The Clear & Brilliant laser system fills a niche in our practice between chemical peels (which we offer in two strengths – light and medium) and the MATRIX fractionated CO2 laser. Like chemical peels, these treatments are reasonably priced. Their advantage is that they have little downtime and that they treat the entire surface of the skin.
The Clear & Brilliant system is a laser system so it penetrates more deeply into the skin than a peel. The laser spots are applied to the skin in such a manner as to leave tiny amounts of untreated skin to help with the healing process. The same concept applies to any fractionated laser system such as the fractionated CO2 laser (which is our most aggressive laser with the longest downtime but also gives the most effect in the right skin type).
The Clear & Brilliant system has two options. The “original” handpiece helps with overall skin texture – fine lines and the appearance of pores, which tend to enlarge with aging. The skin will feel better to the touch. Your face will be red for a few hours, and you may look slightly puffy for a few days, but you should be able to go to work the next day and resume your normal activities as well. However, any sun exposure should be limited for four or five days. Each laser spot will cause a tiny scab and a faintly gravelly texture which can be felt, but not seen, until it falls off on about day five. This is an advantage over peels which do have visible skin peeling.
The Permea handpiece is lighter but more effective for pigmentary changes and helps to give a more uniform skin tone. It is called “Permea” because the mild injury of the laser is designed to temporarily make the skin more permeable to skin care products such as vitamin A or C. Permea apparently helps with “radiance” of the skin. A word about hyper-pigmentation: if you have melasma as opposed to the usual pigmentary changes that occur with sun damage or aging, we will proceed with caution as melasma can be resistant to change and actually worsen with aggressive skin treatments. The Permea treatment has no down time.
Essentially everyone will benefit from sunblock with good UV block and a retin-A product, but beyond that, patients will get best maintenance from the addition of peels and laser options. A complete skin care program would include a variety of periodic skin care interventions (lasers or peels) at whatever time interval you feel is appropriate.
It will be a pleasure to discuss the Clear & Brilliant system with you. If you have any questions, please call my office (804-320-8545).