Fractional resurfacing - Palomar ICON Fractional Laser Skin Treatment

Fractional laser skin resurfacing is used to treat a number of skin conditions with minimal downtime.  The Palomar Icon 1540 is a non-ablative erbium laser that is part of the Palomar Icon aesthetic platform.  It is one of the premier fractional lasers available.  This laser delivers light to the skin through an array of highly precise microscopic beams that penetrate the skin deep into the dermis.  This laser light creates narrow, deep columns of skin coagulation intermixed among areas of healthy, untreated skin.  These microscopic columns allow the skin to repair itself by replacing older, sun-damaged skin with newer, younger, healthier skin.  Fractionated light allows safer treatment and more consistent results compared with non-fractionated lasers.

Compared to ablative laser procedures, fractional resurfacing with the Icon 1540 is much less invasive, allowing for a faster recovery.  Most patients experience minimal downtime, with some mild redness and swelling for a couple of days.  Generally 3-5 treatments performed every 2 to 6 weeks would be recommended for results.  

There are many conditions that can be treated with the Icon fractional laser.  The most common conditions are:

  • Acne scarring: There are many treatment options for acne scarring.  Depressed, pitted acne scars can best be treated with lasers and or microneedling.  
  • Surgical or traumatic scars:  The Icon 1540 can improve scars from prior cosmetic surgeries, C-section scars, orthopedic or general surgical scars, traumatic scars, and burns.
  • Skin resurfacing:  Fractionated laser can improve skin texture, tone, and other irregularities of the skin.  It can reverse the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.  After treatment, patients experience brighter, tighter, and smoother skin.
  • Stretch marks:  This laser can also help the appearance of stretch marks due to pregnancy, growth spurts, or fluctuations in weight.  

ICON 1540 FRACTIONAL LASER RESURFACING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

WHAT IS THE PALOMAR ICON 1540?
The Palomar ICON 1540 is a non-ablative Erbium laser that operates in the 1540nm wavelength spectrum.

 

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ABLATIVE AND A NON-ABLATIVE LASER TREATMENT?
There are two types of lasers used for laser skin treatments, ablative and non-ablative. With the ablative types of treatments, the top surface of the skin is partially removed to achieve a fresh and improved skin surface. Non-ablative treatments involve treating the deeper parts of the skin without removing any part of the top layer. Non-ablative lasers tend to have fewer side effects and a shorter healing time, but require multiple treatments. The Palomar 1540 laser is a non-ablative laser.

WHAT ARE ‘FRACTIONATED’ LASERS?
Skin laser treatments can be divided into ‘full field’ and ‘fractionated.’ Full field lasers deliver a laser beam as a coherent column that treats the entire area of skin that it reaches. This type of laser is associated with numerous side effects and a long healing period. Fractionated lasers treat the skin with a laser beam that is comprised of many columns of micro-beams that are all separated by gaps. Thus, only a fraction of the skin is treated, with gaps of untreated skin throughout; this enables the skin to heal much faster with less risk of complications. Fractionated lasers can be either ablative or non-ablative (depending on the type of laser, such as a CO2 or an Erbium:glass). The ICON 1540 laser is a fractionated non-ablative laser.

HOW DO LASER SKIN TREATMENTS REJUVENATE THE SKIN?
The ICON 1540 laser delivers heat to the deeper layers of the skin. This initiates the body’s natural healing process to promote new collagen and elastin production. This new collagen and elastin helps to improve the skin tone and texture, while also helping to re-volumize the skin.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF THE ICON 1540 LASER, AND WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
By increasing the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, the ICON 1540 can increase the volume of the skin, improve the skin’s texture and tone, and decrease wrinkles and fine lines. The following conditions can be treated with the ICON 1540: sun damage (wrinkles, crow’s feet, and aging skin), acne scars, surgical or traumatic scars, melasma, skin texture and tone issues, stretch marks, and other skin
irregularities. Because it is a non-ablative laser, healing time is minimal.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE ICON 1540 OVER OTHER FRACTIONATED LASERS?
The ICON 1540 is more powerful than other lasers of its kind, delivering greater energy per micro-beam (up to 100 mJ) and a greater depth of penetration (up to 1 mm) than other competing devices. This can promote a more significant response in the skin, with more effective and longer lasting results.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The ICON 1540 treatments are more effective if performed in a series of sessions. Each session treats approximately 20 – 25 % of the skin. Clinical studies indicate that an effective treatment regimen involves 3 to 5 treatments, spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart. Certain conditions, such as severe acne scarring, may require more treatments for optimal results.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Although many patients will see a positive change within a few days due to the swelling effect of the treatment, optimal results usually occur after 2 to 3 months.  This allows for complete healing and replacement of new collagen and elastin.

HOW ARE THE ICON 1540 TREATMENTS PERFORMED?
The skin is first cleansed to prepare it for treatment. During treatment, the laser handpiece is applied directly to the skin. The handpiece uses a strong built-in cooling technology to the protect the outer skin and minimize any discomfort.

ARE THE ICON 1540 TREATMENTS PAINFUL?
While there is some slight discomfort, this is minimized by the cooling mechanism of the handpiece the
the use of topical numbing.

WHAT SHOULD PATIENTS EXPECT AFTER ICON 1540 TREATMENT?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, the skin may feel mildly sunburned, sensitive, and somewhat
swollen. Since the treatments are non-ablative and the skin surface is intact, there is no oozing from the
skin. Over the next few days, the skin may appear slightly bronzed, which can be easily covered with
makeup. There may be some flaking as well, which can be improved by using a moisturizer.

SHOULD I OBSERVE ANY PRECAUTIONS AFTER TREATMENT?
Patients should avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and during the first 3 months after
treatment. Application of sunscreen is also recommended.

WHAT AREAS OF THE FACE AND BODY CAN THE ICON 1540 BE USED ON?
The ICON 1540 can be used on scars and stretch marks anywhere on the face or body. However, when
used to address fine lines and skin texture, the best results are seen when used on the face.

CAN ICON 1540 BE USED TO TREAT DARKER SKIN?
Due to the 1540 nm wavelength of the laser, the ICON 1540 can be used to safely treat patients with
darker skin.

CAN THE ICON 1540 BE USED TO TREAT SCARS?
The ICON 1540 is an excellent treatment option for surgical scars, acne scars, and stretch marks. Since
the laser induces the production of new collagen, it can be used to plump the skin and resurface
depressed scars.

WHAT KIND OF ACNE SCARS CAN THE ICON 1540 BE USED ON
The ICON 1540 works best for more shallow acne scars, such as rolling scars. It works by heating the deeper layers of the skin in order to promote
the growth of new collagen in the dermis. With deeper acne scars, ablative fractionated laser
resurfacing may be a better option.

CAN THE ICON 1540 BE USED TO TREAT STRETCH MARKS?
In February 2010, the Palomar ICON 1540 (now called the ICON 1540) non-ablative fractional laser
handpiece received the first clearance by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of striae (stretch marks) using a
fractional laser. Stretch marks are extremely common, found in 90% of pregnant women and 70% of
adolescent females. The ICON 1540 treats stretch marks by causing collagen shrinkage and tightening
the skin. Typically 5 – 6 treatments are recommended for stretch mark improvement.
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