Trish: Hello everyone out there in podcast world! Now we’ve got a really interesting podcast organised for you today. I’ll be speaking with Dr Robin Chok, who’s a cosmetic practitioner based in Adelaide and Dr Chok’s clinic is called Regenesis Cosmetic Surgery.
Now I’ve been following Dr Chok for a lot, a lot of years, ’cause Dr Chok was actually the first practitioner that I ever had injectables with and my cousin introduced me to him and I was so happy that I met him and of course I’ve moved from where I lived since then. Sometimes I pop down, all the way from Byron Bay to visit Dr Chok to do injectables for me, so I’ve watched his practise grow over the years, so I’m really, really excited to have him here today.
Dr Chok is a leader in the field in the sense that he likes to take on new technologies when he hears about them today. We’ve got the opportunity to talk to Dr Chok about the LaseMD which. We come across devices all the time, but sometimes there’s one that kind of, you know, sparks a bit of interest, more than others and LaseMD is definitely about that.
So welcome Dr Chok and thank you so much for being with us here today.
Dr Robin Chok: Thanks Trish. It’s good to be talking again.
So tell us a little bit about what the LaseMD is and what it’s used for or what you mostly use it for.
Dr Robin Chok: Well, LaseMD is quite an interesting system. It’s a combination of a laser technology, a laser platform, using a specialised type of laser called Thulium laser, and it’s combined with its own specialised blend of products that is designed to work together.
So, we often get laser treatments, which is the lasers on its own and then the treatment, its on it’s own. So this is a system where they’ve developed them to work together and so LaseMD quite a next generation of laser treatment plus cosmeceutical treatment, which is quite interesting. And as you know, with a lot of cosmeceutical, most of them, we always see them, they work for somebody, but they don’t work for somebody else.
The reason for it is because all skin are quite different, the depth of it is different, the oiliness is different, the way it heals, the sensitivity, is different. And when you have to try and make a product that suits everybody you often have to compromise, you almost have to, make certain ingredients a little bit stronger so they can penetrate the skin better. You might have to add some other special ingredients to make it flow better, stick on the skin better, so it’s a lot of complications in terms of making a product. Delivering good ingredients, good active ingredients, deep into the skin, where they can work.
A product is useless on top of the skin, you know most beauty products, as you know, you buy them, they cost a lot of money and you wash them off, it’s as good as nothing. Nothing has really entered your skin. So, when the Korean’s, as you know, the Korean’s are always thinking, they’re always ahead, they’re pretty much the fastest, fastest growing cosmetic surgery technologies in the world all come from Korea. Because they are lateral thinkers and LaseMD is first of its kind in terms of the technology where they design a laser that makes tiny little pits, tiny little channels. The laser’s not there to actually inflame it or injure your skin, it is there to just make tiny little pits into your skin.
And where they have specialised product that is rubbed on them and then the products flow into the pits and then you can imagine, you put all the special delivery cream on top and this seals them into the pits, as a reservoir and they slow release them over time. Anything between two weeks to six months so depending on the type of products. And they’re getting very, very active in making the products. You know we have products with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Retinol, they have a tranexamic acid, which is a brightening technology. And many more, they even have product that actually boosts hair growth. They have products that boost skin density. We’re really looking at a very snazzy, very upcoming, completely ground design to be quite unique. Quite an interesting technology here.
Trish: So basically, what the LaseMD is, is it’s a device or machine or whatever and you use that machine to actually penetrate the cosmeceutical skin care stuff deep into the skin?
Dr Robin Chok: Absolutely! Well the key to it is really, as you know, it’s a bit like gardening. If you wanted to, and I’m aware that you’re a bit of a gardener yourself Trish so I’m not sure, so it’s like gardening. If you want the plants to grow well, just giving them all the water that they need, all the light that they need may not be effective because the soil is weak. So the soil being our skin. But, what do gardeners usually do? They poke little holes in them and they put fertilisers inside. But we the usual people throw the fertiliser on top of the skin, on top of the soil don’t we? And then we realise “Hey, how come our plants died?” Because it wasn’t in the soil! So it’s exactly like that.
