Elos FAQ

How does Sublative™ work?

The ergonomic Sublative™ applicator delivers bipolar radio frequency energy via a matrix of 64 electrodes in the disposable applicator tip.  The RF energy generates fractional deep dermal heating in the region of the electrode matrix to induce skin injury, thus eliciting a wound healing response.  Mild to moderate wrinkles and superficial skin discoloration are reduced, and skin texture becomes more smooth and elastic.

How does Sublime™ work?

The combined bi-polar radiofrequency and light energies of elo-s technology precisely heat the dermal tissue, stimulating collagen production within the target treatment area. Fine wrinkles are reduced, facial contours improved and overall skin quality reveals a much smoother and even complexion.

How does skin rejuvenation with elōs work?

The combined bi-polar radio frequency and light energies of elōs technology precisely and safely target pigmented lesions such as freckles, sun spots and age spots.

elōs: How does elōs vein treatment work?

Combined bi-polar radio frequency and light energies precisely target and heat the unwanted vein while protecting the surrounding skin.

How does acne treatment with elōs work?

Acne occurs when a sebaceous oil gland surrounding a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria growth in this clogged environment causes infection and acne blemishes. The combined bi-polar radio frequency and blue light energies of elōs technology penetrate the skin to precisely target and destroy active acne-causing bacteria, while also slowing excessive sebaceous oil production. Treatment helps in reducing active acne and speeds up healing time of existing acne.

What Does IPL Photofacial Stand For and How Does It Work?

Different terms, such as Broadband Light (BBL), Variable Pulsed Light, Photorejuvenation, Photofacials, Fotofacials, and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacials, and IPL phototherapy, basically refer to the same technology — a light bulb connected to a computer that tells it how often, how long and with what intensity to flash. A filter is applied to the bulb to restrict the light to a specific wavelength range to make the emitted light go after certain pigmented targets on damaged skin.

Despite the fact that many people refer to laser skin treatments and IPL photofacials interchangeably, the technology in the two systems is not the same. A laser emits a beam of light of a single wavelength (monochromatic), where all the waves are coherent (in phase with one other) and travel in the same direction, exactly parallel to one another. Scientists say the laser light is “collimated.” Unlike lasers, light waves from ordinary sources (such as flashlights, light bulbs, or the Sun) spread out in all directions.

Because the laser light is monochromatic, coherent, and collimated, all of its energy is focused to produce a small point of intense power. This focused power makes laser light useful for cutting and welding, and when it comes to cosmetic dermatology, gives it the ability of penetrating skin. An IPL on the other hand, has a range of wavelengths of non-coherent light that scatters very quickly, and therefore has less skin penetrating ability. This makes it an ideal treatment for very superficial structures of the skin, like sun spots, superficial wrinkles, hair follicles and blood vessels.

Light and lasers both act on the skin by generating heat after being absorbed by pigmented targets or water. However, different targets (referred to as chromophores) respond to different wavelengths of light. Lasers have a single color and wavelength and therefore are commonly used to go after a specific target that responds to that wavelength. With IPL / photofacial treatments, the broad range of wavelengths of light allows seamless treatment for multiple skin conditions (sun spots, shallow wrinkles and redness, to name a few). Thus, while lasers are very specific to the conditions they treat, IPL machines are versatile and generalists. Perhaps, it would be convenient to think of an IPL as the “iphone” of the laser world.

What is the Difference Between IPL and Skin Resurfacing?

The laser beam in skin resurfacing lasers, whether CO2laser or Erbium:Yag, targets the water content of the skin cells so efficiently that the heat generated essentially vaporizes these cells. Although the thickness of the vaporized layer of the skin depends on the settings of the machine, this process occurs indiscriminately over all the skin cells, including pigmented and the normal skin cells. IPL photofacials, on the other hand, are more color specific in their targeting and go after only pigmented spots and patches, leaving the surrounding skin minimally traumatized and essentially intact, without the associated oozing, crusting and peeling, with less pain, minimal risk of infection or scarring, and a much shorter recovery time.

What Skin Conditions are Treatable with IPL?

The broad range of wavelengths of IPL light together with Smart Filters will allow targeted treatment for many skin conditions and permanent hair reduction (except for poorly colored, grey, blond or white hair). This process will also stimulate your skin cells to regenerate new collagen and thus restore your skin to its natural tone and texture, blending its colors and making it smoother, vibrant and younger looking. Note that it’s the heating of the pigmented brown or red cells that causes photo-rejuvenation and the therapeutic effect of IPL. Skin conditions that are successfully treated with IPL photofacials include freckles, age spots, sun spots, liver spots, birthmarks, pigmented and red acne scars, uneven skin tone, superficial skin wrinkling, very fine facial spider veins (broken capillaries), diffuse redness associated with Rosacea, Cherry Angiomas and even acne reduction. Note that Rosacea is a chronic condition and cannot be “cured” with any laser or light, however its appearance can be significantly improved with IPL phototherapy.

