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.
- The Gemini laser is particularly suited to the treatment of vascular conditions such as broken facial capillaries, rosacea, and port wine stains.
- It is also particularly suited for the treatment of pigmentation concerns such as freckles (especially on asian skins), seborrhoiec keratosis, and dermatosis papulosa nigra
What is the Gemini Laser?
There are a number of medical lasers, each designed to target different problems. This page will discuss the Gemini laser, which has two frequencies for the treatment of skin conditions, namely, 532 nanometres (KTP), and 1064 nanometres (Nd:YAG). The light of KTP laser will be selectively attracted to the blood in capillaries and the melanin in skin, making it an ideal laser for treating broken capillaries, rosacea, freckles, sunspots and pigmentation. The Nd:YAG laser is a deeper penetrating laser that can be used to treat spider leg veins, deeper facial veins, and to selectively remove hair follicles for laser hair removal.
What can be treated?
The Gemini Laser at Victorian Cosmetic Institute can selectively treat a variety of skin problems with minimal or no disruption to the surrounding normal skin;
capillaries, and rosacea (532nm KTP)
permanent hair reduction even in darker skin patients (1064nm Nd:YAG)
treatment of pseudofolliculitis or ingrown hairs (1064nm Nd:YAG)
treatment of leg veins, capillaries (1064nm Nd:YAG)
treatment of venous lakes (1064nm Nd:YAG)
#venoslakeport wine stains (532nm KTP)
It is most commonly used on the ; face, neck, chest, back, and hands.
The Gemini laser treats pigmentation with the 532 nm KTP wavelength. The energy from this light is selectively absorbed by the melanin that causes pigmentation. This causes a photo-thermal injury to the melanin, and this leads to its disruption and subsequent removal by the body’s immune system. It generally takes 1 to 3 treatments to lighten or remove unwanted pigmentation with the Gemini laser. With most laser pigmentation removal, the pigmentation becomes darker for approximately one week and then flakes off. The treatments are spaced at least 1 month apart. There is also usually some redness and mild swelling in the treatment areas for a few days after treatment.
Skin pigmentation in most cases is better treated with our q-switched lasers, ie the Medlite and Ruby lasers, that emit much shorter and higher energy pulses than the Gemini laser. However, the Gemini laser does have advantages, especially in those with olive or darker skins which are more prone to complications with lasers. For example, the treatment of freckles or sunspots on Asian skin, olive, or darker skins is best performed with the Gemini laser treatment as it has contact cooling that protects the skin overlying the pigmentation and in comparison to the q-switched lasers has less risk of damage to the skin.
The Gemini laser’s 532nm wavelength does not penetrate very deeply, and therefore pigmentation that is too deep for the laser may not be treatable – for example, melasma, a type of pigmentation caused by the pill or pregnancy, is difficult to treat as it spans many layers of the skin. In some cases it may be appropriate to use the other lasers available at Victorian Cosmetic Institute to remove pigment. The Q-switched Nd:YAG (Medlite) or Ruby laser, which we usually use to remove tattoos, is excellent for deeper skin pigmentation removal.
Case Study Capillary Reduction
The result shown in these photos are after one single treatment with our Gemini laser. The main capillaries were traced over with our smaller laser spot size, and then with a larger spot size, the entire skin was treated. Larger spot sizes are required when the capillaries are too extensive to treat with small spot size tracing. However, treatment with larger spot sizes do cause more swelling than with the smaller spot size, as more energy is delivered to the skin. This patient took approximately 4 days to recover, and experienced swelling and redness during this time. She was very pleased with the results, and there was a significant reduction in her redness, as well as some improvement in the pigmentation. She will go on to have further treatments to improve the result.
Case Study Capillary Reduction 2
This patient had concerns with redness and visible capillaries or blood vessels on her skin. It would usually take a fair amount of make up to disguise the capillaries. However, after treatment using our Gemini laser, it was possible to reduce her redness and capillaries was reduced significantly. The Gemini laser emits a wavelength that is specifically attracted to oxyhaemoglobin in blood, which allows it capillaries to be specifically heated and shut down.
Case study - asian pigmentation
This 37 year asian female presented with concerns about her sunspots/freckles. She had one treatment with the Gemini’s 532nm wavelength. Recovery time was 7 days where the pigmentation became darker, scabbed and fell off. Note that the moles were not treated and cannot be treated by the Gemini laser.
Treatment of raised spots
Some raised spots or skin lumps and bumps on the face, neck and body can be treated with the Gemini laser. Note that moles (naevi) and skin cancers cannot be treated with the Gemini laser.
Seborrhoiec keratosis, which are raised brown spots that look like a ‘stuck-on sultana’ can be treated with the Gemini laser’s 532nm wavelength. A very high energy setting is used to ablate the raised tissues. The lesion becomes grey and then scabs and flakes off. Usually 1-2 sessions are required for this treatment.
Deramtosis papulosa nigra are raised dark brown/black spots usually seen on the cheeks of olive or darker skinned patients. They look like ‘stuck-on coco pops’. Again a very high energy setting is used on the 532nm wavelength which ablates these lesions.
