Latest Test – Candela’s Serenity PRO

Some you win and some you lose, and this was definitely true for today. I’m not talking about paying taxes, but I’m sure many of you are thinking that, being that it’s April 15th. No I’m talking about today’s test of a pneumatic skin-flattening (PSF) device, the Candela Serenity PRO.

First let me say, it really is an ingenious device. It’s basically a vacuum system that pulls the skin up into a clear, disposable plastic lens. The idea is that when the skin is compressed, pain signals are blocked. In clinical tests, it appears to work amazingly well. However, these tests have focused mainly on laser hair removal. From my understanding, we were the first studio in the United States to test the unit’s effectiveness on pain reduction in conjunction with laser tattoo removal, at least the first to use the disposable hand piece.

Sadly, the results weren’t anything close to what we hoped. The unit was tested on three people. (Two clients and I also volunteered my arm and hip) Pain reduction seemed to be almost nonexistent when using the device in conjunction with our Palomar QYAG5. In fact, at times the pain seemed more intense. Here are the basic results:

Person 1: (same energy output for each test)

  • Inside of forearm arm treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain.
  • Area treated with PSF – Similar pain.
  • Hip treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain.
  • Area treated with PSF – Similar pain.

Person 2: (same energy output for each test)

  • Buttocks treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain
  • Area treated with PSF – Similar pain, possibly slight reduction
  • Area iced for five minutes and treated – Dramatic reduction of pain
  • Iced area treated with PSF – Increased pain

Person 3: (same energy output for each test)

  • Back treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain
  • Area treated with PSF – Increase of pain
  • Area iced for five minutes and treated – Medium reduction of pain
  • Iced area treated with PSF – Dramatic increase of pain

So what does all this mean? The device has proven to work with laser hair removal, but it appears to have a different reaction to laser tattoo removal. After some discussion with the representative, we may have come to a fairly reasonable, yet hypothetical conclusion.

As the device sucks the skin into the lens, the epidermis and upper levels of the dermis are compressed making the tattoo ink a much clearer target. Logically, this means the ink might absorb the energy that could be reflected and/or absorbed by the skin during a normal treatment. If this is the case, then testing the area with an identical laser energy output may not have been a true comparison. In fact, the tattoo treated with the PSF may have been absorbing a dramatically larger amount of energy.

In conclusion, although presently the Candela Serenity PRO-PSF might not be a good companion machine for tattoo removal, I am grateful that the company allowed us to be one of the first laser removal studios to test the device. Plus, if the unit becomes available again for different energy comparisons, we might be giving it another try down the line.

New Photos – 3 Treatments

Still waiting to post the Masters of Tattooing convention blog. I just need a few photos to complete the entry. Until then, here are some recent treatment result photos:

JA3t
Click for larger image

In other news, Fade Fast may soon be offering laser removal treatments in Austin, Houston and other Texas cities. More info soon to come.