San Francisco Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment

Pulse Dye Laser advantages and disadvantages from San Francisco’s finest skin experts at
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What Is the Pulsed Dye Laser?

One of the original lasers, the Pulse Dye Laser (PDL) has been around since the 1980’s and is currently being used in dermatology to treat a variety of vascular and pigmented lesions. Pulsed Dye Lasers utilize an organic dye as the lasing medium instead of solid or gas to treat conditions such as rosacea, broken capillaries, port wine stains, fresh scars, and for spider vein removal.

Pulsed Dye Laser delivers a concentrated beam of light energy into the skin at a wavelength of 595 nm. The light energy instantly gets converted into heat and is absorbed by the red protein in the blood. As it passes through the dermal and epidermal layers, the targeted blood vessels get destroyed while leaving the surrounding tissue intact. Treatments typically take 20-30 minutes and patients may experience a warming sensation as the laser is deployed.

Pulsed Dye Laser Drawbacks and Limitations

The Pulsed Dye Laser’s single focus on vascular wavelengths limits its role as a pigment treatment. Better options exist for patients who are seeking a one stop solution for improving a combination of vascular and pigmentation issues like brown spots, freckles, and sun damage. BBL Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is more effective for addressing both conditions simultaneously with much higher precision.

Since the PDL targets all melanin, including melanin in the skin, extreme caution must be taken with darker skin types to prevent damage to melanocytes (pigment cells) which could potentially cause hypopigmentation (permanent lightening of skin). There’s also a risk of developing hyperpigmentation (patches of darker skin) in individuals of all skin types. Although quite rare, the possibility of infection, atrophic/hypertrophic scarring and bleeding also exists.

Broadband Light (BBL) Offers More Options than Pulsed Dye Laser

Dr. Mosser and the Azala team are proud to offer the Broadband Light BBL by Sciton. Since it’s not a laser which targets only one wavelength, but rather an advanced version of IPL, the BBL emits light at multiple wavelengths. This is a big advantage because not all red and brown pigments are the same color. Therefore, a versatile light-emitting device such as the BBL can help to broaden the range of skin pigment that can be addressed with just one machine.

Stay Forever Young with BBL’s Long-term Anti-aging Program

Eliminating pigment and vascular irregularities is not the only BBL benefit. A ten-year Stanford University study concluded that regular BBL treatments can reverse DNA damage at a cellular level by “changing the expression of genes associated with longevity and aging.” In response, Sciton developed an anti-aging treatment protocol called Forever Young as a long-term solution for younger looking skin.

Forever Young involves an ongoing series of BBL treatments designed to keep one’s complexion radiant and smooth after a patient completes the initial package of corrective BBL sessions. Once any existing vascular and pigmented lesions have been removed, a preventative maintenance program can begin. It consists of performing one 30-minute IPL skin rejuvenation treatment 2-3 times per year to stimulate collagen synthesis, keep the skin free from pigment and increase overall skin health and longevity.

To learn more about the BBL IPL treatment, schedule your consultation with Azala San Francisco today. Contact us at 415-780-1510.

BBL before and after photos male patient vascular lesion improvement BBL before and after photos male patient vascular lesion improvement

BBL (in combination with Halo Fractional Laser) before and after photos male patient hyperpigmentation improvement BBL (in combination with Halo Fractional Laser) before and after photos male patient hyperpigmentation improvement


* Individual results may vary, and not guaranteed.

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