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Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing - SmartSkin


Cynosure's SmartSkin technology offers multiple settings to refresh the skin safely and effectively.

Fractional resurfacing is a wonderful way to improve the tone and texture of your skin and many skin resurfacing devices are available, making it difficult to choose. At the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American Health & Beauty Editor Keith Veseleny sat down with Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, board certified dermatologist of Cosmetique Dermatology and Laser Plastic Surgery, LLP with offices in Manhattan and Long Island to discuss Cynosure's SmartSkin technology for fractional resurfacing. Many patients and physicians are already familiar with the Affirm CO2 laser, and the company recently renamed this ablative resurfacing device it to separate it from Cynosure's non-ablative Affirm technology.

"[The SmartSkin] is very effective and... it truly is one of those lasers where the patients are comfortable, you can get through a treatment in 15 minutes with very nice results," says Dr. Sarnoff. She says the device is useful for, "people that are wrinkled, have photo damage, acne scarring, people that have photo damage of the face, d'colletage, dorsum of the hands' we can use it for a variety of purposes."
sarnoff smartskin front before and after photo

Many laser technologies can be dangerous for those with darker skin tone, or whose skin would be ranked 4-6 on the Fitzpatrick scale, which classifies skin tone by its ability to absorb light. Those ranked a one are very pale while those ranked a 6 are very dark. SmartSkin sets itself apart with its ability to treat all skin tones. Dr. Sarnoff says, "The fortunate thing is with the way that you can fractionate it and spread out the little microthermal zones, there's a much greater safety profile even for people of color, so yes, you can go up to Fitzpatrick type 6 treatment."

While the treatment is very effective for those who have suffered sun damage, it is not for those who want to continue their tanning ways. "People that look to sunbathe, well I would highly not recommend wasting their money on a procedure, but if they could change their lifestyle then of course they're candidates to reverse some of that damage."
sarnoff smartskin side view before and after photo

Dr. Sarnoff believes that the ability to adjust the intensity of the SmartSkin is one of it's great strengths and it enables her to treat not just any skin type, but any place as well. "I think if you cut down on your energy, and you space out your dots, which would be the same thing as saying you put a higher pitch, meaning that the microthermal zones are spaced far apart and you lower your energy, it can be safe to use this off the face."

SmartSkin can easily be used in conjunction with other procedures so that you can have a full face makeover in only one treatment session. "It's totally possible to combine the treatment with Botox or Dysport, or to combine it with filling agents at the same treatment session. It's possible to combine it with blepharoplasty or facelifting, provided you just stick to an area such as perioral.... So it's very versatile and it can be combined; it can even be combined on the same day to treat broken blood vessels with a different device, with a vascular specific laser, so we use it quite a bit."

The number of treatments needed depends on the amount of damage to be repaired and the patient's goals. The cost also varies greatly based on the amount of time needed with the physician. "I think that if you're going to be very aggressive on the high settings and you're going to need to follow a patient... and you're doing full face with neck, it could be up to $6000 or $7000. I think that if it's just a regional area and you're using lighter settings and there's no need to see the patients frequently in follow up, then it could maybe start at around $1500."
dr. deborah sarnoff
Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff
Dr. Deborah Sarnoff earned her B.A. from Cornell University (summa cum laude) where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine with distinction, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Sarnoff received her residency and fellowship training in dermatologic surgery at NYU. Dr. Sarnoff is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American College of Physicians. She is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at NYU Medical Center and in private practice in Manhattan.

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American Health and Beauty, in an effort to provide the most up-to-date information to our readers, presents the Beauty Tech Review. Our first installment in this ongoing series discusses Fractional Resurfacing technology. Join American Health and Beauty editor, Keith Veseleny, as he speaks with leading physicians who share their knowledge on each laser platform.

The Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing - will include: Dr. Heidi Waldorf on {!Fraxel Re:store Dual | Fraxel} Dr. Etai Funk on Matrix IR Dr. Michael Kaminer on ProFractional Dr. Janee Steinberg on Sandstone Matrix, Dr. Lori Brightman on eMatrix Dr. Deborah Sarnoff on SmartSkin Dr. Christopher Zachary on {!Fraxel Re:pair | Fraxel} and Dr. Bill Johnson on SmartXide DOT Therapy