Trish: Hey, podcasters. Well, I’m here today. I’m at COSMEDICON 2018, and I’m talking with Professor Glen Calderhead, who is from Clinique L Dermatology in South Korea, and they are all part of the Lutronic group of devices, if you like, for want of a better word.
And today, the first chat we’re going to have is we’re going to be talking about the LaseMD device. So it’s said that your skin is only really as good as the products that you use on it. And LaseMD is basically a cosmeceutical delivery system that delivers specially formulated cosmeceuticals into your skin at a deeper level. So can you tell us how it does it, and how does it work, please?
Glen Calderhead: Yes, certainly. It’s based on a type of laser called the thulium laser, which has a wavelength that has kind of intermediate absorption in water. It’s important to have intermediate absorption because if we have too little absorption, then it doesn’t break the skin barrier function. If we have too much absorption in water, like the carbon dioxide or the erbium YAG lasers, they ablate tissue completely down through the epidermis into the dermis.
Of course, they can be used as cosmeceutical delivery systems, but the problem is that when you have that deep wound, it’s instantly or almost instantly filled with serum, and this means that any product that has gone down into the ablated area is pushed out by serum and blood.
So the 1927 nanometers is the wavelength of the LaseMD, and that has got enough absorption in water to make sure that we can just disrupt the stratum corneum, which is the outermost covering of the skin, and that’s the biggest obstacle to any product being put on the skin. We would normally say that less than 2% of any product in the skin can make its way down into the dermis, so that’s no use at all.
Trish: Yeah, right.
Glen Calderhead: So by just disrupting temporarily the stratum corneum, we allow our products to make their way down through the epidermis into the dermis. As well disrupting the stratum corneum, the LaseMD creates a small balloon, if you like, between the epidermis and the dermis, very temporary.
But the product collects there, so even though the stratum corneum repairs itself very quickly and becomes, once again, skin barrier function, all that product is waiting down there to make its way down into the dermis.
Trish: Oh, because that kind of answers my next question, doesn’t it, which was going to be, why is that so much better than just putting the cream on topically?
Glen Calderhead: Right. Right. Well, we’ve combined that within our range of six cosmeceuticals or our ampules. We use a carrier there, which we call our liquid crystalline carrier, and it’s nanoparticles. So the size is perfect for the little micro channels created by the LaseMD, and once they’re in the skin, they disintegrate, allowing the product inside to disperse.
But the efficacy of these is such that we can actually increase penetration through unharmed skin quite statistically significantly compared to non-crystalline products. So it’s a double-
Trish: Double whammy.
Glen Calderhead: If you will, double insurance, yeah.
Glen Calderhead: Double whammy, to make sure that we get the stuff down where it should be.
Trish: Yeah. So what makes LaseMD cosmeceuticals stand out from the others? Why would a patient want to have the treatment?
Glen Calderhead: Well, I think because, first of all, you look at the list of ingredients for many products, and you’ll find 10, 15, 20, sometimes more products with artificial emulsifiers, with penetrants, with artificial perfume, stabilisers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
There are seven ingredients in the LaseMD ampules, and all of them are natural. They’re all phyto-based. They’re all plant-based, apart from the active ingredient. The second thing is that we have them specially tailored for specific skin conditions, so we have vitamin C for brightening and anti-oxidation. We have … Let me see, what are the others there?
Vitamin C, vitamin D, all right, which is for skin strength and also for brightening, tranexamic acid, which is great for, again, the skin brightening and also anti-aging. And these are the three sort of standards in cosmeceuticals.
Then we have three more powerful ones. We have resveratrol, which is an antioxidant, a very powerful antioxidant. The amount of resveratrol in our ampules, because resveratrol is actually found in red wine, all right, which is one of the things that makes red wine healthy for you.
Glen Calderhead: If you take the amount of resveratrol in our ampule, it’s approximately equal to 200 bottles of red wine.
Glen Calderhead: Well, I know which I’d rather drink myself.
Trish: Less calories, yeah. Less calories, though, for sure.
