Health Team

Laser skin treatment comes home

Posted June 1, 2011 1:08 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2011 5:58 p.m. EDT

A home laser treatment promises to rejuvenate people's skin and take years off their faces, at a smaller cost than treatments at a doctor's office.

Roberta Almeas, 46, uses the Palovia device to zap the wrinkles around her eyes. It's the first laster treatment to be approved for home use by the Food and Drug Administration.

"It's very easy. It takes less than five minutes. It's become part of my bedtime routine," Almeas said.

Almaes said she noticed a difference after using the device for just a few weeks.

"The fine lines are definitely much more minimal," she said.

The Palovia device uses short laser pulses to stimulate collagen production around the eyes.

"It penetrates the layers of the skin where collagen and elastin are produced. Collagen and elastin are those components that give our skin that nice, taut appearance," said Dr. Elizabeth Ramos-Genuino, with the Reflections Center for Skin and Body in Livingstone, N.J.

A panel of doctors who studied the device reported a noticeable reduction in wrinkles in more than 90 percent of people who took part in the clinical trials.

The results are subtle, which Almaes said is perfect for her.

"I think I've earned my wrinkles, and I don't want to look ridiculous for who I am," she said.

To make sure people don't overuse it, the Palovia device is limited to 25 pulses every eight hours. It emits low energy levels and won't fire unless all corners are in contact with the skin.

The company says the side effects are minimal and include redness and minor swelling.

Palovia is the only home laser treatment on the market so far, but other companies are developing similar devices.

The device costs about $500, while treatments at a doctor's office would cost a few hundred dollars each visit.