Laser

Laser in Sydney

Are you considering laser in Sydney?

Our state of the art medical grade Cutera laser platform can deal with a range of problems, including:

Also review our laser specific website – Norwest Laser Clinic.

What is laser?

LASER is an abbreviation for Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation. The physics is based on theories of Albert Einstein in 1917, but it took until 1960 for an independent group of scientists to build a working machine.

This is the VERY short version of how lasers work.

A laser is made up of 4 components:-
– An active (lasing) medium
– An excitation source
– Rear reflecting surface
– A partially reflecting surface or output coupler

The type of active medium usually gives the laser it’s name. For example lasers that have a CO2 active medium are CO2 lasers. The active medium is stimulated by the excitation source and light energy builds up within a laser cavity. Once the energy exceeds the retaining ability of the output coupler, those light photons are released as a laser beam. While lasers can be used in a variety of different contexts, our laser in Sydney is used for skin care.

How is laser different from normal light?

Laser light is different from normal light in that it is organised, and exhibits the following properties:

– It is monochromatic – all photons are the same wavelength
– It is collimated – all photons travel in a parallel fashion
– It is coherent – all photons travel in the same direction, synchronously (they are in phase)

In many ways, comparing light to laser is like comparing a crowd of people in a mall to a regiment of marching soldiers. Laser in Sydney is much more concentrated and focused.

How is laser different from Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)?

Intense Pulsed Light is by definition NOT a laser, but works by similar principles. An IPL machine delivers light wavelengths from 500-1200nm. The light is not organised the way that laser is. However the release of a large pulse of light within that bracket has some therapeutic effects. IPL is well known for its efficiency in hair reduction, but also has applications in treating pigmented lesions, birth marks and some vascular lesions.

Due to the variation in wavelengths that are produced, there is variation in the depth of penetration from very superficial to deeper targets. By using a cut-off filter the laser therapist can tailor the bracket of wavelengths that are produced and therefore control the target pigment and depth.

How does laser in Sydney work?

Light interacts with tissues by :-

– Reflection – like light off a mirror
– Transmission – like light through glass
– Absorption – like the feeling of the sun on your skin
– Scatter – like the random scatter of a bunch of billiard balls

Longer wavelengths of light (or laser) have less scatter and deeper penetration of tissues – much in the way that sea swells are cleaner and more wave producing than wind chop on the ocean.

Generally absorption is a function of how well the wavelength of the light (or laser) matches up with the colour of the target tissue (chromophore). Melanin or dark pigment absorbs different light wavelengths than red blood cells or water in the skin’s dermis.

Once laser is absorbed by a chromophore, it exerts its effect by one of several methods:-

– Thermal (heat)
– Vaporisation
– Coagulation
– Mechanical
– Photochemical

Thermal effects on tissue are related to the rate of heat absorption and relaxation of the tissues. When tissues absorb a lot of heat quickly, they will reach 100C and vaporize – the effect that we achieve with skin resurfacing lasers.

Coagulation is a slower absorption of heat, to a lower temperature (60C), much like gently cooking an egg white. It is this denaturing of proteins that we rely on to help close off blood vessels that we treat with laser.

Mechanical effects of lasers mostly relate to the absorption of energy by pigments that result in a shock wave or cavitation of the tissues that hold those pigments. This is important in certain uses of laser in Sydney, such as laser tattoo removal.

Low dose laser treatments can stimulate increased turnover of cells, enhancing recovery and can modify to some extent the appearance of skin by encouraging the growth of some cells whilst discouraging others. These photochemical effects are the basis of photodynamic therapy and Cutera Genesis treatments.

How can laser in Sydney target only some tissues within the skin?

Selective photothermolysis is the use of light energy of a specific wavelength to target a susceptible tissue (chromophore) without damaging surrounding tissues. It is best demonstrated by considering hair reduction – pigment in the hair shaft and hair producing cells is coagulated without denaturing the paler skin. This is why laser in Sydney works best for hair removal when the hair is significantly darker than the surrounding skin.

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