The AcuPulse™ fractional CO2 laser is an ablative device used for skin resurfacing to help improve sun damage by minimizing discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as acne scars and surgical and traumatic scars (*). AcuPulse™ is an excellent treatment for deep wrinkles and for those with significant textural changes caused by aging, sun exposure and smoking (*). AcuPulse™ may be used as a stand alone treatment to minimize the effects of aging for the patient that does not want to use injectables such as Botox® and fillers, yet it is also a wonderful adjunct to smooth out lines that Botox® and filler may not be able to address as AcuPulse™ can also be used to treat the upper and lower eyelids, around the mouth to help with smoker’s lines as well as to the cheeks for sleeper’s lines (*).
How Does AcuPulse™ Rejuvenation Work?
AcuPulse™ is a fractional CO2 laser that emits high amounts of energy or heat that penetrate deep into the skin heating up water in the tissue causing ablation and coagulation. This helps to remove and reduce the appearance of sun damaged skin while smoothing the skin as the energy or heat created stimulates fibroblasts and collagen (*).
What makes AcuPulse™ different from non-ablative lasers or IPL resurfacing devices is that the 10,600 nm wavelength penetrates deeper and more effectively than non-ablative treatment options. To effectively treat deep wrinkles and scars a high amount of energy must be delivered deep in the tissue. Traditional lasers use a single beam of energy which limits the amount of heat that can be delivered to effectively treat collagen and elastin without injuring the surrounding skin. AcuPulse™ however; delivers thousands of micro beams of light which results in micro traumas to the skin and creates skip lesions between the micro columns resulting in less downtime and less risk of complications to the patient. The use of multiple micro columns of light allow for higher amounts of heat to be delivered deep in the skin while sparing the superficial tissue making AcuPulse™ a more effective treatment for those with significant textural issues and deep wrinkles than traditional laser and IPL devices (*).
AcuPulse™ Rejuvenation FAQS
Depending on the area being treated the procedure may take 15 minutes to 1.5 hours.
The level of discomfort will depend on if you are having a superficial or deep treatment. Most patients that have a superficial treatment have minimal to no discomfort. Deeper treatments for conditions such as significant sun damage, scarring and deep wrinkles require a greater amount of energy or heat and therefore tend to be more uncomfortable. Prior to any AcuPulse™ treatment a topical anesthetic is applied. Some patients may elect to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen prior to their treatment. For additional comfort a local anesthetic may also be used.
A superficial treatment is also known as a laser peel and is typically used for those with minimal sun damage, fine lines and superficial wrinkles as well as for those that want to improve their skin with minimal downtime of 3-5 days.
A deep treatment is a more aggressive treatment and is used to target sun damage that has resulted in significant textural changes to the skin as well as deep lines and wrinkles. Deep treatments typically result in 7 days of downtime. Most patients will elect to take 5-7 days off from work.
Typically three laser peel treatments are recommended, one treatment every 6 weeks. Most patients return to work in 3-4 days and will note an overall improvement in the glow, tightness and complexion of the skin over the next 3-6 months.
Most patients who elect to have a deep or total treatment require only one or two treatments. Rarely patients with more significant sun damage will need a third treatment. Multiple factors influence the number of treatments needed. While mild to moderate sun damage is generally easy to improve with just one treatment, patients with advanced age and those with more significant sun damage that has resulted in deep lines, and wrinkles or those with significant scarring along with the overall integrity of the skin impacts the number of treatments that may be required as well as how aggressive of a treatment that can be performed. Caution needs to be given to patients that are older or may have thin skin and therefore multiple treatments may be required.
If a second or third treatment is required we recommend that it not be performed any sooner than 4 months from the previous treatment as the most significant results are generally seen in the first 3-6 months. Some patients report continuing to see improvement even one year after a single treatment.
Yes treatments to the upper and lower lids are safe when the appropriate protective eyewear is worn. When treating the eyes sterile intraocular eye shields are used. They are like a contact lens in that they are placed in the eyes. A topical anesthetic drop is instilled in each eye prior to placing the protective eye shields in the eyes.
AcuPulse™ treatments can be customized. Treatments can be deeper requiring more downtime or more shallow with less healing time. In general the deeper the treatment the better the result.
Results are immediate however full results are typically seen in 3-6 months. Some patients report continued improvement up to a year later.
We never like to promise permanent results however we can assure you that the results are long lasting. How long your results last really depends on multiple factors such as your home skin care routine, environment and lifestyle. While it is important to protect your skin from the sun and other factors that cause aging such as general health, smoking and changes in weight, we cannot change our genetics nor the fact that we are continuing to age. If you have undergone a deep or total AcuPulse™ treatment(s) you may never need another treatment or may elect to have another one many years down the road. If you have had a laser peel series you are more likely to return for additional treatments on an as needed basis.
We advise patients that smoke or use tobacco to quit or at a minimum reduce how much they use tobacco in the weeks prior to their treatment as this will help improve the healing process, reduce the likelihood of side effects and further reduce the impact on aging, not to mention reducing one’s risk for heart attack, stroke and cancer.
The most common reported side effects after a treatment are itching, redness, swelling, inflammation, tenderness, burning sensation, mild pinpoint bleeding and/or localized areas weeping fluid, as well as dryness and tightness to the skin. These side effects typically resolve within one week. In rare instances patients may develop scarring or bacterial, viral or fungal infection.
A consultation is required for all patients prior to treatment. During this time a detailed medical history is taken and your goals of treatment as well as treatment alternatives are discussed. To reduce the risk of an adverse outcome proper skin preparation starting a minimum of one month prior to treatment is imperative and will be discussed in full detail at the time of your consultation.
Post-operative instructions will be reviewed at the time of consultation as well as at the time of treatment. Most patients can resume their usual skin care and exercise routine after 5-7 days. However there are some skin care products and procedures that need to be avoided for several weeks and months post treatment.
Patients can have a AcuPulse™ treatment as soon as 6 months postpartum. AcuPulse™ is not contraindicated with breastfeeding.
Those who have been on Accutane in the past year or have a history of keloid formation or are pregnant should not undergo AcuPulse™ treatments. Anyone with an active infection in or around the treatment site should delay treatment. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, a history of cancer in the recent past, and those with a history of poor wound healing or are on immunosuppressive agents or photosensitizing medications should discuss whether AcuPulse™ treatments are right for them. Areas where a tattoo is present or microblading has been performed will be avoided during treatment.
Before having a AcuPulse™ treatment, all patients are required to have a consultation. Schedule a consultation today.