Oct Feature: Picosure & Profhilo
Picosure and Profhilo are two treatments that were recently introduced at Privé. In this post, Dr Karen Soh shares more details about them, and answers some frequently asked questions about these two treatments.
Q: What is the difference between PicoSure vs the Discovery Pico? How are the machines different, and what does Prive Clinic use now? Or does Prive Clinic use both machines, and why is this so?
A: The differentiating factor for PicoSure is the 755nm wavelength and the specialized Proprietary Focus™ Lens Array.
Alexandrite 755 mn Wavelength – PicoSure utilizes a Picosecond Alexandrite 755 nm wavelength that naturally targets melanin, unlike most other Pico Lasers. With minimized heat, the rapid flashing of the laser creates an intense photomechanical impact which allows more laser shots to be delivered into the dermis.
PicoSure Proprietary Focus™ Lens Array – The main feature of PicoSure Laser is that it has a unique function that uses a patented Proprietary Focus™ Lens Array. It is known to be 20 times more powerful than a normal lens, as it uses a diffractive lens that focuses and redistributes each laser pulse – thereby concentrating energy into hundreds of microspots that looks like beehives. Hence, Taiwanese and Chinese patients coined PicoSure as 蜂巢皮秒.
Privé Clinic uses both Discovery Pico and Picosure, to cater to different individual needs and budget.
Q: How does PicoSure laser help with facial rejuvenation (it’s usually used to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and age spots but how does it help with crow’s feet and wrinkles)?
A: PicoSure’s PressureWave™ technology uses a unique wavelength of light (755nm) and a specialized lens to convert laser energy into gentle pressure. This pressure squeezes cells, activating a natural cell signalling processes that create new collagen and elastin without overheating, burning or damaging the skin. In short, this process creates intra-epidermal laser induced optical breakdown (LIOB), which uniquely creates dermal remodelling hence stimulating new collagen and elastin to plump up fine lines and wrinkles.
Q: Does pigmentation, age spots make you look older than lines and wrinkles? Why is pigmentation and uneven skin tone considered to be signs of ageing as well?
A: Yes, discolorations like age spots and uneven pigmentation can make you appear older than you actually are. They are more obvious than fine lines and wrinkles, and can be visible even from a distance due to the colour difference.
Age spots/ Pigmentation are a result of an excess production of melanin, or skin pigment. As we age, melanin-synthesizing cells known as melanocytes become victim to excess sun exposure, inflammation, free radicals, and hormonal changes. It triggers melanocytes to overproduce melanin and when accumulated over the years, it results in uneven distribution in the epidermis. Hence, pigmentation is often associated with people who are older.
Q: Not all pigmentation is found at the same level within the skin, how does PicoSure laser work on all the different types of pigmentation from freckles and post-acne hyper-pigmentation to more stubborn melasma?
A: With it’s unique 755mn wavelength, PicoSure naturally targets melanin, unlike most other Pico Lasers. This laser is designed to deliver energy so rapidly that it creates an intense photomechanical impact which allows more laser shots to be delivered into the dermis. Picosure’s specialized Proprietary Focus™ Lens Array (Focus Lens), known to be 20 times more powerful than the normal lens, it works by using ultra short laser pulses which breaks down the pigment into tiny dust particles without overheating, burning or damaging the surface of the skin. That is why PicoSure Laser is more effectively absorbed by pigments – which results in fewer sessions required and a higher clearance rate of pigments (from sun spots, to stubborn melasma). Most importantly, there is also a much lower possibility of side effects like Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Q: How do Pico laser and Profhilo treatments complement each another when it comes to keeping skin looking youthful?
A: As lasers tend to dry out the skin for the first few days, Profhilo is one of the most ideal injectable to be paired with lasers for a combination treatment. Profhilo is a bio-remodelling skin treatment that rejuvenates collagen and elastin formation in the skin. With one of the highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid (HA), it not only boosts and hydrates the skin, but also remodels ageing and sagging tissue. At the same time, the laser targets a different skin layer. This combination treatment provides optimal results in skin lifting and hydration, and restoring youthful skin properties.
Q: How does Profhilo stimulate the production of elastin and collagen within the skin?
A: A mixture of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is slowly released in the skin and acts on different layers of the skin to stimulate fibroblasts (to support wound healing), keratinocytes (formation of a barrier against environmental damage) and adipocytes (enhances renewal of cells) for healthier skin.
Due to its patented NAHYCO® technology, L-HA in Profhilo, is released slowly and does not trigger the first inflammatory cytokines making it very biocompatible which provides hydration to the skin especially in the epidermis – achieving the Hydro effect. While, H-HA in Profhilo provides a stable HA architecture in the dermis. This gives a volumetric effect – achieving the Lift effect.
Administering Profhilo involves a specially formulated injecting technique, Bio Aesthetic Point (BAP) that is designed to create strategic lifting and moisture to the face.
Q: What happens to the injected hyaluronic acid in the skin from the Profhilo treatment over the weeks and months? And how can you tell it’s time for a top-up (ie. another Profhilo session)?
A: Profhilo is a stabilised product that lasts in the skin for around 28 days. During this time the stimulation of 4 different types of collagen and elastin takes place by slow release of HA. A single injection point of Profhilo, injected into the dermis layer, will spread 4-5cm, and diffuse into the deeper layers of the skin. Using a unique injecting technique, Bio Aesthetic Point (BAP), there is only 5 injection per side of the face.
The full treatment consists of two sessions, 4 weeks apart. The first session stimulates hydration and provides a volumizing effect. The second session serves to boost and enhance the effects resulting in longer lasting results. The effects of Profhilo is immediate, and continues to improve over 6-8 weeks. A third session can be repeated 6-12 months later depending on individuals.
Q: Besides getting aesthetic treatments like PicoSure laser and Profhilo, what should we do to keep our skin looking youthful for longer?
A: Thoroughly removing any traces of make-up, sunscreen before bedtime every day and a diet rich in whole food and anti-oxidant could go a long way in maintaining clear and radiant skin. It is also important to have enough sleep and manage stress levels well.
Other skin hacks include:
– Use Retinoids, Glycolic acid, Salicyclic acid, Latic Acid.
– Monthly facial treatment for maintenance.
– Limit sugar and alcohol intake (dehydrates the skin)
– Facial massage for proper circulation
– Hydration is key, your skin needs moisture to heal.