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Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing Devices - Cutera Pearl Laser


The Pearl Laser from Cutera clears up age spots and improves skin's texture and tone.

Lasers have heavily affected the medical industry, and aesthetics has been at the forefront of this revolution. Many fractional resurfacing devices use laser energy to help clear the skin of fine lines and wrinkles, and Cutera's Pearl Fractional laser is one of the major devices used. Recently, American Health & Beauty Editor Keith Veseleny interviewed Dr. George Davis, a provider of fractional resurfacing in The Woodlands, TX at Woodlands Wellness & Cosmetic Center about his experiences with the Pearl Fractional laser

"We use the Pearl Fractional for very deep wrinkles and some uneven texture on faces," says Dr. Davis. "A lot of patients are coming in, they've tried other things such as microderms and maybe even some laser treatments and just not getting the results they want, so what we've found is that by adding this, we can actually transform people's skin pretty dramatically within about a month."

The Pearl Fractional is an ablative laser that improves skin through a damage then heal process. As Dr. Davis describes, "It's a fractional device, so what it does is make fine pinpoint holes in the skin so there is oozing and bleeding for about 24 hours." After recovery, patients see skin's texture and tone greatly improved. "It's a great procedure that we've added to our practice up here. At first thought, we thought it would be too much for some patients, thinking that the downtime might be too much but the patients have really taken to it."
davis pearl before and after photo
Actual Pearl Laser results, 4 weeks after treatment

This device is not completely safe for all skin types. Physicians and dermatologists classify skin types using the Fitzpatrick scale which ranks skin from a 1 to a 6 based on it's ability to absorb light. Those who are very pale are a 1 while those who have very dark skin are at a 6. According to Dr. Davis, "Skin types 1 through 3 are prime candidates. I talked to the company about anything deeper and they can't really qualify it as far as saying it's okay, however it's based on our ranking of the person. And actually what we're treating, we can actually go down on the settings for it." The typical patient who undergoes this treatment has, "sun damaged skin, uneven texture, lots of wrinkles - really around the eyes and the mouth, middle aged people ? women and men both."

Dr. Davis says that it doesn't take long to have the procedure done with the Pearl Fractional. "Treatment time is about an hour to an hour and a half. That is from walk in to walk out. You have to come in and get a topical numbing medication placed on your skin. For a lot of patients now, we're starting to use more dental or regional blocks where they don't feel a thing, so during the whole procedure patients don't feel a thing. And that's the only part of this that hurts is the actual procedure. Once it's done, there's no pain associated with it. So once they numb for about 30 minutes then the procedure itself takes maybe about 45 minutes to an hour."

Recovery doesn't take long either. "That is actually in the first 24 hours, you'll have some pinpoint bleeding, oozing, by the time you wake up the next day, it's pretty much resolved. You just have to clean your face and you can go on about your business." There will be some redness as well. "They're very red for about a week, we've had some patients who at about day 3 or 4 will venture out and have lunch. You just can't put any makeup or sunscreen on while you're very red."

Patients see results pretty quickly, within about a month or so. The length of recovery varies depending on the intensity of the treatment. The price also varies based on the time required with the physician. He says the price ranges from about $1200 to $3000.
dr. george davis
Dr. George Davis
Dr. George Davis has over ten years experience as an Emergency Medicine Physician and is board certified by the American College of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Davis graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He attended medical school at The University of Texas-Houston. He completed a transitional internship at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia and completed his Emergency Medicine residency at The University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida where he was Chief Resident during his final year. Dr. Davis is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, American Academy of Anti-Aging, and The International Society of Cosmetogynecology.

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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