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Lasers and Innovative Skin Care Techniques

By: Mona Sappenfield
Posted: June 24, 2008, from the February 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

By 1998, the staff of the Mona Spa and Laser Center certainly had seen enough laser skin resurfacing crises than we were willing to speak about. The professional quintessence of my search for safe laser use in tandem with skin care techniques took place when one of my clients came to me, distressed, just two weeks after undergoing a CO2 laser resurfacing. She screamed, “I could stab that surgeon in the heart with that laser for not telling me I was going to look like this! Help me, please!”

At the time, I needed to decide on which laser to invest in for the clients of our waxing hair removal business that generates $100,000 annually. In 1999, the spa’s early entry into the laser business involved renting intense pulsed light (IPL) equipment, which was discovered later to be problematic when treating dark skin. I soon learned that all lasers are not alike.

Coming into the light

For three years, the use of Nd:YAG 1064 lasers has rejuvenated our spa’s business, as well as our clients’ skin. Because the combination of high-tech results and soft-touch spa techniques is in increasingly high demand, estheticians are faced with the challenge of charting innovative skin care for surgery practices and other specialty physicians who are eager to experience growth by capitalizing on the explosion of the popularity of the spa and wellness industries.

Light-based equipment selection can be sorted most efficiently by identifying the most common Fitzpatrick Skin Type represented within your market demographic, the educational parameters for application, pain-management issues, the wattage needed, your state’s regulatory laws and your experience in administering treatments.

It is important to offer a versatile range of laser- and light-based technology for busy clients who desire a no-downtime anti-aging procedure. Schedule client consultations for laser technicians one hour before the actual treatment, allowing them time to learn about the client’s top skin concerns, the condition of the complexion, pertinent medical history and current medications, as well as to inform the person fully before they consent to undergo laser procedures.