When Should IPL Photofacials be Avoided?

IPL treatments should be avoided in the hair bearing areas of the lower face in male patients, since the treatment may also target the dark facial hair resulting in unintended permanent hair reduction. In these areas, a superficial laser peel would be a better and safer alternative, since the ablative laser targets the water content of the skin cells rather than the color content of the hair.

What Types of Skin can be Treated With IPL?

People are often surprised to learn that most skin types can be treated with nding skin minimally traumatized and essentially intact, without the associated oozing, crusting and peeling, with less pain, minimal risk of infection or scarring, and a much shorter recovery time.

What Skin Conditions are Treatable with IPL?

The broad range of wavelengths of IPL light together with Smart Filters will allow targeted treatment for many skin conditions and permanent hair reduction (except for poorly colored, grey, blond or white hair). This process will also stimulate your skin cells to regenerate new collagen and thus restore your skin to its natural tone and texture, blending its colors and making it smoother, vibrant and younger lookinthe patches of abnormal pigmentation often occur in the deep layers of the skin. Only an adequate consultation with an experienced cosmetic surgeon/doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

Other than the Face, What Parts of the Body can be Treated With IPL?

IPL phototherapy can be used on any part of the body. The most common areas are those most exposed to the damaging effects of sunlight. The most popular treatments are on the face, neck and décolleté, back of hands, chest and shoulders.

How to prepare oneself for an IPL treatment?

Since skin tanning stimulates the growth and severity of pigmented spots, one should avoid tanning before and after IPL treatments for more effective and enduring results. It is particularly important to avoid tanning before IPL treatments for permanent hair reduction sessions, since the treatment capitalizes on the color difference between the hair and the surrounding skin. Tanning decreases this color difference and makes the treatment potentially more challenging, less safe and less effective. One should also avoid the use of photosensitizing medications before a treatment, as these may exaggerate the skin response to treatment.

What Does an IPL Treatment Session Involve?

Numbing cream is applied on the bare skin about an hour before the procedure and is removed just before the treatment starts. Adequate baseline photos are also taken for later comparison. You will be comfortably seated, wearing protective goggles. Dr. Retief, the cosmetic surgeon at the medical spa, will then carefully examine your skin, select certain settings of the IPL machine, and spread a layer of cooling gel in between the skin and the IPL handpiece. After spot testing your skin response against a variety of settings of the IPL machine, the best setting is selected and the treatment starts. Patients often describe a sensation of rubber snap on the skin as the light energy is delivered.

Note that the Sciton BBL system used at our medical spa is an industry leader in IPL technology, offers one of the largest treatment areas on the IPL handpiece (15 x 45 mm spot size) and comes with an integrated sapphire cooling tip, making the treatment sessions fast and efficient while maximizing patient comfort and safety. Treatment time depends on the area of the body being treated. A face treatment for example, typically takes a few minutes of actual treatment time. After your treatment, Dr. Retief will instruct you on the skin care instruction to maximize comfort, safety and effectiveness of the results.

What Shall I Expect After an IPL Photofacial Treatment?

Depending on the application for which an IPL is used, in the immediate aftermath of the procedure you may feel like a sun burn, and your skin may show diffuse patchy pinkish areas, which often disappear within a few hours. You will often be advised to cover your skin with a protective skin ointment for the first day or so, after which regular make up may be applied. Depending on the setting, some mild swelling may also occur during this period. You will notice gradual flaking of freckles and sunspots and/or disappearance of blood vessels within one to three weeks. The ultimate result should be a more even complexion of the skin with better tone and texture, and more youthful, vibrant look.

How Many IPL Treatments Should I Need, and How Often?

Depending on the indication for the IPL Photofacial treatment, one or more treatment sessions may be needed for optimal outcome. For instance, when targeting sun spots, a single robust treatment session is often adequate, whereas treatment for Rosacea, broken capillaries and hair may require several sessions. Depending on the application, the results are often long term. For instance, with adequate sun protection, many patients experience relief from unsightly sun spots for 2-3 years. When used for hair reduction, IPL treatments results are often permanent. There is also emerging evidence that regular periodic IPL treatments (1-2 times a year), over many years, may in fact delay skin aging significantly, maintaining a more youthful and glowing appearance.

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