Case Study - dermatosis papulosa nigra on face
This patient had dermatosis papulosa nigra removed from her cheeks with the Gemini laser. She required only one treatment. A mole on her upper lip was excised surgically.
Case study - dermatosis papulosa nigra on neck
This female in her fourties presented with dermatosis papulosa nigra on her neck that she wanted removed. The Gemini laser’s 532nm wavelength was used to remove these, and the results are shown here after one treatment. There were a few lesions remaining and she proceeded to have another treatment to remove the remaining lesions. Also, by using a different handpiece on the Gemini laser, we were able to treat the redness (poikiloderma of civatte) on her neck and chest.
Capillaries and rosacea
The Gemini laser treats facial capillaries and rosacea with the 532 nm KTP laser. The energy from this light is attracted to oxyhaemoglobin, a constituent of blood. This closes off any superficial blood vessels and reduces capillaries, redness, and flushing. Usually 1 to 3 treatments are required at monthly intervals. Because of its specificity to oxyhaemoglobin, the KTP laser is one of the best lasers for facial capillaries. There usually is some facial swelling after the procedure, and this may last for 3 days. There may also be an increased amount of redness (temporary) following the treatment.
Case study - facial redness and capillaries
This man presented with a large number of broken capillaries over his face, including a cherry angioma on his right cheek. The after picture shows his face after two treatments with the gemini laser with the 532nm wavelength which is attracted to oxyhaemoglobin (blood).
Case Study - spider haemangioma on face
This young patient presents to Victorian Cosmetic Institute with a facial capillary known as a spider haemangioma. Immediately after a few pulses with the Gemini laser, the spider haemangioma has been closed off, and no longer fills with blood. Click here for more information about capillaries and rosacea
Case study - capillaries on nose
This man presented to Victorian Cosmetic Institute with concerns about the broken capillaries on his nose that was making his nose appear a different colour. He has previously had a lot of sun exposure. After one treatment with the Gemini laser he improved the above ‘after’ picture. He subsequently had another Gemini laser treatment to remove the remaining vessels.
Laser hair removal/treatment of pseudofolliculitis (in-grown hairs)
** note that our preferred laser for laser hair removal at Victorian Cosmetic Institute is the Apogee laser.
Long term hair reduction can be achieved with the Gemini’s 1064nm Nd: YAG laser. The laser is selectively absorbed by the melanin present in the hair follicle. As a result, very fine, light or grey hairs can not be treated. The laser induces death of the hair follicle stem cell which can lead to permanent hair reduction – as opposed to plucking or waxing which only temporarily removes the hair. Generally 6 to 8 treatments are required at 4 to 8 week intervals. The amount of hair reduction achieved is in the order of 60 to 80%. One of the main advantages of the Nd:YAG laser is that it is the safest hair removal laser for darker skins. It is also particularly suited to the treatment of ingrown facial and neck hairs.
Treatment of spider leg veins and deeper facial veins
The 1064nm Nd:YAG can be used to reduce the presence of small spider leg and deeper facial veins. The 1064nm wavelength penetrates through the skin and the energy from this laser is absorbed by the haemoglobin in the leg/facial veins and this closes it down. This wavelength penetrates the skin deeply, and reaches targets than cannot be reached with the 532nm wavelength. Note that only spider leg veins and not varicose veins are treatable with this laser. It generally takes 1 to 2 treatments spaced at montly intervals to improve the appearance of leg/facial veins. Mostly, these veins disappear immediately after treatment, but some can be partially disrupted and take a few weeks to reduce.
Case Study - facial veins
This 28 year old female presented with concerns about her facial veins that were present in both cheeks and more visible if she distended her cheek with her tongue. She had 2 treatments with the Gemini laser’s 1064nm wavelength to help shut down these veins. There was some mild redness that persisted for 2 days. There were no complications from the procedure.
Treatment of venous lakes
Venous lakes are blue to violet lesions that are usually found on the lower lip or ears. They are a dilation of the underlying veins, and can be usually treated in one session with the Gemini laser’s 1064nm wavelength. A distinct popping sound is heard when the venous lake is treated.
Port wine stain treatments
Port wine stains are congenital vascular malformations in the skin that lead to a reddish/purple discolouration of the skin. The 532nm wavelength from the Gemini laser is highly attracted to the haemoglobin (blood) in this birthmark. This shuts down the abnormal vessels, and reduces the discolouration of the skin. Usually multiple treatments are required, and commonly, complete resolution is not achieved.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute to perform your laser treatment?
At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we use the latest laser technology to perform your treatment. The Gemini laser is an extremely safe and effective laser for the removal of pigmentation and capillaries. Due to its specificity, it can be a lot safer and effective than other IPL systems/treatments.
Our doctors are also highly experienced in laser treatments, and will be able to give you the best advice for your treatment.
The first step is simply contacting us for your initial laser skin rejuvenation consultation, where we will discuss with you what is a realistic and achievable outcome, and what to expect from your laser treatment.
Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.
It’s as easy as clicking either of the buttons below and completing the provided form.
Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.