesion that contains telangiectasias is a spider angioma. A spider angioma lesion typically has a red dot in the center with reddish extensions radiating out for some distance around it (a few millimeters to a centimeter or more). Spider angiomas can occur anywhere but are most common on the face and trunk. Intense pulsed light therapy can destroy the tiny blood vessels without significantly damaging the skin. Sometimes we will recommend a combination of IPL and traditional laser treatments to more effectively reduce these lesions.
Advanced Skin Rejuvenation
This is a gentle pulsed light procedure that can be performed on the face, chest, arms, legs...just about anywhere. And, without down time! It is a non-ablative and non-invasive, meaning skin is neither removed nor damaged. The pulsed light targets and destroys unwanted blood vessels and pigmented discolorations without harming the normal skin. The process also restores the homogeneous skin color of your youth and stimulates fibroblasts to produce collagen that replenishes what time and sun damage has taken away. This collagen "plumping" effect creates smoother skin and lessens fine lines.

Pigmented Lesions:

Lentigos or Freckles
Brown or sun spots (lentigos or freckles) are very common lesions in light skinned individuals that have had past sun exposure. They can be reduced and/or eliminated with intense pulsed light/laser treatment. The number of treatments needed depends on the number and size of the lesions being treated. All pigmented lesions should be evaluated by a physician prior to cosmetic treatment to make sure the lesion is benign and not a skin cancer or precancerous lesion.
Café au Lait Macules
Café au lait macules (tan birthmarks), nevus spilus (spotted birthmarks), Nevus of Ota or Ito (blue/brown birthmarks) and other birthmarks can be reduced and/or eliminated with intense pulsed light/laser treatment. It usually takes several treatments to achieve the desired fading or these lesions.
Please call our office for scheduling and pricing information: (208) 327-9521.
 

FRACTIONAL SKIN RESURFACING

 
 
 
 

Laser Treatment of the Skin

Lasers have been used for many years for a variety of medical procedures, including treatment of facial and leg veins, age spots, and smoothing fine lines of the face. Lasers use a high energy single wavelength of light to target a specific colored molecule or “chromophore” in the skin. Some types of lasers send light pulses into the deeper dermis, while leaving the more superficial epidermis intact. These devices are used to treat brown spots and spider veins, but the change in skin tone and texture is negligible. This allows quick recovery, but may require multiple treatments to achieve the specific goal. CO2 lasers target water which results in vaporization of the top portion of the skin. Therefore, CO2 lasers use an ablative method: removing the epidermis and some of the dermis. The results are very good but the healing time is significant: red, raw, and initially weeping skin for several weeks after treatment.

Fractional Skin Resurfacing

Fractional Skin Resurfacing is the only method which offers both excellent results and very little downtime. Fractional Skin Treatments deliver light in an array of narrow, focused “microbeams” to create columns of heat within the skin. These microbeams penetrate deep into the dermis for the most effective, long-term results obtainable. The heated tissue within the columns starts a natural healing process that forms new, healthy tissue. This results in a decrease in sunspots, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring and a fresher, more youthful skin tone and texture. The Fractional approach stimulates quick healing, with no lasting redness.

How Does it Work?

Fractional Skin Rejuvenation is designed to alter only portions of the target skin tissue. Fractional Skin Rejuvenation creates multiple, microscopic, thermal columns within the skin. Together these micro-treatments cause a change in the collagen and elastin below your skin's surface, which gradually improves the appearance of the skin. It also results in a healing process with minimal downtime.
In addition, Fractional Skin Rejuvenation penetrates to a very precise, controlled depth, making the procedure safe and predictable, while reducing the risk of scarring or pigmentation problems.

Why choose Fractional Skin Resurfacing?

Most patients choose it because it:
  • Decreases sunspots
  • Requires minimal recovery time
  • Minimizes the risk for of bruising, crusting or scarring
  • Does not cause bleeding
  • Provides a level of control that cannot be achieved with any other lasers
  • Provides a fresher, more youthful skin tone and texture

How many treatments will I need?

This varies from patient to patient depending on the severity of the condition, your skin type and your desired results. Fractional Skin Rejuvenation produces a gradual remodeling of collagen within the skin. Most patients respond after only 1-2 treatments. Improvements in the appearance of your skin will continue 6 to 12 months or more after the last treatment.

What area can I have treated?

Fractional Skin Resurfacing can be applied to any area of the body, including the face, chest, arms, legs, and hands.

What is the treatment like?

First, the area to be treated is cleansed. A topical anesthetic ointment is applied. A cooling device is used for a more comfortable treatment.
The fractional hand piece reads the discreet contours of your skin treatment area. Your treatment is performed using pulses of laser light that deliver microbeams of energy into the skin. After the treatment, your skin is washed off. Treatments usually last 10-30 minutes, depending on the surface area treated.

What should I expect after treatment?

You may experience lingering redness, warmth, swelling, or tightness in the treated area, which fades within the first day or two after treatment. Swelling generally lasts two to three days. Redness may last up to a week. Cosmetics may be applied on day three to four.
A series of treatments may be required to achieve your desired results.