Palomar Icon ®


    The Palomar Icon (Cynosure) is very popular with dermatologists and plastic surgeons because it’s a major multi-tasker, reducing the need for multiple machines in cramped office space. The Palomar Icon combines a fractional laser (similar in intensity to the Fraxel re:store) and intense pulsed light (IPL) technology. There are a variety of handheld attachments to perform different types of treatments, including wrinkle reduction, hair removal, acne and scar improvement, fractional skin resurfacing, vascular and pigmentation treatments, and photorejuvenation (IPL). Since the machine has such a wide range of capabilities, it can provide different levels of treatments and meet various comfort and downtime requirements according to a patient’s needs.

    To ensure the best results, the Palomar Icon has a built-in Skintel Melanin Reader, which detects your melanin density to accurately diagnose your skin tone, ensuring the appropriate level of laser is applied.  The machine also has a built-in advanced cooling system for added skin protection and comfort.


    Palomar Icon treatment is unique because it is customizable and can be adjusted according to skin tone and desired results. With this particular treatment, it’s best to consult a trusted and certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to best determine if you’re an ideal candidate for the specific treatment you require.

    The Palomar Icon fractional laser function is ideal for people who want to smooth out wrinkles and rough scars, fade pigmentation issues, and generally improve overall skin tone and texture. The IPL function provides photorejuvenation treatments, which are ideal for people who have pale to medium or olive toned complexions and wish to refine skin texture and even skin discoloration caused by sun damage, aging, acne, rosacea, damaged blood vessels, or capillaries. IPL is not suitable for darker skin types since one of the primary targets is melanin.

    The Palomar Icon may not be appropriate for pregnant women or patients who have taken Accutane for the past 6 months. Persons with a history of cold sores or herpes simplex virus shouldn’t have this procedure until they are pre-treated for these conditions. Certain medications, particularly blood thinners, may increase the risk of side effects, so it is very important to talk to a trusted doctor about your medical history.


    The discomfort level of a Palomar Icon treatment depends on the level of treatment being administered and a person’s threshold for pain. Often times, a topical anesthetic is applied 10 to 30 minutes before the treatment, but further pain management isn’t necessary because the cooling system provides additional comfort. You and your doctor will be required to wear protective eyewear.

    The doctor places a handheld device with a smooth glass surface that pulses laser or light energy onto your skin. Each pulse causes a snapping or burning sensation that can be compared to the snapping of a rubber band or quick match burn. After each snap, the doctor will pick the laser up to place onto the area of skin adjacent to was just zapped, being careful to not overlap zapped sections. This application method is called “stamping,” as opposed to rolling the laser over an area, as you do with Fraxel. When the treatment is finished, a cold compress may be applied for several minutes to alleviate any discomfort.  Moisturizer and sunscreen is applied as a last step.


    15 to 30 minutes.


    Immediately following a Palomar Icon treatment, skin feels warm, red, and slightly swollen like bad sunburn, which usually resolves naturally within 1 to 3 days at most. There may also be mild bruising (purpura), crusting, scabbing, darkened patches, and, in rare cases, mild blistering. These reactions gradually subside within 1 to 2 weeks after treatment.


    The results of a Palomar Icon treatment are contingent upon the type of treatment being administered. Generally, within 2 to 3 weeks of the first treatment skin will look and feel smoother and have a more even-toned complexion. After 3 or more consecutive treatments, there will be further improvement in skin tone and texture with a visible decrease of redness, dark spots, fine lines, and pores. Freckles and age spots may appear darker for up to a week before they fade gradually.


    Best results are realized after a series of 3 to 5 sessions spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart, followed by a biannual touch-up treatment to maintain results.


    You should only visit an actively board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). Plastic Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Both of those boards are part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards and specializes in this treatment. For more information about how we choose our providers, please read Credentials We Abide By.


    $175 to $1,000, depending on the size of the area being treated and the level of intensity being administered


    This is a fairly new machine with a very specific knowledgebase requirement, so you must be certain you’re in the right hands. Would you take a swan dive into the fountain of youth if the lifeguard couldn’t swim? We didn’t think so. Browse The Book for the best experts in your city.



    Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers

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