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Spectra Peel: A novel Laser Peel approach by San Diego Dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD

Spectra Q-switched Nd:YAG Laser

Dr. Melanie Palm announces the exciting arrival of one of our newest lasers, the Spectra laser. This is an extremely versatile Q-switched Nd:YAG laser than can treat a variety of skin problems. Skin conditions improved by Spectra treatment include enlarged pores, uneven skin texture, acne, broken blood vessels, melasma, age spots, and tattoos. Today we will focus on the innovative Spectra Peel.

The Spectra Peel is a combination procedure using a carbon lotion followed by laser treatment with the Spectra Laser. The carbon lotion is applied typically 15-30 minutes before laser treatment and colors the face a light grey.

Carbon lotion application before Spectra Laser Peel

After the carbon lotion has incubated on the skin, Dr. Melanie Palm performs the laser portion of the Spectra Peel. Depending on the skin condition being treated, the settings of the laser differs…

If skin tightening or collagen production is desired, the goal of the laser treatment is to gently heat the skin. Examples of skin conditions that would be treated in this manner include enlarged pores, light skin tissue laxity, and even inflammatory acne. In these instances, the warming of the laser stimulates new collagen growth, or in the case of acne, shuts down the inflammatory process leading to new acne lesions.

When pigmentary issues are being addressed by the Spectra Laser, then the laser pulses are delivered more quickly using the Q-switched setting. The carbon layer is removed quickly on this setting using “photoacoustical” energy to remove the very top layers of surface skin, safely removing sun-related pigment and melasma. Further passes after the carbon lotion is removed helps remove deeper layers of pigment related to sun spots and melasma. During the procedure, forced air cooling is utilized to maintain patient comfort, making this a virtually painless procedure. The feeling of the laser itself is like an intense microdermabrasion. Furthermore, the cooling protects the skin, allowing safe pigment removal without heating skin that, in the case of melasma, could re-pigment darker if the skin is warmed.

The Spectra Laser Peel is considered a no downtime procedure. The skin is slightly pink immediately after treatment, but this subsides after a few hours, and make up and sunscreen may be applied immediately following treatment.

The Spectra Laser Peel for melasma is always recommended to be completed in conjunction with good topical therapy. This includes physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide. Additionally, a bleaching agent is often used at night, as well as a topical retinoid, to decrease the rate of repigmentation. Alternatively, a topical agent containing melanozyme such as Elure can be a botanical means of eliminating pigment. Topicals containing vitamin C and/or kojic acid also reduce pigment related to melasma.

A series of Spectra Peels is required for proper improvement. Usually between 6 to 12 weekly peels are necessary for improvement of melasma or pore size. Contact Art of Skin MD today to schedule your appointment or call (858) 792-SKIN (7546).

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