There is a growing demand for a more effective treatment to address sun damage while minimizing the recovery time. Utilizing a unique (2790nm) wavelength, the Cutera® Pearl™ laser is the solution for improvement of a variety of skin conditions, including age spots, sun damage, irregular skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, and mild scarring.
The Pearl™ procedure combines the impact of resurfacing lasers with the gentleness and safety of non-invasive procedures– maximizing the cosmetic benefit while reducing the downtime. The top layer of the skin is treated with pulses of light, while heat is sent to the deeper layers to provide longer-term benefits. The process removes aged and sun-damaged tissue and then stimulates the growth of healthy, new skin to provide a beautiful glow.
Ablative laser resurfacing is achieved by a controlled vaporization of the epidermis and/or dermis, using water as the target chromophore. The greater the absorption of the laser energy by water, the more rapidly tissue ablation occurs and the less heat is generated in the tissues; the lower the absorption of energy, the more heat is generated in the surrounding tissue. The evolution of ablative laser treatments began with the CO2 laser which demonstrated dramatic improvements in skin texture, skin tightening, and wrinkle reduction. The CO2 laser creates a significant zone of thermal damage in the epidermis and dermis, providing aggressive tissue ablation and collagen remodeling, but requires involved post-treatment wound care, prolonged redness and downtime, and the risk for pigmentation changes. The desire for a treatment with less downtime led to the development of the Erbium:YAG laser. This technology offered an improvement in the recovery, but demonstrated only superficial ablation and little thermal benefit for collagen remodeling.
The objective of Cutera’s Pearl™ technology is to develop a synergy between ablation and thermal impact—maximizing the benefits of tissue ablation while minimizing the downtime. The goal is to provide an effective treatment to address lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture, discoloration, and acne scarring with a shorter recovery period.
Unique Wavelength of the Pearl™ Fractional
The Cutera Pearl™ Fractional is a mid infra-red Er:YSGG (Erbium:Yttrium Scandium Gallium Garnet, 2790nm) laser. The 2790nm wavelength of light is strongly absorbed by water and water-bearing tissue, such as the skin. Applying this specific wavelength of light by way of a laser pulse can easily heat and ablate tissue, making the YSGG laser effective for aesthetic procedures. The unique YSGG crystal generates a wave-length (2790nm) which has a water absorption coefficient between that of the Erbium: YAG (2940nm) laser and the CO2 (10,6000nm) laser.
Engineered to improve upon current fractional ablative products, Cutera’s proprietary YSGG 2790 nm wavelength is unique, as it optimizes the balance between tissue vaporization and the residual heat generated within. This balance achieves the appropriate level of skin ablation, coagulation, and delayed collagen remodeling.
Both the Cutera Pearl™ and the Cutera Pearl™ Fractional lasers share the same wavelength. The Pearl™ offers a low-energy, broad-based resurfacing solution for the treatment of age spots, mild skin texture changes, fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, and mild scarring. The Pearl™ Fractional laser provides a high-energy fractionated treatment to improve sun damage, irregular skin texture, deeper lines and wrinkles, and acne scarring; it effectively treats diffuse photoaging—especially around the eyes and mouth, those areas that are the most challenging to treat. These two lasers can also be used together in a treatment called “Pearl™ Fusion.”
Benefits of Pearl™ Laser Treatment
During the Pearl™ procedure, the top layer of skin is treated with pulses of light in a pre-selected pattern. The laser simultaneously sends heat to the deeper layers of skin to provide longer-term benefits. A natural protective dressing forms on the skin to minimize downtime during the restorative process. On day 3 or 4 this natural dressing will peel or slough off, revealing new, healthy, vibrant skin underneath.
Patients with light-to-medium skin tones (skin types I – III) and skin imperfections due to aging and sun damage will benefit from a Pearl™ treatment. There is a noticeable improvement in overall skin clarity, smoothness and softness – all from a twenty minute procedure with only three to four days of social downtime. The Pearl™ laser treats sun damage more effectively than superficial chemical peels and IPL photorejuvenation because the laser heat provides improved collagen remodeling and helps to smooth fine line wrinkles.
Treatment is accomplished with the use of topical anesthesia and an external air cooling device for patient comfort; supplemental oral medication and local anesthetic is sometimes required. Studies demonstrate that an effective treatment regimen is one (or two) Pearl™ treatments. Results are immediate and progressive. Improvement continues over weeks as your skin continues to produce new collagen in the treated area, producing longer beneficial changes associated with a healthy, youthful appearance. Many patients utilize Pearl™ treatments in combination with other cosmetic therapies such as skin care, Laser Genesis, Botox®/Dysport™ and soft tissue fillers.
The Pearl™ laser accomplishes a smart approach to resurfacing without the risk and “downtime” that is associated with other treatment modalities. The limited downtime is very favorable, and easily justifies the results. Patients have been thrilled with their results.
The Pearl™ laser is FDA approved for ablation, vaporization and coagulation of soft tissue, and skin resurfacing to treat deep dermal imperfections.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a consult to discuss Pearl™ resurfacing please call our office at 414-443-0033.
- Following treatment, patients will experience a mild to moderate windburn or sunburn sensation and swelling. Swelling may last 2 – 3 days, and will often be worse the day after your treatment. Your skin will be red, and this may last for up to one week.
- Cleanse the treated area with a mild soap and lukewarm water twice daily, and blot dry. Follow with a light application of petrolatum. Reapply the petrolatum dressing to maintain continuous coverage. Continue this treatment until healing has occurred. Do not apply any other creams, ointments, or lotions to the treated area until instructed by your care provider.
- Soak the treated area with a dilute acetic acid solution 2 to 3 times per day to reduce redness and oozing, and to speed healing. Moisten a clean, soft washcloth with the solution and place the cloth against the treated skin, gently pressing (not rubbing) to ensure the solution wets your skin. When your soak is complete please re-apply a thin layer of petrolatum to the treated area.
- After healing has occurred, you may apply a light moisturizing and healing lotion several times per day to avoid dry skin and provide additional protection. Continued use of heavy ointments or creams may clog your pores and cause breakouts.
- Please do not use products containing glycolic acid, kojic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, Retin-A, or any abrasive scrubs or toners on the treated area for at least two weeks after your treatment. Allow skin to fully heal before resuming use of these skin care products. If you have questions about resuming your skin care products please contact our office.
- Make-up may be applied after the majority of the treated skin has sloughed, and as long as the skin is not broken or crusted. Patients are usually able to apply make-up about five or six days after treatment. Using a makeup product with SPF also provides additional sun protection.
- Please do not expose the treated area to the sun. Remember that UV-A rays pass through windows. Sun exposure may cause additional skin irritation and significantly increases the risk for post-treatment hyperpigmentation.
- Be sure to use sunscreen (broad spectrum UV-B and UV-A SPF 30) to protect your skin from sun exposure during both the healing phase and for several months after treatment. For added protection, use wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing when in direct sunlight.
- If you have a history of cold sores we recommend prophylactic treatment with Valacyclovir [Valtrex®] orally for five days, beginning two days prior to the Pearl™ treatment and continuing until two days after the treatment.
- One or two treatments are necessary to achieve the desired reduction in pigment, redness, sun damage, scarring, and wrinkles, and individual results will vary. Healing time also varies from person to person. Be patient with your healing process. We are confident you will see improvement of your skin texture shortly after the first treatment.