Smoothbeam is a procedure used to reduce the appearance of acne, acne scarring and wrinkles on the face and back. Smoothbeam uses a laser that works by targeting and heating the collagen and sebaceous glands in the dermis (layer of skin under the epidermis) while protection the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). Smoothbeam helps to stimulate the body’s natural collagen-building process. It is considered a multi-effect non-ablative treatment since it does not burn, cut or remove the skin. Since it works beneath the skin’s surface patients may not experience peeling, although redness or changes in pigment may result.
Who is a candidate for Smoothbeam Laser treatments?
Patients who have unwanted acne and/or scars and wrinkles may be suitable for the Smoothbeam procedure. Many patients with acne may choose to combine Smoothbeam with an ongoing medical acne treatment. Other patients whose acne has ceased may use this procedure to help eliminate acne induced scarring.
Who may not be a good candidate for Smoothbeam?
Patients with darker skin may be at an increased risk of hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. A skin test is performed on patients with darker skin tones to ensure that Smoothbeam will not affect the skin in this way. Patients who have had recent sun exposure, or a sunburn, will not be treated until residual effects have been resolved.
What are the possible pre-treatment procedures?
Patients who have taken Accutane, or isotretinoin, for acne may not have a Smoothbeam laser treatment for at least six months or a year after stopping the medication. The skin being treated must not be tanned. Sun exposure should be avoided for 4-6 weeks before the treatment.
Individuals with a history of cold sores in the area being treated will be prescribed an anti-viral medication the day before the procedure, and a few days afterwards. On the day of the treatment, all lotions and makeup must be removed from the area being treated. Anything on the skin may react with the laser.
How is Smoothbeam Laser treatment performed?
First, a topical anesthetic cream is applied for 30 minutes. The patient is then placed in a comfortable position, and the Smoothbeam hand piece is applied to the skin to deliver laser light. Prior to each laser pulse a cooling device, called a Dynamic Cooling Device, is used to protect the skin’s surface. The treatment takes about 20-30 minutes.
Is Smoothbeam Laser safe?
Yes. The Smoothbeam Laser procedure is usually performed by an experienced medical professional. It is seen as a safe way to treat acne, acne scarring and wrinkles.
Are Smoothbeam Laser treatments painful?
As the laser is applied to the skin, the patient feels a sting similar to the snap of a small rubber band against the skin. An anesthetic cream may be applied to the area being treated for 30 minutes prior to the procedure. This treatment ensures comfort during the procedure.
How does the Smoothbeam Laser treat active acne?
The Smoothbeam laser alters the function of the oil-producing sebaceous glands. After a few treatments, it has been shown to reduce outbreaks, and scarring.
What are the possible side effects from Smoothbeam Laser treatment?
It is possible for patients to experience hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin in the treated area), hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin in the treated area), and redness. Scarring is rarely reported. On rare occasions, the Smoothbeam laser is not effective for certain patients. Treated areas may welt or blister which will usually heal within 1-2 weeks.
What may be expected after a Smoothbeam Laser treatment?
Patients may generally return to work, or regular daily activities, directly after a laser treatment. Redness may occur for 1-2 days. Makeup or lotions should not be used until 12 hours after the treatment. To reduce redness, swelling and discomfort, cool compresses may be applied to the treated area.
Gentle skin care is advisable after each treatment, so individuals are urged to avoid scrubbing the area with abrasive cleansers. For the duration of the four to six weeks following each treatment, it is very important to protect the skin from sun exposure with SPF 30 or higher, as well as sun protective clothing.
When do results usually become visible?
Generally, patients have two to six Smoothbeam treatments before results are noticeable. Since Smoothbeam works underneath the outer layer of skin, results appear gradually, with treatments every three to four weeks. New collagen formation starts after the first laser treatment, but takes time to become visibly improved.
How much does a Smoothbeam treatment cost?
The cost of a Smoothbeam treatment is determined by the area being treated, and the number of treatments required. The cost ranges from $300-$500 per session. Discussing costs during consultation with an experienced skin care professional is important as financing options may be available in some cases.
By DermaNetwork.org Staff
Updated: September 29, 2008