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People often seek dermatology services for skin conditions or other health problems. Skin health is definitely important, but dermatology offers cosmetic services as well. Cosmetic procedures can provide a confidence boost and a lot of excitement.
Two laser-based cosmetic services available in Southlake, TX, include ICON and SculpSure. SculpSure is a noninvasive laser-based procedure for targeting and reducing fat. Icon Aesthetic System is a laser-based suite of noninvasive cosmetic treatments for skin.
Icon Aesthetic System
The Icon Aesthetic System includes many devices in a single machine. Lasers with different wavelengths target blood, water, and melanin. Icon is used for a variety of procedures in dermatology such as scar treatment, facial blood vessel and pigment clearance, leg vein clearance, skin resurfacing, permanent hair removal, and wrinkle or stretch mark reduction.
Skintel Reader and IPL
The Skintel reader in Icon systems is the only FDA-approved melanin reader used in dermatology. It guides treatment by determining skin’s melanin content. Intense Pulse Light, or IPL, is a component of Icon systems used for photorejuvenation therapy.
Photorejuvenation stimulates collagen production to reduce brown spots, redness, and broken blood vessels. It can be used on the neck, arms, chest, hands, and face. Increased collagen also tightens skin, shrinks pores, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
Most clients have five treatments with 3 to 4 weeks between sessions. Laser and IPL treatment sessions last approximately 20 minutes. No anesthetic is required.
Freckles and brown spots have a darker appearance for a short time after each IPL treatment. Side effects are mild and include skin discoloration, swelling, redness, and bruising. Blisters and scars occur in rare cases. Clients can reduce risk of side effects by avoiding sun exposure for 3 to 5 days before and after each treatment session.
SculpSure was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in 2017 as noninvasive lipolysis. Lipolysis means “the breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis.” SculpSure body contouring in dermatology removes pockets of fat that can be difficult to lose through diet and exercise alone.
Invasive procedures such as liposuction and excision surgery, or ‘tummy tucks,’ used to be the only fat reduction procedures available in Southlake, TX. These surgical procedures pose a risk of complications such as blood clots, infection, or adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Noninvasive fat reduction options were limited to topical treatments until the mid-2000s. The results of topical treatments are not comparable to surgical procedures. SculpSure utilizes lasers to melt subcutaneous fat while leaving the skin intact. It is only the second noninvasive fat reduction procedure available in dermatology.
The most popular SculpSure contouring sites in dermatology are the stomach, love handles, inner or outer thighs, back, and the submental area. The submental area is underneath the chin and more commonly known as ‘double chin.’
What to Expect from the Procedure
Clients have a consultation with medical staff to discuss overall goals and determine treatment areas before the first SculpSure treatment session. Bring a list of current medications to the first appointment and tell the doctor about any medical conditions.
Some dermatologists advise clients to avoid blood thinners for a few days before the procedure, but this is different for everyone. SculpSure is not approved for use during pregnancy.
Clients rest in a comfortable, reclined position during treatment at a dermatology clinic. Medical staff mark the targeted treatment areas and apply a SculpSure device. The device is a hands-free heat laser belt containing four applicators.
Each applicator produces a 1060-nanometer diode laser that reaches temperatures between 107.6 and 116.6°F. The lasers heats up fat cells beneath the skin without harming other tissues. Heat is distributed in a feathering pattern so results appear natural.
The SculpSure device alternates heat and cooling effects to avoid burns and enhance comfort. Each treatment session lasts approximately 25 minutes. Clients can have up to four areas treated at once. Some people feel minor pinching or tingling during the procedure. No anesthesia is necessary, and SculpSure is an outpatient procedure at dermatology clinics.
The process triggered by the SculpSure laser is called apoptosis. Heat kills and shrinks fat cells by disrupting the cellular structure. The lymphatic system removes dead cells from the treated areas. Destroyed fat cells should be entirely gone within 12 weeks of the procedure. Repeated treatments to the same area can be done 6 to 12 weeks after the first treatment.
Side Effects and Aftercare
The most common side effects of SculpSure are soreness and stiffness or bruises over treated areas. Numbness or skin sensitivity may occur for a few days after the procedure. There is no recommended down time so clients can resume their normal daily activities immediately.
Many dermatologists recommend 5-minute massages of the treated areas twice a day for 3 weeks after the procedure. Massage encourages lymphatic drainage and reduces soreness and swelling.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight during the week before the procedure and one week afterwards. Use sunscreen with high SPF during outdoor activities.
SculpSure is classified as a permanent treatment. Eliminated fat cells do not regenerate. Most people notice fat reduction within six weeks and full results are visible 12 weeks after treatment. Cynosure, the company that produced SculpSure, states that one treatment session causes a 24% reduction of fat in treated areas.
Maintaining Results of Cosmetic Procedures
SulptSure produces great results, but it is not a miracle cure. It does not destroy every fat cell in treated areas. The remaining fat cells increase in size when people gain weight after the procedure. Nutritious food, exercise, and a balanced lifestyle are necessary to maintain a healthy weight.
Protect skin from sun exposure and use high-quality skin care products to maintain results of Icon Aesthetic treatment. The helpful medical professionals at Compassion Dermatology in Southlake, TX, can recommend the best products for healthy skin.