Spectra XT Laser Treatment
What is the Spectra XT Laser?
Spectra XT Laser is a new Nd-YAG based multi-platform laser that is able to treat a wide variety of pigmentation, including post-acne marks, melasma, freckles, lentigo (sun spots / age spots) and pigmented birth marks such as café au lait spots, and tattoo removal. Spectra XT offers four adjustable wavelengths and various treatment options with different handpieces to optimise the laser wavelengths, such as lower wavelengths for skin rejuvenation and higher wavelengths to treat deeper pigmentary concerns such as melasma, which is notoriously difficult to treat, and tattoos. Spectra XT laser is also the first laser to be approved for both tattoo removal and melasma.
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How does the Spectra XT laser work?
Spectra XT laser offers four adjustable wavelengths to treat different skin conditions, ranging from the shortest at 532nm to 1064nm. The shorter a laser’s wavelength is, the more powerful the laser is, hence, laser wavelengths below 700 are generally reserved for skin conditions taking place deep in the skin, to better treat the cause of the skin condition.
532nm wavelength is used mainly for tattoo removal, as it reaches deep into the skin, where the energy from the laser breaks the ink particles in the tattoo into tiny fragments, which can then be absorbed by the body. When the laser enters the skin, the veins absorb that energy, causing a reaction known as erythema, or skin redness, as it perceives the veins to be hurt. This in turn, triggers production of melanin to protect the skin from further light damage. When shorter wavelengths such as the 532nm are used, the blood absorbs it more, causing the body to see this as an injury and triggering pigmentation production, leading to redness and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or small discoloured spots. Hence, to reduce the occurrence of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and to keep the skin safer, this laser wavelength is generally reserved for tattoo removal and other stubborn pigmentary concerns. The laser wavelength used depends on the skin’s condition, with tattoo removal also using the 585nm, 650nm and 1064nm wavelengths depending on the intensity and depth of the tattoo
660 nm “RuVY Touch” is a wavelength other than the conventional 532 nm wavelength for removal of epidermal pigmented lesions like freckles. It is ideal for Asian skin types which are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This is because the lower absorption characteristics of 660 nm in oxy and deoxy-hemoglobin allow blood vessels to remain intact even after laser heat energy is targeted into the skin. Hence there is lower chance of the veins triggering a response which may lead to redness and inflammation.
The 1064nm wavelength is typically used for treatment of melasma and PIH. The laser targets the melanin in the skin which absorbs the laser energy. This leads to a photoacoustic effect resulting in breaking down of the melanin into smaller particles which the body naturally removes gradually. The laser energy also triggers collagen production in the dermis of the skin, leading to rejuvenated skin. This treatment is gentle and comfortable, making it a popular lunchtime treatment which has no downtime.
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At Harmony Aesthetics Clinic, our experienced doctors will be able to assess accurately both your pigmentary issues and skin type and use the appropriate wavelength accordingly.
FAQ – Session duration, treatment process and downtime
How long does each session typically take for the 1064nm wavelength?
Each session usually takes about 30 minutes including pre- and post-treatment care.
What is the treatment process like for the 1064nm wavelength?
In general, numbing cream is not necessary. A light prickling feeling is felt. Cold air helps to minimize this sensation and soothing cream is applied after the treatment.
What is downtime like for the 1064nm wavelength?
Downtime is greatly reduced, and many patients report only some redness at the treatment site. Patients will be able to continue with their daily activities after the procedure.
How long does each session typically take for other wavelengths?
Each session depends on the skin concern being treated. It generally takes around 15 minutes excluding numbing and soothing creams for pre- and post-treatment care.
What is the treatment process like for other wavelengths?
Numbing and soothing creams will likely be provided to make it more comfortable for patients, but the treatment is described to be tolerable.
How many sessions does it typically take to see my desired results?
- Treatment for melasma usually takes around six sessions or more, depending on the type and severity. with an interval of about two weeks in between sessions during the initial treatment phase. Effects from the treatment may be seen about a week from the first session, but all recommended sessions should be completed to see the full effect.
- Mild discoloration or general skin rejuvenation usually requires less than five sessions with a week or two between each session depending on the patient’s skin condition, but a consultation with our doctors is needed to be sure.
What is downtime like for other wavelengths?
Downtime is about a few days over the treated area. The freckles/sun spots
may appear darker with slight scabbing which drops off on its own after a few days. Gentle skin care and sunblock plus avoidance of sun exposure for about a week is recommended for best results.