What the Lutronic company that designed, the Lutronic from Korea, South Korea that is, designed LaseMD. LaseMD, when I first saw it, I was in Taiwan and I first saw it and it was called Baby Skin Facial and I really though “Are you for real? Baby Skin Facial? How cliché can that get?” And until we got one of the machine, tried it out and a lot of patients would come back with guess what, baby soft skin. It is amazing and we thought “This is too easy!” Because in the past if we had to do a laser treatment to them we have to think “Okay, is your skin type one or two? Type three or four?” The darker it is, the darker it is, the higher the number to three and four to six. We worry about post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is the number one thing that laser treatments or any peels or anything aggressive.
But, with LaseMD we don’t have to be aggressive. It’s nothing about being aggressive. It’s nothing about injuring the skin. It’s about making tiny little pits in the skin to allow the products with the active ingredients, which are delivered by a nano technology, a sort of nano lypo [inaudible 00:07:45] technology so they’re very, very tiny. What they do is, you just spray them on and then you get a little vile to take home to use over the week so it will last about seven to ten days and during that time they’re slowly deliver it into the pits so they’re much better than the micro needling, which is what people are using the micro needling as some sort of mesotherapy. So this is like mesotherapy with light instead of a needle and it’s fantastic because I have a lot of my patients if I say “I’m going to use a needle”, they’ll hate me. If it involves a needle, I’m going to walk out but if I say “You know what, there’s no needle, it’s delivered by light.” It’s a very different concept because needles is a different feeling.
Now the technology of the laser that Lutronic has made in LaseMD is actually quite unique. It’s a scanning type of laser so you’re looking at the laser not firing all at the same time. It scans so it’s like a dot matrix going side to side, like that. But what it actually does it, because it’s such a small little dot, very, very fast, you don’t feel it. You don’t feel the dots are hitting you because they’re not firing at the same time so you feel like hey you know, the heat is not there. So the heat is not there, you don’t feel the heat, you don’t feel the burn. So because you don’t feel the burn, you don’t get scared, you don’t get scared, you’re not traumatised by it. And hence, we have a lot of patients that will have them maybe three, four times in the year and they really love it. To them, it is a facial, which I will never call a laser a facial, but this is the first time we have a laser facial.
Trish: So, it is a laser? ‘Cause I didn’t – well I did realise it was a laser but – well no I didn’t really. I kind of thought it was just a device.
Dr Robin Chok: It’s a two system. So, it’s a laser. LaseMD is a system. The LaseMD step essentially there’s a LaseMD station. The station is the, it’s the laser part. It’s a laser delivered by optical fibres so the head’s quite light and the girls really like working with it because they don’t get sore wrists at the end of the day and the laser is much more function than you can use it for other things. And then, the LaseMD also has the Ampule system. The Ampule system is where the power is. That’s where all the super technology of products are being simplified into very, very, you know they dissolve to release, slow release into the skin and penetrate very easily because the laser has gone through the hardest, hardest part of the penetration, which is the top of the skin. After the epidermis, the rest is easy so they the product flows, and they latch onto the parts of the skin that it needs to bond to and regenerate the tissue and that’s how it works.
You waste nothing and you don’t have nasty active ingredients to create the, the feel, the fragrance. It’s absolutely fragrance free. It’s one of those things were I’ve had it put on my own hands and I can tell you, within a second of it being on, it’s gone. I’ve never seen a product that does that. They’re quite a unique technology and the wavelength that they’ve chosen, which is a Thulium laser. If you know what a Thulium laser does, is a Thulium laser is sort of quite a nice high — It’s a very new generational laser where it’s very good for just hitting the top of the skin but not damaging anything else. It doesn’t leave too much of a scar to the skin. Because when you heat the skin too much, you’re going that pigmentation and hence, LaseMD can do something very unique, which is, in Asians, which is a high risk of hyperpigmentation. We can actually, dialling back or dialling down, as we all say, when you see someone with darker skinner, we don’t. We dial, leave the power the same for everyone and it works just as well. You can use the LaseMD laser far across the scalp to create little pits and then you spray on the active ingredient onto it and they grow hair.
