These very short-pulse lasers focus on pigmentation issues like freckles, sun spots, melasma and even unwanted tattoos.

What Is the Q-Switched Laser?

These are very advanced lasers that specifically focus on different kinds of pigment issues — even very faint freckles and sun spots — at specific wavelengths of 1064 nm and 532 nm.
This rapid emission of the short pulse minimizes heat, making the treatment safe and comfortable for patients.

What’s the Hollywood Laser Peel®?

The Hollywood Laser Peel, also known as the “Hollywood Glow” or “carbon toning laser,” is a popular, gentle Q-switched laser treatment that aims to rejuvenate the skin and create a smooth, radiant complexion without pain and also without downtime. It is often favored by celebrities because it effectively enhances skin appearance without downtime, making it ideal before red-carpet events.

This treatment involves applying a thin layer of carbon solution to the face, which penetrates the skin’s pores. The Q-switched laser is then used to heat and remove the carbon along with a very fine layer of skin. It delivers energy and stimulates collagen production beneath the skin’s surface.

The Hollywood Laser Peel makes the skin look more luminous and helps minimize mild discoloration (like from recent acne lesions) without pain or downtime. Because it is so gentle, the treatment can be repeated at regular intervals to maintain its effects without damaging the skin.

What Do the Q-Switched and PicoSecond Lasers Treat?

The Q-switched/PicoSecond lasers are adept at addressing a variety of pigmentation concerns, including:

  • Freckles: Small, brownish spots on the skin, often becoming more pronounced with sun exposure
  • Sun spots (solar lentigines): Flat, brown spots that develop on areas of the skin frequently exposed to the sun, like the face and hands
  • Melasma: A condition characterized by brown to gray-brown patches, typically appearing on the face, especially the forehead, cheeks, upper lip and chin
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH): Dark spots or patches that appear on the skin following acne, eczema or other inflammatory skin conditions
  • Café-au-lait spots: Light to dark brown birthmarks on the skin, often oval in shape
  • Nevus of Ota: A blue or grayish pigmentation that appears on the face and eyelids, usually from birth or early childhood
  • Tattoos: While not a natural skin pigmentation, tattoos are pigment changes introduced into the skin that can be lightened or even possibly completely removed with Q-switched laser or PicoSecond lasers

Who Are Good Candidates for the Q-Switched Laser?

You might be an ideal candidate for a Q-switched laser treatment if you’re seeking a solution for specific pigmentation issues or aiming for an overall rejuvenation of your skin’s appearance. Individuals with light to dark-pigmented lesions who desire an even skin tone can greatly benefit from this treatment. It’s essential to have realistic expectations and be in good overall health.

A personalized consultation with one of our Board-Certified Dermatologists can determine if the Q-switched laser aligns with your goals.

Preparing for Q-Switched Laser Treatment

To prepare for your treatment, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid sun exposure: Minimize sun exposure to the treatment area for at least two weeks prior.
  • Skin care products: Exfoliating and irritating products may need to be paused for up to a week; our team will guide you.
  • Medication: Inform our Board-Certified Dermatologists about any medications you’re taking, as some adjustments may be necessary.

What to Expect During Your Q-Switched Laser Procedure

Your Q-switched laser session will begin with a thorough cleansing of the treatment area. Eyewear is provided to protect your eyes from the laser light. As the device is passed over your skin, you may feel a slight warming sensation, but discomfort is minimal. The entire procedure can vary in duration, depending on the extent of the area being treated.

Watch our video of Dr. Cohen performing a Q-switched laser treatment to see the laser in action.

How Many Q-Switched Laser Treatments Will I Need?

Most patients benefit from a series of treatments spaced out every three to four weeks. The number of treatments you will need depends on several factors, including the specific skin condition being treated, the severity of the pigmentation or concern, your skin type and your desired outcomes.

Here’s a general guideline based on common conditions treated by the Q-switched laser:

  • Mild pigmentation issues such as light freckles or minor sun spots may significantly improve after just one to three treatments.
  • Moderate conditions like melasma, moderate sun spots and most other types of hyperpigmentation typically require three to five sessions for optimal results.
  • Deep pigmentation issues, including Nevus of Ota and tattoos, often necessitate five to 10 treatments, sometimes more, to achieve the desired lightening or removal.
    • For tattoo removal, the intervals may be extended to six to eight weeks apart to allow the body time to eliminate the broken-down ink particles.

It’s vital to have a consultation with one of our Board-Certified Dermatologists, who can assess your specific situation and provide a personalized treatment plan. They will consider the unique characteristics of your skin and pigmentation issues to recommend the most effective treatment regimen to meet your goals.

Recovery After Q-Switched Laser Treatment

Recovery is generally swift after the Q-switched laser, allowing most individuals to resume their normal activities almost immediately. Mild redness and swelling may occur after treatment but typically subside within a few hours. Dark spots may temporarily appear darker and then look like dispersed small dots (a coffee ground-like appearance) for a couple of days before becoming lighter.

Follow a gentle skin care regimen for at least a week after treatment, and protect your skin from the sun to promote the best healing and results.

What Results Can I Expect From the Q-Switched Laser?

After undergoing Q-switched laser treatments, you can anticipate noticeable improvements in the clarity and tone of your skin. Results gradually become apparent as the skin heals and regenerates, with optimal outcomes often seen after a series of treatments.

The longevity of results can vary and be influenced by factors such as your skin care routine and sun exposure.

Can I Combine the Q-Switched Laser With Other Laser Treatments?

The precision and effectiveness of the Q-switched laser make it a favorite choice for comprehensive skin rejuvenation when used in conjunction with the Thulium laser. The Q-switched laser targets specific areas or spots of darker pigmentation, while the Thulium laser is applied to the whole face to uniformly enhance skin tone and texture.

Discover the AboutSkin Difference Near Denver, CO

At AboutSkin Dermatology and Aesthetics, nestled near the vibrant heart of Denver, CO, excellence in skin care meets personalized attention. Under the expert guidance of our Board-Certified Dermatologists, led by the internationally renowned Dr. Joel L. Cohen (FAAD, FACMS), we are dedicated to elevating your skin health to new heights. Dr. Cohen, acclaimed for his profound contributions to aesthetics and skin cancer management, leads our team with a commitment to cutting-edge dermatological science and cosmetic breakthroughs.

Banish Stubborn Dark Spots With the Q-Switched Laser

With its blend of precision, effectiveness and minimal downtime, the Q-switched/PicoSecond lasers offer a promising solution for specific pigmentation issues. If you’re ready to explore how this laser can enhance your skin’s appearance, schedule your consultation today. Join us at the forefront of dermatological and aesthetic excellence, where your path to radiant skin is illuminated by leaders in the field.

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