Pixel Laser Skin Resurfacing

Questions and Answers

What is the Pixel?

The Pixel is a skin resurfacing laser.

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What is skin resurfacing?

Skin resurfacing involves the removal of a paper-thin layer of skin that is replaced with new skin that is healthier. This  improves texture, pore size, fine lines, pigmentation, and scars.*
*Results may vary.


What makes the Pixel different from traditional resurfacing lasers?

Traditional lasers remove every square millimeter of skin, necessitating a lengthy recovery. With the Pixel, the laser beam is split (fractionated) into numerous tiny beams. Each of these tiny beams creates a tiny hole that is surrounded by healthy skin. This surrounding uninjured skin heals the tiny holes very quickly. About three days of redness follows each treatment. Compare that to one month of recovery for traditional resurfacing.
Only a small percentage of skin is hit by the beams with each treatment. Over the course of several treatments (usually six sessions) with the Pixel, the entire surface will have been removed and replaced, giving you the results of traditional resurfacing without the downtime and risks.*
*Results may vary.

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What conditions can be treated using the Pixel?

Laser resurfacing with the Pixel will bring about improvement in fine lines, skin texture, pigmentation, and shallow scars.*
Smooth rounded acne scars can be treated. Sharp “ice pick” acne scars are much more difficult to treat.

Melasma, the so-called “pregnancy mask”, is resistant to most forms of treatment, but it responds quite well to Pixel.* For sun-type pigment spots (age spots) Pixel is overkill. Photorejuvenation is a better treatment, since it involves no downtime.
*Results may vary.

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Who is a good candidate for Pixel treatments?

in the old days, because of the lengthy downtime and aggressive nature of traditional laser resurfacing, this treatment was generally only used in severely damaged skin. The most common age group was 60-70 year olds. Younger people generally did not have problems severe enough to justify this aggressive treatment. And how many young people can take a month out of their lives for healing time? Acne scarring was the most common exception.
With the brief downtime and safety of the modern fractional resurfacing by the Pixel, much younger people are now being treated. Most commonly this is 40-50 year olds with mild to severe melasma and mild to moderate lines. However, age is only one factor. There are many people in their 60s who are excellent candidates, and many people in their 50s who are poor candidates. The severity of the problem is what matters most.
The Pixel is appropriate to treat shallow acne scarring at any age.

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What skin colors can be treated?

We treat lighter skin colors safely with the Pixel. Darker skin has a high risk of pigmentation changes (increased or decreased pigment).

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How much does it hurt?

There is no easy answer to this question, since pain perception and tolerance varies greatly from person to person.
Generally, the treatment itself is quite easily tolerated. Topical anesthetic creams are applied prior to treatment. With this numbing, most shots are barely felt. Even without numbing, most people would tolerate treatments which feel like repeated skin pricks. 
Immediately following treatment, more topical anesthetic will be applied, because you will start to feel hot like a sunburn. When topical anesthetics are applied to intact skin, you don’t feel it as it goes on, and it takes an hour to work. It’s totally different after a Pixel treatment. Because of all the tiny holes that have been created, the topical anesthetic stings as it goes on. Fortunately, the holes also allow immediate penetration of the anesthetic, and it starts to work in about fifteen seconds. The sunburn sensation and the sting from the anesthetic will both improve in seconds.

What are the risks of Pixel treatment?

Risks are minimal because of the limited surface area that is damaged and the very shallow penetration of the laser.
Because the skin has been disrupted, it is at risk of infection.
Swelling can occur, especially in soft areas like under the eyes.
Bronzing of the skin can occur a few days after treatment and last for a few days.
Hair can be singed. It will grow back, because the Pixel does not penetrate deep enough to damage the follicle itself.
Cold sores can be triggered if you are prone to them.
The Pixel can injure the surface of the eye. You will be provided with goggles during treatment.

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Does Pixel treatment increase my risk for skin cancer?

Absolutely not. The wavelength of light that produces skin cancer is in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum.

