Fractional resurfacing with the Icon 1540 is much less invasive compared to ablative laser procedures, resulting in a faster recovery time. Most patients experience minimal downtime, with some mild redness and swelling for a couple of days. Since these treatments are fractionated and less invasive, generally 3 – 5 sessions are recommended for full results. These are performed every 2 – 6 weeks. Fractional skin resurfacing with the 1540 nm erbium laser is also much safer and avoids the side effects and complications that are associated with non-fractionated lasers.
The ICON 1540 can be used on scars and stretch marks anywhere on the face or body. However, when used to address fine lines and skin texture, the best results are seen when used on the face.
Due to the 1540 nm wavelength of the laser, the ICON 1540 can be used to safely treat patients with darker skin.
The ICON 1540 is an excellent treatment option for surgical scars, acne scars, and stretch marks. Since the laser induces the production of new collagen, it can be used to plump the skin and resurface depressed scars.
The ICON 1540 works best for shallower acne scars, such as rolling scars. It works by heating the deeper layers of the skin in order to promote the growth of new collagen in the dermis. With deeper acne scars, ablative fractionated laser resurfacing may be a better option.
In February 2010, the Palomar ICON 1540 (now called the ICON 1540) non-ablative fractional laser handpiece received the first clearance by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of striae (stretch marks) using a fractional laser. Stretch marks are extremely common, found in 90% of pregnant women and 70% of adolescent females. The ICON 1540 treats stretch marks by causing collagen shrinkage and tightening the skin. Typically 5 – 6 treatments are recommended for stretch mark improvement.
Top 5 Things Treated with the Icon Fractional Laser
- Acne Scarring: There are many treatment options for acne scarring; however depressed, acne scarring is best treated with lasers.
- Surgical or Traumatic Scars:This laser can improve scars from prior cosmetic surgeries, C-section scars, orthopedic or general surgical scars, traumatic scars, or burns.
- Skin Resurfacing:Improve skin texture, tone, and other irregularities of the skin. Reverse signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. Experience brighter, tighter, and smoother skin.
- Stretch Marks: This can help the appearance of stretch marks due to pregnancy, growth spurts, or fluctuations in weight.
- Melasma: Melasma is a skin condition that causes patchy brown discoloration of the face that can be caused by medications, hormones, pregnancy, or direct sunlight.
How are the Icon 1540 treatments performed?
The skin is first cleansed to prepare it for treatment. During treatment, the laser handpiece is applied directly to the skin. The handpiece uses a strong built-in cooling technology to the protect the outer skin and minimize any discomfort. While there is some slight discomfort, this is minimized by the cooling mechanism of the handpiece the use of topical numbing.
What should patients expect after Icon 1540 treatment?
During the first 24 hours after treatment, the skin may feel mildly sunburned, sensitive, and somewhat swollen. Since the treatments are non-ablative and the skin surface is intact, there is no oozing from the skin. Over the next few days, the skin may appear slightly bronzed, which can be easily covered with makeup. There may be some flaking as well, which can be improved by using a moisturizer.
Patients should avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process and during the first 3 months after treatment. Application of sunscreen is also recommended.
Although many patients will see a positive change within a few days, due to the swelling effect from the treatment, optimal results usually occur after 2 to 3 months. This allows for complete healing and replacement of new collagen and elastin.
The ICON 1540 treatments are more effective if performed in a series of sessions. Each session treats approximately 20 – 25 % of the skin. Clinical studies indicate that an effective treatment regimen involves 3 to 5 treatments, spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart. Certain conditions, such as severe acne scarring, may require more treatments for optimal results.