Glen Calderhead: And then we have two stem cell conditioned media ampules, so not stem cells themselves, but we grow some stem cells in the particular medium, which is good for the skin. And then, as the stem cells grow, they give their goodness to that medium, so that’s why we call it stem cell conditioned medium.
And then, we have a second one of these, and the stem cells are actually cord blood, so they’re very, very potent stem cells, and then, the second one of these, we add genistein, which is great for hair replacement as well as for the skin, yep.
Trish: So talk us through an actual treatment or procedure. What does it involve as the patient, sorry?
Glen Calderhead: As the patient, right?
Glen Calderhead: You would come in. You would have your face cleaned completely. Then we would discuss what exactly you would need by way of one of our ampules.
Trish: Okay, so depending on what you’d need, it’d depend which ampule you’re going to get.
Glen Calderhead: Correct.
Glen Calderhead: No, we can mix and match.
Glen Calderhead: For example, we can combine vitamin C with tranexamic acid, so it’s not just a single. Then what happens is the ampule has a little plunger on the top, which is also the pump. When that plunger is first pressed, it releases the active ingredients into the carrier.
Now, the shelf life, until you do that, is two years. So for the clinician, this is a good thing. You don’t have to keep running to renew the stock. You have two-year shelf life. So then once it’s activated, it goes into a port in the LaseMD machine, which we call our incubator port, and that makes sure that everything is really mixed well.
That takes six minutes. During that six minutes, you will receive the laser treatment, and we have two modes for LaseMD. We have the easy mode, which is specially designed for the ampules at one, two and three. And each mode is matched to a particular ampule.
So let’s say we choose laser mode one. We select dynamic, and then the handpiece can be run along the skin. There’s two little rollers, which are magnetic in operation, and until the rollers actually start moving, the laser doesn’t fire. So when the clinician goes slowly, the laser fires slowly. When the clinician goes quickly, the laser fires quickly.
Glen Calderhead: So it’s speed independent, and this makes it very easy to cover the whole face and even décolletage in six minutes.
Glen Calderhead: So that then means that in that six minutes, the ampule is now ready. It’s brought out. Each pump delivers about two millilitres, and usually, that’s spread on with a little brush, with an artist’s brush so that it is evenly spread over the face.
That’s left for 15 to 20 minutes, and then it’s covered with a mask or a cream, and these are specially formulated to retain the active ingredient and help it to sink into the skin. The mask is then taken off, and the patient can then go home with the remainder of what’s in the ampule.
Trish: And can they just put that on at … Okay.
Glen Calderhead: They put that on. We recommend they do it at night before going to bed, and even though the little micro channels will have healed completely because of that crystalline carrier, you still get efficacious penetration during two weeks.
Glen Calderhead: And in that two weeks, we recommend that that ampule is used up. After two weeks, it should be discarded, kept in the fridge.
Trish: Okay, all right. So basically it’s almost like a facial on steroids.
Glen Calderhead: Yes. Yes.
Trish: And then you’ve got your product that you take home and use for two more weeks as kind of just nourish and hydrate or whatever treatment you’ve got for that next couple of weeks.
Glen Calderhead: Correct, and then you come back in for your next treatment.
Glen Calderhead: So we usually say three or four treatments or up to six, depending on the severity.
Trish: Two weeks apart?
Glen Calderhead: Two weeks apart.
Glen Calderhead: All right. And in fact, we can then come back every month and do a top up because it’s swift. It’s less than half an hour for the entire process, and this is really designed for the lady who doesn’t want to undergo a laser procedure but who wants something more for her skin than simple applied product.
Trish: Yeah, so it’s like a cross between a facial and a laser without the downtime.
Glen Calderhead: Exactly, without the down time.
Trish: All right. Well, that’s what I was going to ask you. So there’s no down time or-
Glen Calderhead: There’s no down time. There is no anaesthesia, no-
Trish: … no potential side effects? Okay.
Glen Calderhead: … no anaesthetic required.
Glen Calderhead: It’s completely painless.
