A New Laser Promises to Erase Hyperpigmentation With Zero Downtime
They firm. They tighten. They smooth. They erase. Is there anything a laser can’t do for your skin these days? In a world focused on healthy skin, beauty and beating the clock against aging, lasers are often the best-kept secret to looking that much better.
With dozens upon dozens of different laser technologies out there, selecting the right one for you comes down to quite a few different things. Downtime, or how much recovery time and for how long you need to hide out at home because the sight of your just lasered skin is enough to scare someone back to Tuesday, is usually deciding factor number one. Everyone wants better skin, but we all want it now, with no waiting.
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The Enlighten PICO Genesis laser promises to do just that and a whole lot more. “It’s a two-in-one laser procedure that can achieve pretty dramatic results in terms of reducing unwanted pigment and evening out the skin tone with basically little to no downtime,” says Miami dermatologist Jeremy Green, MD. “The picosecond lasers—there are three of them currently on the market—were initially designed to be tattoo removal lasers. But now we are using the technology for so much more, including pigment.”
Although the laser is essentially a whole lot of energy packed into a shorter duration of pulses, it isn't any more painful than other lasers available—it’s actually not supposed to hurt—and is said to feel like a rubber band snapping on skin (keep in mind you’ll need anywhere from three to five treatments to see full results with yearly maintenance sessions, too).
Dr. Green says your doctor can choose one of two (or both) lights to target what you’re trying to fix. “The green light, which is a 532 light and the best for targeting pigment, works on dark spots and even freckles to really get at the pigment. Then, it can be switched over to the invisible infrared light, which rejuvenates skin by waking up fibroblasts deep down to stimulate collagen.”
So why would you choose Enlighten over anything else on hand at your doctor’s office? “This is really for the patient who has pigment concerns but doesn’t want to deal with an aggressive laser. You would choose this if you want absolutely no downtime at all,” says Dr. Green. There’s no bleeding with it like there is with other lasers. "The brown spots get kind of dark, like they do with IPL. But, in my opinion, this is way better than IPL at targeting pigment.”
A popular procedure in Asia where even skin tone is the cornerstone of a perfect complexion, Dr. Green adds that Enlighten also offers some hope for those who suffer from melasma. “It can even help with a little bit of the redness, even though that’s not its main purpose.” And, unlike some fractional lasers that can instigate breakouts, Dr. Green says that’s not a worry at all because the technology is totally different and doesn’t work like a fractionated device.
While you won’t find Enlighten in every doctor’s office just yet—there may be only a few machines in each major city right now—the price point isn’t too bad, either. A single session can run anywhere from $300 to $700, but like everything else in life, there’s definitely a price to pay for beautiful skin.