The Pixel produces light at the opposite end of the spectrum in the infrared range. It will not cause skin cancer.

Are the results of Pixel treatment permanent?

The Pixel treatment is trying to reverse some of the signs of aging, but it doesn’t stop the aging process. Poor skin texture and fine lines will eventually return. Maintenance treatments are needed, perhaps one treatment annually. You can slow down aging by avoiding the sun, using a full spectrum sunscreen, using topical anti-oxidants like vitamin C serum, and using other anti-aging products.*
Pigmentation will also return, although you can also slow this down by avoiding the sun and by using a full spectrum sunscreen and a topical antioxidant such as vitamin C serum.*
*Results may vary.

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How many treatments will be required?

This varies according to the depth of the problem. Minor texture problems will improve with 2 or 3 treatments. Deeper lines typically need 6 sessions. If the problem is difficult, you may need more. There is no limit to the number of treatments done. As long as you continue to see improvements with each session, you can keep treating.

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Should I avoid tanning prior to treatment?

No one should be tanning. It damages your skin. Specifically in relation to Pixel treatments, you should avoid the sun for two weeks before and after your treatments. If you have had enough sun recently to add color to your skin, that’s too much sun. You run the risk of pigment changes.

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How long do treatments take?

Pixel treatment of the face usually takes 45 minutes. Hands, chest, and neck each take about 30 minutes.

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At what intervals are treatments repeated?

The same area should not be treated again until the skin has recovered. One week or more should be allowed between treatments. We usually book you every 2 to 4 weeks.

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What can I expect following treatment?

Before the treatment is finished your skin will start to feel hot like a sunburn.
You will have thousands of tiny tan-colored spots on your skin immediately after treatment. They will give you an overall appearance of a grid pattern on your skin, like a screen. It takes two to three days for this to subside.  
There will be redness for 24-48 hours, and you will feel like you have a sunburn.
From about day 3 to day 5 you may see bronzing of the skin, like artificial tanning creams.
Skin should be normal in 5-7 days.
Your skin will be very dry for a week or so.
Pigment in the treated area will darken an hour or two after treatment, then gradually fade over about two weeks as the skin does its normal sloughing.*

*Results may vary.


How do I care for my skin and what are my restrictions after treatment?

You should avoid exposure to the sun for two weeks.
During the first two days you should only use the creams provided: topical anesthetic that will relieve the sting, antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection, and cortisone to reduce swelling. We also recommend the use of growth factors like Skin Medica and NeoCutis.
After the first two days you can apply makeup and use sunscreen and moisturizers. However, you should continue to avoid the sun and use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for two weeks following Pixel treatments. We have several excellent sunscreens with broad-spectrum coverage of UV-A and UV-B rays.
You will likely want to stay home for two or three days when the redness and swelling are peaking. Otherwise, there are no restrictions.

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When can I expect to see benefits of Pixel treatments?

Beneficial effects for pigmentation are usually evident after about 2 treatments.
Fine lines should show improvemennt after 3 to 4 treatments.
Scarring takes the longest to improve, 6 sessions or more.
Peak effects are seen 4-6 months after the last treatment as new collagen slowly forms.

Results may vary.

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Does OHIP cover the cost of Pixel treatments?

No. This treatment is considered to be cosmetic.

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Does extended health insurance cover the cost of Pixel treatments?

Generally speaking, the answer is no, but this depends on your policy. Check with your insurance agent.

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Is Pixel treatment eligible for tax credits?

In March, 2010 tax credits cold no longer be claimed for cosmetic treatments.

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How do I book a consultation?

Call (905) 853-3200!

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What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hours notice for cancellation of your consultation or treatment, in order to fill the appointment time. If sufficient notice is not given, the full value of the treatment to be done may be charged. The minimum charge for a missed appointment or late cancellation is $100 (one hundred dollars). If you have booked a package , the missed treatment will be deemed to have been given.

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