Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing has long been the gold standard treatment for uneven pigmentation and skin texture. CO2 laser resurfacing gave excellent improvement but its popularity was hampered to a large extent by the long recovery time and the high complication rate.

Fractional laser resurfacing was developed in the early to mid 2000s to minimise the down time and the risks. Fraxel was the first such laser available. Whilst it is no doubt somewhat effective in the treatment of uneven pigmentation and skin texture, 4-6 treatments are required. The problem with fractional laser is that only a portion of the skin is treated (hence the term fractional), whilst a significant part of the skin remain untreated. The YSGG Pearl laser was developed specifically to address this short coming of non-ablative fractional laser. As the whole surface of the skin is resurfaced (confluent resurfacing), the result is far superior to that achieved by any non-ablative fractional device, such as Fraxel laser alone.

What is Pearl?

Pearl is the “one laser to choose” to renew your skin’s surface with quick, visible results. Pearl treats fine lines on the face and neck, uneven skin texture and light and dark spots caused by sun damage.

The Pearl Procedure

During a Pearl treatment, the top layer of the skin is treated with pulses of light. A portion of the epidermis (skin surface) is gently removed and a natural protective dressing is formed on the skin’s surface. Most patients feel a series of brief pinches during the treatments. After 3-4 days, the protective dressing peels off revealing new, healthy, vibrant skin underneath.

The Pearl laser replaces the entire top sun-damaged layer of the skin with new healthy skin. Simultaneously, it sends heat to deeper layers of the skin stimulating new collagen growth, filling out and decreasing fine lines and wrinkles. New collagen growth continues for 4-6 weeks post-treatment. The combination of new skin and decreased wrinkles results in a healthier, more youthful appearance.

Unlike “fractional” treatments, Pearl treats the entire face, minimising the number of required treatments. Typically, only 1-2 treatments are necessary to renew your skin. 

How much ’downtime’ do I have after a Pearl procedure?

After a Pearl treatment you can resume your normal daily activities. However, you may not wish to attend important social events because your face will appear pink/red for 3-4 days after your treatment.

What is the Pearl treatment like?

Dr Bernard Leung or Elise Birchall, our dermal therapist, will guide the Pearl laser over the skin, gently removing the top layer of the epidermis and heating a layer of tissue below it. The treatments takes approximately 10-15 minutes for a full face. The treatment feels like a series of brief pinches. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing pain, most people report the treatment feeling like a 2 or 3.

What can you expect after the treatment?

After the treatment, the skin feels like it is sunburned. Following the treatment an ointment is applied on the skin to keep it moist. The skin will need to be kept moist for 3-4 days. Since you cannot wear sunscreen during this time, you will need to wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure for a few days following the treatment. You are free to wear make-up starting on day 3. After 3-4 days, the top layer of skin peels off revealing new, healthy, vibrant skin underneath.

When will you see results?

You will see noticeable results on day 3 or 4, when the superficial tissue has peeled off, leaving fresh, new, healthy skin underneath.

Who is a candidate for a Pearl treatment?

Patients of any age with sun damage, uneven skin texture and fine lines and wrinkles can benefit from Pearl treatments; however, the most common age group seeking treatment is between 25-60.

How many treatments are recommended?

Many patients experience excellent results after one treatment. Other patients may want a second treatment for even best results.

How does Pearl compare to other “like” laser treatments?

Pearl offers the most effective treatment to address fine lines and wrinkles, sun damaged skin and uneven texture without wound care and the lengthy downtime required with traditional Erbium and CO2 laser procedures.

Today’s fractional technologies treat only small portions of the face during each treatment. Typically, 4-6 treatments, each with 4-6 days of downtime and spaced a month apart are required to treat the face.

Does Cutera have an FDA clearance for the Pearl laser?

Yes, Cutera received FDA clearance in March 2007 for Pearl skin resurfacing and the treatment of wrinkles. Pearl is used primarily on the face but has also been used on the neck, upper chest and hands.

Please click on the following link to read more about the Cutera Pearl.

To request an appointment with Dr Bernard Leung please email us or call us on 02 6255 8988.