Trish: Wow! So in other words it’s almost like a double treatment isn’t it? You get the laser and the goods that go with it like the cream that goes with it. It’s like a double treatment
Dr Robin Chok: Absolutely. Well, it is exactly that. It’s exactly that Trish.
Trish: Are you … You’re cutting up. Are you moving around?
Dr Robin Chok: No, no I’m sitting down.
Trish: Oh, okay. I didn’t hear the last bit.
Dr Robin Chok: It’s a combination system and what they have done is they’ve picked the best version of a laser, of what laser does and combine it with a way to deliver the cosmeceutical, which is the active ingredient, and also the healing system, all in one.
Trish: So tell me, what are the kind of thing it treats? So obviously it treats pigmentation?
Dr Robin Chok: Well that’s exactly what it was designed for originally was pigmentation, wrinkles, it can do the neck, the collar part, hands, acne scarring, keloid scarring, we originally developed it for stretch marks! It really treats a very long gamet of skin. Because the key to it is, the laser doesn’t have to be the one doing all the hard work. Because the depth and everything is controlled by how the pits were made and then what product goes on to the pits.
Trish: Mm-hmm (affirmative), so basically it takes the guesswork out of it, as well, for the practitioner. It’s just almost like a set and forget really?
Dr Robin Chok: In a way, it’s absolutely that. I mean when we first received it that was the part that I did not understand about it because it has an advanced and an easy component to the machine. So we have the advance, the advance is you dial in whatever you like, but they didn’t give us any numbers to dial in, so we thought “This is really weird.” All we had was the easy, and the easy only has one, two, and three. Well, seems a bit too easy isn’t it? But exactly that, it is easy! Because the laser scans, and the laser’s constantly looking at your skin, so it doesn’t actually burn or anything like that. So very, very different concept.
Trish: So can I ask you, the person having the treatment, because it’s a laser, they would have to wear glasses wouldn’t they?
Dr Robin Chok: Absolutely, with any laser, eye protection is always important. You never, never know where the laser’s gonna hit. And that goes for both the operator and the person having it. More important for the person having it because laser can stray, they could hit the side of a mirror and hit you and so you never can chance it. Eye protection is very important but it’s not terrible. I mean some of my patients are a bit claustrophobic. I said “Look, just close your eyes, listen to the music, and we do it.” We just put pieces of gauze over the eyes and they’re very comfortable because if I put the goggles on they feel a bit claustrophobic. After a few times they were happy.
Trish: Yeah, that would be me actually. So, can I ask you, with the pigmentation it’s really good. It’s good for rejuvenation, so is this a one off treatment or is this something you can actually — I went overseas a few years ago and they were giving me what they call an electric facial — but could this be something like a laser, which is exactly what you said, the laser facial? That’s pretty much exactly what you just were saying
Dr Robin Chok: That’s right. Well it all depends on what you’re trying to address. If someone who has abnormal pigmentation, obviously it’s going to be a multiple treatment. Because when it comes to pigmentation you never going in hard and fast. You go in slowly. It’s like a slow marinade. It’s all about the marinade. It’s not about the sauce you put in it. You don’t go in, turn the heat on high, you share everything and then you have a problem. In terms of the patients who just want to minimise pores, they want smoother skin, it can be done as a simple treatment. Each treatment you get results so you don’t have to have three treatments and then you’re promised a result. No, each treatment you get the result.
Trish: Okay, and does the results stack on top of each other?
Dr Robin Chok: Absolutely! It’s actually the other way around. It stacks underneath each other because you’ve gotta remember. This technology goes deeper, and deeper, and deeper because you are accelerating the deeper layers first, not the top layers down. You’re quite right to say that because in lasers you are normally like an onion peel. You’re firing from outside in, so you’re destroying the layers from outside in. But this is the one where you’re delivering it into the depths of where the juicy part of the factories of the skin is and then that’s when all the nutrients and all the collagen comes from that area. So you spend no time healing the top skin, hence, the results are accelerated.
