One laser, five treatments: Achieving a Contoured Visage with the Fotona5D Laser Lift
As appeared in Channel NewsAsia on 24 December 2020
The wisdom that age brings is likely the only aspect of getting older that one can appreciate. Those outwardly visible signposts of ageing, however — wrinkles, saggy skin and a rough-textured appearance — are features that many wish were not so readily apparent.
While exercise and a healthy diet go a long way in maintaining a youthful appearance, more people are opting for non-invasive skin tightening procedures. Treatments such as Thermage, Ultherapy, HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) and Fotona4D are preferred because they are not as scary as the prospect of undergoing facelift surgery, or receiving anti-ageing injectables such as Botox and fillers.
These treatments, however, do not address skin in other areas besides the face and neck. Dr Gabriel Wong, medical director of SL Aesthetic Clinic, shared: “After having done many Fotona4D treatments, we noticed that many patients have issues with age-related skin laxity near the frontal hairline and back of the neck, which in turn affects how other areas look.”
Looking to improve upon the original Fotona4D protocol that was introduced in 2017 and tackle this issue, the doctors at SL Aesthetic Clinic developed the Fotona5D Laser Lift this year. The treatment offers benefits similar to Botox and filler injections, and better results compared to other non-invasive skin tightening procedures, the SL Aesthetic Clinic team says.
Dr Wong explained: “Fotona5D addresses a much larger area than Fotona4D, Thermage, Ultherapy and HIFU. Tightening the skin over the frontal hairline has a lifting effect on the eyebrows while tightening the skin over the back of the neck improves the appearance from the front.”
He added that the Fotona5D Laser Lift treatment is recommended for those who have experienced loss of skin firmness and skin laxity resulting in saggy skin, wrinkles and age spots, as well as deepening nasolabial folds, or smile lines as they are commonly known. The treatment can also improve surface-level issues like uneven skin tone and texture.
FIVE STEPS TO TIGHTER SKIN
Building on the existing Fotona4D treatment, the Fotona5D Laser Lift includes an extra step that uses Smooth Erbium Laser to further tighten the whole face and neck.
The five-step treatment begins with the SmoothLiftin non-ablative Er:YAG laser treatment that concentrates on raising the temperature of the mucous membrane inside the mouth, stimulating collagen contraction and production. The result is a tightening of the facial skin from the inside out.
The next step targets imperfections in the epidermis and dermis, the two outermost layers of the skin, using the FRAC3 fractional laser treatment. During this stage, a different wavelength of laser is used (Nd:YAG) to penetrate the skin, promoting rejuvenation and collagen growth just below the surface.
After that, the patient undergoes Fotona’s PIANO treatment that delivers controlled heat in long laser pulses to deep layers of the skin, skipping the epidermis. This kick-starts the strengthening of skin structures and eventually helps to tighten the skin.
The fourth stage of the treatment is where SL Aesthetic Clinic’s proprietary extra step – SmoothFirming – comes into play. Extending the areas of focus to the back of the neck and hairline, the Smooth Erbium Laser heats the skin and initiates neocollagenesis (collagen formation), resulting in an overall improvement of elasticity in the treated areas. This in turn, affects the visible tautness of the entire facial area.
The final step of the Fotona5D Laser Lift is the SupErficial laser peel that gently exfoliates and smooths skin surfaces, helping to improve the appearance of fine lines while removing dead skin cells to produce a healthy glow and smoother skin.
EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT
Downtime is not an issue when it comes to the Fotona5D Laser Lift treatment. As each of the five treatments uses non-ablative lasers, heat is generated below the skin, leaving the outermost layer free from harm. This means that the recovery process is fast with minimal downtime; there might be redness and mild peeling for a day or two before brighter and smoother skin is revealed.
While it may surprise some that the Fotona5D procedure lasts around one to one and a half hours – more than twice the standard treatment time of 30 minutes for Fotona4D – this means that the effects of the treatment are compounded for better results, according to the team at SL Aesthetic Clinic.
Dr Wong recommends a minimum of two sessions, with at least one month between treatments. Thereafter, a once-yearly maintenance session should suffice – another benefit compared to older treatments like HIFU, which typically require two to three sessions a year.
As for those worried about the pain, fret not. Patients experience just a mild warm, prickling sensation during the process, which most find tolerable even without the application of numbing cream, Dr Wong shared. He rates both Fotona4D and 5D at just one on a scale of one to five for pain.
Additionally, SL Aesthetic Clinic attaches a thermal sensor called MatrixView to the handpiece used to carry out the Fotona5D Laser Lift that allows for real-time monitoring of the skin’s temperature, ensuring that it is kept in the optimal temperature range for better results and safety.
As they say, wrinkles are where smiles have been but with non-invasive treatments getting more advanced and safer as they evolve, the visible signs of ageing are slowly becoming features one can easily conceal. So why not have the best of both worlds? The wisdom of ageing and smiles for days, with none of the downsides.