Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
What is the Candela Smoothbeam laser?
The Candela Smoothbeam laser is a laser that is designed primarily for the treatment of active acne. It does so by targeting one of the causes of acne, overactive sebaceous glands. The Smoothbeam laser emits a wavelength at 1450 nanometres (nm). This laser wavelength also can also be used to improve wrinkles and acne scarring. One of the advantages of the Smoothbeam laser is that it can be used at levels that require minimal or no downtime, or at higher energy levels to improve results and reduce the number of treatments required.
How does the Smoothbeam laser work to treat active acne?
The Smoothbeam laser emits a wavelength of 1450nm and this wavelength has specific properties that make it capable of treating active acne. 1450nm is a wavelength of light that is in the infra-red spectrum, and is not visible to the naked eye. By using the principles of selective photothermolysis, this laser wavelength is able to target specific structures in the skin, particularly the sebaceous glands – one of the causes of acne.
This 1450nm laser wavelength is primarily attracted to the water in the skin. This wavelength has very little attraction to other structures in the skin such as melanin (the pigment in the skin) and haemoglobin (blood). Another property of this laser wavelength is that it penetrates down to the depth of the sebaceous glands in the skin. As these sebaceous glands contain water, this laser wavelength specifically heats the sebaceous glands and this helps to ‘deactivate’ them and reduce their activity. A subsequent reduction in oil production reduces the degree of acne present.
Where can the Smoothbeam laser be incorporated into an acne treatment program?
As the cause of acne is multifactorial, it is best to treat acne with a variety of modalities. Ideally, the Smoothbeam laser should be used in conjunction with other treatments for acne. Therefore. it may be used with medications, topical agents, and other treatments for acne including LED phototherapy and photodynamic therapy, as recommended by your practitioner. The Smoothbeam laser adds another treatment arm in the fight against acne, helping to get better and faster results.
Alternately, the Smoothbeam laser can also be used in isolation, for example in situations where patients are looking to avoid the use of acne medications or topical agents for acne.
What else can the Smoothbeam laser be used for?
The Smoothbeam laser can also be used to treat atrophic (indented) acne scars and wrinkles. By causing a controlled thermal injury to the skin, new collagen production is induced and this can help to lift atrophic acne scars or improve the texture of the skin. Usually multiple treatments are required for this to happen.
It is in most cases not the primary laser choice one would choose to treat acne scars or wrinkles, as other lasers have more effective results or require less downtime to produce a certain improvement in scarring. However, if one has active acne and wishes to treat it with the Smoothbeam laser, any acne scarring or wrinkles that are present may also benefit secondarily.
More information on other treatments for acne scars and skin resurfacing can be found on the following pages;
Who cannot have Smoothbeam laser treatment?
Those who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or have had the drug Roaccutane (used for severe acne) in the past 6 months cannot have laser treatment.
Those who have olive or darker skin can still have the laser treatment, however treatment parameters are generally lowered for darker skin types. Darker skin types tend to have more problems with pigmentation changes after the laser treatment, and hence we adjust the laser accordingly.
What is involved with Smoothbeam laser treatment?
The first step is to see one of our doctors to determine if this laser is suited to you and if it should be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments for acne. Usually, some anaesthetic cream is applied to the face for about 30-60 minutes prior to the treatment commencing. This helps to reduce any discomfort from the laser. For higher energy treatments, nerve blocks and local anaesthetic injections may be performed to more effectively numb the treatment areas. One of the inbuilt features of the laser that helps to reduce discomfort is its Dynamic Cooling Device or DCD. This device fires a cold spray of cryogen on to the skin just prior to each laser pulse. As well as helping to protect the top layers of the skin from the laser and allow it to more specifically target the deeper parts of the skin, it also helps to reduce any discomfort from the laser pulse.
The laser is then systematically fired over the areas to be treated. For all treatments with the Smoothbeam laser, multiple sessions are required to achieve the best results.The exact number of treatments required cannot be predicted in advance, but will depend on the clinical response achieved.
After treatment with the Smoothbeam laser, your face may appear red and mildly swollen. The recovery period depends on the intensity of the treatment and may range from no recovery time, to approximately one week of recovery. At higher energy levels, it is possible to have scabs and a more significant degree of swelling that can last a week or more. However, the higher the energy the treatment, the less sessions you are likely to require.
Can other lasers or lights be combined with the Smoothbeam laser to improve results?
Yes, the Smoothbeam laser can be combined with other lasers and light treatments to further improve the results. Smoothbeam laser treatments primarily target the sebaceous glands, but not the other main cause of acne – the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes (p.acnes).
The pulsed dye laser is a laser that helps to destroy the p.acnes bacteria by targeting one of the metabolic products of the bacteria, namely porphyrins. The laser causes the porphyrins to produce an oxygen free radical that destroys the bacteria.
LED lights can be used also to target acne. Specialised LED light wavelengths in the blue and red spectrum are used to treat acne. Blue LED light (415nm) can be used and these help to target and destroy the p.acnes bacteria in a similar manner to the pulsed dye laser. Red LED light (620nm) can be used to help reduce the inflammation caused by acne.
Photodynamic therapy is also another way to treat active acne.
Therefore, the Smoothbeam laser can be used in conjunction with other lights and laser therapies to achieve the best results.
What areas can be treated?
What is the cost of Smoothbeam laser treatment?
The cost of Smoothbeam laser treatment depends on the area treated and the intensity of the treatment. Smoothbeam laser treatments can be combined with the Pulsed dye laser and LED light treatments in packages.
All prices are inclusive of GST and are per session. Multiple sessions may be required.
Full face treatment with Smoothbeam laser at low energy $250
Full face treatment with Smoothbeam laser at high energy $990
Full face treatment with Smoothbeam, pulsed dye laser and LED light $450
Upper back laser treatment with Smoothbeam only $350
Full back laser treatment with Smoothbeam laser $600
Why choose The Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of laser treatments?
Having a wide range of lasers available allows us to pick which lasers are best for your skin condition. Our doctors will also be able to look at other modalities for treating your skin concerns.
Making that first phone call can be a confronting task – many of our
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