The Q switch laser is a novel treatment for skin conditions and rejuvenation using a specialised laser device that emits short pulses of high-intensity laser beams. It treats many skin concerns ranging from spider veins to tattoo removal.

What is a Q Switch Laser?

The Q switch laser is used as an abbreviation for ‘Quality Switch Laser’. It is a device that emits high-intensity laser waves in extremely short pulses. It works on the principle of selective photo thermolysis, where only the targeted area that is exposed to the laser beams absorbs the heat, and the surrounding tissues remain unharmed. The pulse from the Q switch laser is measured in nanoseconds. Shorter pulse waves mean intense light energy produced in short bursts.
The laser beam targets the desired areas, mainly the melanin cells (colour-producing pigments) and ink particles in tattooed cells. These cells absorb the heat generated and are broken into tiny fragments. The lymphatic system then clears the fragments, the body’s natural drainage system. Over time, there is a noticeable difference in skin texture, tattoo fading, and hyperpigmentation. The result is – smooth, even-toned, wrinkle-free skin that is youthful and radiant.

When is Q Switch Laser Recommended?

Q switch lasers are used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It is also used as an adjunct to other procedures like liposuction. The use of Q switch lasers has revolutionised skin care and skin rejuvenation procedures. It is recommended for:

  • Tattoo Removal
    The laser waves from the Q switch laser penetrate into the skin in the tattooed area, and the heat produced breaks the inked cells into tiny fragments, which are removed by the body’s lymphatic system. Gradually, the tattooed area appears lighter with no trace of the tattoo.
  • Skin And Vascular Lesions
    Q switch laser is an excellent option to get rid of skin and vascular lesions that cause cosmetic concerns. Some of these include-
    • Nevus of Ota- hyperpigmentation is seen in the eye or face, usually on one side.
    • Lentigines- Flat, hyper-pigmented spots that are caused by sun exposure or as part of the ageing process.
    • Melasma– This is a condition typically seen during pregnancy. There are hyperpigmented lesions on the face and neck.
    • Cafe-au-lait-  These are flat, hyperpigmented spots seen on newborn infants.
    • Spider veins- This condition is where the small veins just underneath the skin’s surface are dilated and appear prominent. They are called spider veins due to their appearance like a spider web.
  • Skin Rejuvenation
    Q switch laser can be used to give you radiant, youthful-looking skin by addressing various conditions.
    • Acne scarring- The laser waves not only destroy the scar cells but also stimulate the synthesis of collagen. This tightens the large open pores and gives you smooth, even-toned skin. 
    • Freckle Removal- The Q switch laser helps target and destroy the cells in the freckles, giving you a lighter skin tone that is free from freckles.
    • Skin tightening- Q switch laser promotes the synthesis of collagen. Loss of collagen as we age is one of the main reasons for developing fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and age spots. Q switch lasers can be used to address all the signs of ageing successfully.
  • Laser Liposuction
    This is a cosmetic procedure that helps get rid of stubborn fat in the body. Laser liposuction is performed to get rid of fat in the belly, back, thighs, arms, buttocks, neck and jawline. Laser liposuction is often preferred by people who desire a well-toned, chiselled body. Q switch laser is useful during the liposuction procedure to help dislodge and break down the fat cells that are later sucked out by the suction tube. 

How Does Q Switch Laser Work?

Q switch laser treatment is performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. Your dermatologist will perform the procedure in the treatment room: :

  • The area to be treated is cleaned well, and a topical numbing cream is applied. 
  • You will be given a protective eye mask to shield your eyes from the laser light. 
  • The dermatologist then uses a handheld laser device over the targeted area to deliver the short pulses of laser waves. 
  • The time taken to complete the procedure depends on the extent of the area treated. 
  • You may require multiple sessions depending on your condition.

After the procedure, you may experience redness and burning in the treated area, which gradually subsides in a few hours.

What Are The Precautions To Be Taken After Q Switch Laser?

After the Q Switch Laser treatment, you may experience some redness and a burning sensation on the treated area. It is not a matter of concern as these are temporary effects which will subside gradually over a few hours or 2 days. Your dermatologist will inform you of the below precautions to be taken after the procedure:

  • Use the medications (depigmentation/ anti-acne creams and ointments, etc.) as prescribed by your dermatologist for some days.
  • Apply Sunscreen with at least SPF 50 should be applied every time you are out in the sun for several days after treatment.
  • Keep your skin moisturised throughout the day by applying a moisturiser (that hydrates and moisturises) twice daily.
  • Avoid using harsh exfoliating creams and retinoids on your skin for at least 7 days after the treatment.
  • Do not swim; have hot baths, steam baths, and saunas for 1 week after the treatment.
  • Do not smoke or consume alcohol till your doctor advises you to.
  • Do not perform strenuous exercises for 1 week after the treatment.

What Are The Benefits of Q Switch Laser Treatment?
The advent of ulcers has changed how the cosmetology industry addresses skin concerns. 

  • Non-invasive– Q switch laser procedures require no cuts or incisions to be made. That makes it a huge benefit for people who want to look good but are not ready to go under the knife.
  • Minimal downtime– The fact that you can go home immediately after the procedure and resume your activities the same day makes the Q switch laser a crowd favourite.
  • Precision– The Q switch laser treatment targets only the specified area and causes no damage to the surrounding tissues.
  • Quick Sessions– The sessions of Q switch laser treatment are quick and can be completed in a jiffy. This makes it easy for people with busy schedules to accommodate multiple sessions as needed.

What Are The Precautions To Be Taken Before Q Switch Laser?

Before undergoing a Q Switch laser treatment, you should be aware of the following:

  • Avoid cleaning your face harshly- avoid exfoliating creams and scrubs that are harsh on the skin 3 days before the procedure
  • Avoid the use of beaching creams retinoids on the face at least 3 days before the procedure
  • Make sure that the area to be treated is not sunburnt- avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Keep your dermatologist informed about the medications that you are currently taking.
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