Yep. I said it…..Laser doesn’t fix the cause.
It simply removes evidence.
It ‘s like mopping up a leak from a tap… But not fixing the leak. You’ll always have to keep mopping up!!!
Laser cannot change the way a cell functions or malfunctions.
Any clinician can zap away the evidence. It takes a true skin professional to be able to reprogram the factory.
When you see spots on your skin, it’s because your cells responsible for producing colour (your melanocyte cell) is in a stimulated overdrive in the fast lane, creating pigment double time!
The cells around it can’t pick it up quickly enough and so their hands are full and they drop the ball.
Think of a conveyor belt that’s going faster than the collection at the end… It just ends up in a messy pile and all hell breaks loose.
Well…that’s what’s happening when your melanocyte is on overdrive.
Now, laser CANNOT stop the overdrive or help manage the collection point.
All it can do is try to clean up the big pile of mess building up at the end.
Problem not solved. Skin not fixed. Cause still there.
To fix the problem several things need to be done.
1: Find out WHY?:
The pigment ‘conveyor belt’ has gone haywire. You can’t stop it if you don’t know where the malfunction is.
Often times there’s more than one trigger. ALL factors need to be addressed before things will get better. Knowing this will determine the plan of attack and allude to the potential success of your treatment program.
The most common triggers for pigmentation are:
- UV exposure
- Hormone secretions
- Friction/skin trauma
- Chemicals- Fragrances, essential oils, antiseptics/disinfectants (All of which are exacerbated when combined with sun exposure)
This is where we might hit brick walls… I will do everything in my power to work my ass off for your results… but you have your finger on the trigger switch. If you can’t change your habits to reduce the cause… we aren’t going to get anywhere.
2: Slow down the production line:
Now you’ve figured out the cause of the malfunction, it takes a few production cycles (cellular weeks) to ‘calm the farm’ and get things working in harmony the conveyor belt slows down, the catcher cells at the end are better at picking up each delivery (cell to cell communication is slowly restored).
Now…. the pigment conveyor belt has been running amok for a looooong time… slowing it down is going to take some time. Patience is required here. Expect these stages to take anywhere from 3-6 months. We are reprogramming the way things are functioning down in there… it’s taken years for the damage to occur.
3: Repair the system:
The “catcher cells” at the end of the production line need to be rebuilt, strengthened and retrained in how to effectively manage the goods (pigment) coming off the conveyor belt. These cells need to be perfectly healthy in their own right to be able to transfer the pigment to be dispatched and distributed. The process of getting these “catchers” healthy requires time and the right ingredients. This isn’t done overnight. The time that this takes will depend on how well you’ve been looking after your skin…. although with pigmentation issues… It tells me that there’s been a little too much ‘fun in the sun’ so there’s a few systems that will be “down” in the factory that need repair. The more systems down, the longer the repair/retraining/reprogramming process.
Getting this right is crucial and takes a combination of home care products and clinic treatments (catcher cell team meetings) targeting these guys.
4: Protect against future malfunctions:
Your melanocyte has the memory of an elephant. Once he knows how to be naughty, he’s going to do it every chance he gets. So the things that triggered the malfunction before, will trigger it again. So you need to keep on top of it and always be monitoring his activity. Removing the cause is the only way to successfully even out pigmentation. Diligence and care on your behalf is to make sure you are avoiding triggers, doing regular maintenance and always bolstering up your “catcher” cells. If the team is happy, management is happy, you are happy! The system works!!!
Then, and only then, does a Laser Treatment become a valuable tool in the journey.
THIS is what I am doing when I tell you we need to “prepare” your skin for laser treatments. I’m not just trying to keep you in the clinic and sell you more stuff so I can make a buck… you might think this is so because every other clinic you’ve been to have just zapped away without any mention of the above… BUT I am actually working through a process that is going to give you the results you are after. I am taking into consideration all of the processes that are malfunctioning and planning a program to cover all bases!
The article was supplied by Robyn McAlpine, Founder of Laser Effect, Australia
|I've been in the beauty industry 9 (almost 10) years and have a passion for skin anatomy and physiology and believe that this is a vital foundation for any skin therapist.
I am the founder of Laser Effect- a Laser and Skin clinic in Newcastle, NSW, Australia and we specialise in skin correction. I LOVE what we do and how we make clients feel! My team and I are always learning and updating our anatomy and physiology knowledge and using those skills every day with our clients.
I LOVE this industry and want to inspire fellow therapists to think outside the box, below the surface to really change the way we see skin! Not a day goes by that I don't jump out of bed, ready to change the world one skin at a time!
Join Robyn at Skinside Out.