Laser hair removal, laser resurfacing, laser rejuvenation. The term “laser” is a catch-all phrase that’s often attributed to any skin treatment that uses light.
There are different types of light therapies, however, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably. Primarily, there are two types: laser and IPL.
How Laser and IPL are the Same
Both harness the power of light energy. If you’re having the treatment done, both will produce a warming effect on your skin. You’ll also feel a light “snap” sensation that’s akin to having a rubber band ricocheting off your skin.
Laser and IPL both target chromophores in the skin. These are biological molecules that capture or detect light energy from an external source. The human skin has four major chromophores: hemoglobin, melanin, water, and biological factors.
When energy from laser or IPL is deployed, depending on its frequency and wavelength, it’s attracted by one or more of these chromophores. The result is a controlled ‘damage’ to the area delivers a desired result.
How Laser and IPL are Different
Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. With laser, a single beam of light is deployed into the skin at a specific depth. Lasers can be continuous or fractional, meaning they emit light in a grid-like pattern, leaving ‘dots’ of skin untouched.
In dermatology, lasers can be used for rejuvenation and to remove unwanted pigment. Some lasers that we use here at the Laser Spa Group include:
- Fraxel or fractional laser – chromophore: water. It’s used for skin rejuvenation at a deeper level, addressing skin aging such as wrinkles, texture, and pigmentation issues.
- Clear + Brilliant – chromophore: water. Dubbed “Baby Fraxel,” it’s a gentler version of fractional laser. It doesn’t penetrate as deep as Fraxel so more sessions are required to achieve similar results.
- LightShear – chromophore: melanin. LightShear laser targets the pigment in hair follicles, weakening or destroying them to achieve permanent hair reduction/removal.
- PicoWay – chromophore: melanin. PicoWay targets both deep and superficial pigment. It works on many types of pigmentation concerns, such as dark spots and particularly tattoos.
Intense Pulsed Light or IPL is sometimes referred to as photofacial. It different than laser. Instead of deploying energy in a single beam, light pulses are emitted as a broad spectrum.
IPL reaches more of the skin’s surface area and depth. That’s because light emitted by the device travels at multiple frequencies and wavelengths, targeting aging, pigmentation, and unwanted hair.
At Laser Spa Group we’re proud to offer the BBL™ (BroadBand Light) treatment options:
- BBL Photorejuvenation – chromophore: melanin and hemoglobin. BBL™ is the next generation of IPL technology that treats sun damage and pigmentation. It removes dark patches and spots, acne scars and melasma. Vascular lesions such as broken capillaries and rosacea can all be safely addressed with BBL.
- Forever Young BBL – chromophore: melanin and hemoglobin. A recent study showed that regular treatments of BBL (2 to 4 times per year) delayed the visible signs of ageing. Patients undergoing the Forever Young BBL protocol experienced significantly fewer age spots, wrinkles, and increased skin laxity thanks to a boost in collagen.
- Forever Clear BBL™ – chromophore: biological factors. The shorter blue-light spectrum of BBL™, targets and destroys p-acne bacteria on the surface and in the sebaceous gland. It’s a great alternative to oral medication such as Accutane or antibiotics.
For more information about Laser, IPL or other skin rejuvenation treatments contact us to book your personalized consultation.