New laser helps reduce signs of aging with less down time


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER

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Posted on October 22, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 22 at 7:01 PM

AUSTIN -- A new, skin laser treatment promises greater results in shorter amount of time.

It may be late October, but with temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 80s, many Austinites flock to Barton Springs Pool to take in some rays. Whether it's the fall, winter, spring or summer, the sun's rays come at a price.

"We get sun damage," said Jessica Saunders, an Austin resident.

Saunders is 31. Still, she knows it's never too early to start taking care of your skin.

"I don't want wrinkles and all this sun damage on my skin," said Saunders. "We only have our skin one time, so we might as well take care of it."  

Saunders also knows avoiding sun damage is nearly impossible, especially when you live in a sunny locale like Austin. That's why she's trying out a new laser treatment called Clear and Brilliant. Unlike the larger, Fraxel laser devices at Westlake Dermatology which put more emphasis on skin tightening and wrinkles, the smaller, Clear and Brilliant laser uses a more superficial setting to address pigmentation and fine lines -- all with significantly less down time.

"I think a lot of physicians have a race car or Ferrari mentality," said Gregory Nikolaidis, M.D., Dermatology.  "If you can do a little bit, a little bit more is better.  However if you look at it from the perspective of the patients, they want a quick turnaround time.  They're willing to give up a little bit in results if they can go back to work the next day or go back and take care of the kids the next day."  

"(With) Fraxel you are out with two weeks," said Saunders. "No one really has two weeks to be out.  I have two young kids, so it's always go, go, go. I can't be at home for two weeks with a red face."

"Something like this, you have it done, you are pink for a couple of hours, and you are back to your regular, everyday life."

Saunders says the Clear and Brilliant procedure delivered on its promises.

"It's pain free, and I will be done in 20 minutes," she said. "I don't have to get numb, and tomorrow nobody will know that I have had it done."

Dr. Nikolaidis says the Clear and Brilliant laser procedure costs about $300. That's about half of the price of the traditional, Fraxel laser treatments.

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