Trish: Yep. All right. So basically like if you’re getting married in six months, or if your daughter’s getting married or something or you’ve got a special occasion coming up, this could be a perfect way to get your skin from okay condition to great condition within the next six months and do a course of them.
Glen Calderhead: Perfect. Perfect. So it’s a programme.
Trish: All right.
Glen Calderhead: And it’s a very easy programme, and patients like it.
Trish: And it doesn’t hurt.
Glen Calderhead: Oh, it doesn’t. There’s no pain whatsoever.
Trish: It sounds perfect. All right.
Glen Calderhead: Well, in the easy mode. You see, there are two modes.
Glen Calderhead: We also have the advanced mode. Now, the advanced mode is, obviously, more powerful, and in the top settings for the advanced mode, you’ll feel just tiny little pin pricks, but nothing else. You might get a little bit of erythema afterwards, depending on where it was applied.
Trish: That’s like red skin?
Glen Calderhead: That’s redness, redness, yes. But you want the red skin because that shows that the wound healing-
Trish: It’s working.
Glen Calderhead: … process is starting.
Trish: That would suit me more because I want to feel like I’ve had something done.
Glen Calderhead: Well, that would be perfect because that deals with mild lines and wrinkles, fairly moderate lines and wrinkles. It will deal with mild to moderate acne scarring, scar revision and dyschromia.
Glen Calderhead: It works really well. And it’s, again, it’s a thulium laser, so the penetration into the skin is well controlled, and therefore, down time is also well controlled.
Trish: Perfect. So I have one more question. So aside from skin rejuvenation, is there any skin conditions or issues that LaseMD is especially effective at treating?
Glen Calderhead: Well, I mentioned the scar revision.
Glen Calderhead: Mild acne scarring to moderate acne scarring responds brilliantly, atrophic scars. It doesn’t work so well on hypertrophic or raised scars, but for these problematic boxcar and rolling type acne scars, it works very, very well. We’ve also had a great deal of success with melasma.
Glen Calderhead: And in darker skin types.
Trish: And for those of you that don’t know, melasma is basically pigmentation.
Glen Calderhead: Yeah, uneven pigmentation that appears when ladies are in their 50s, perhaps premenopausal. It can also appear after any hormonal incident, for example, pregnancy. It’s associated with UV radiation. It’s associated with genetic disposition, uneven and asymmetrical patches of brownish pigmentation.
Trish: And can you use it anywhere else apart from your face?
Glen Calderhead: Yes. A place that is quite good for this is the décolletage and the backs of the hands because you see, for example, if you look at Goldie Hawn, she still looks quite pretty at the age of 70-umpty. But you see the back of her hands, and they’re like dead fish.
Trish: Yeah, right.
Glen Calderhead: And it’s really sad that you have people that spend so much money on looking young, and then their hands let them down. So this is a very good application for LaseMD.
Trish: Yeah, and I’m thinking even with the scars, like there might be scars that are out, that people can see that it would be good for.
Glen Calderhead: Yes. Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yeah.
Trish: Oh, awesome. Oh, thank you so very much for that. So actually, one last question. How long do the treatments take from start to finish?
Glen Calderhead: Less than 30 minutes.
Trish: Great, so it’s like a lunchtime treatment if you want.
Glen Calderhead: It’s a lunchtime, and because there is absolutely no down time, nobody will know that you’ve had anything done-
Trish: That you look-
Glen Calderhead: … except you will look radiant.
Trish: Better, yep.
Glen Calderhead: Yeah.
Trish: You’ll look like you’ve had a nice relaxing sleep at lunchtime. Oh, well, thank you so much for your time to talk to us about that today.
Glen Calderhead: No problem.
Trish: So, ladies and gentlemen, if you’re looking for someone who provides the LaseMD treatments in Australia, you can drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or otherwise, you could just type in LaseMD on the Plastic Surgery Hub website, and you’ll find a list of practitioners who do that procedure. So thank you so much for your time.
Glen Calderhead: Great pleasure.
Trish: Thank you.
Glen Calderhead: Thank you.