Trish: So, I know that there’s a lot of different nutrients that you can put into the skin so it depends on what your skin needs as to what you’re gonna put. ‘Cause I know that you got the Vitamin C which is good for collagen. So you said it was good to help laxed skin. Si the skin tightening, does that come from the products that you put in it, or?
Dr Robin Chok: Absolutely. We started out with, I think we only have three in Australia at the moment, I think we get to try four of them. Namely, we have the Vitamin C, the Vitamin A and then the tranexamic acid, which is the brightening, whitening product and the resveratrol, which is also whitening and anti-aging, all that. They have other things. They have very interesting things that we don’t get in Australia yet, which is like some sort of stem cell technologies, which we’ve never even heard of.
But there some more for hair growth and things like that and in they’re in Asian countries but obviously to Australia, we just have the basic few but it’s very promising. And the best part about it is you can also use some of the ampules that we have in mesotherapy. Some of the great nutrition and you can layer it on too because a lot of this nutrition, in the past, we have to inject them into the skin. But, now, you have a delivery system, which is no needle, so you just spread them on the top and they get absorbed. So you can develop your own version.
Trish: So does it hurt?
Dr Robin Chok: Only on easy one two and three, it actually doesn’t hurt. That’s the craziest thing about it, it doesn’t hurt because when we first got it that was our worry. We thought that it wasn’t working, because no one can feel anything, but then we realise how fast the laser was firing. On the high advance levels it doesn’t hurt you like a rubber band hitting you like lasers do. It hurts you a bit more like a scratching feeling. Like someone scratching you with a tree branch. That’s exactly what it feels like. Or someone combing you. Combing is perhaps …
Trish: Have you had it done?
Dr Robin Chok: I’ve had it done. I’ve had it done to my face. I’ve had it done to my hands where my dog bit me. Good ole’ Milo. That healed very well. It’s a bit of an interesting technology and I’m having it done because obviously I’m in Southeast Asian, Chinese, Malaysian, so we get a lot of pigmentation very easily and I can have a treatment where something wasn’t correct and I’ll have pigmentation very easily. So, I’ve had that done to me because pigmentation was a concern to me and the LaseMD absolutely delivered. It delivered faster than ever because … I was traumatised by having an eye peel once upon a time. The heat of it.
Trish: For your skin, oh my god!
Dr Robin Chok: Exactly, I wasn’t prepared for that. I was praying to pass out and unfortunately I did not pass out so I had to go through, endure the whole half an hour of being fried, and fried, and fried by a flash gun. After that I said “No more lasers please!” And LaseMD opened my eyes to something different.
Trish: Wow, wow, that’s so good. So, can I ask you, is this something that someone should do regularly? I know it’s going to depend on the skin, but say for me, I like to have regular maintenance on my skin but I want my skin to look all the time so is this something you could do like every three months, or every six months, or is it a one off treatment, or?
Dr Robin Chok: I think it’s a one off treatment. It’s quite difficult to achieve what they want to achieve but I think the whole concept of it is easy, easy, gets to the results without going too hard. And it’s not expensive, you know? Compare it with fraxel laser and things, but this is about half of the price of it or even one third of it compared to some of the laser technologies. Pica lasers are very expensive. You’re looking about three to four hundred dollars per treatment and so a lot of my patients who get very good results, they do do it as you said, about that three to four months mark. Most of our patients who have it are actually airline crew because their skin really get hammered by all the air conditioning and the flying and the stress as well of not staying in your own bed every night. It’s all of that and obviously the Asian customers who are very, very conscience to pain. They don’t like pain. They really will hate you if there’s any pain and they don’t like needles either and they don’t like numbing cream.
Trish: I must be Asian! I must be Asian.
Dr Robin Chok: You must be Asian. So the combination of that, we used to say there’s nothing for you, and now we’ve tried this [inaudible 00:24:35] …