Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Reversing Effects of Sun-Damaged Skin: Pearl Fractional Laser Aims for Deeper Benefits

Mar 06, 2015 06:23AM ● By Kyla Stevens

Excessive exposure to the sun early in life makes us more susceptible to skin cancer down the road, and premature damage to our skin may well make us look older than we are. Unlike natural aging, this photoaging results in coarse, dry and leathery skin; freckling and other skin discoloration; and deep wrinkles.

New advances in laser technologies include Cutera’s Pearl Fractional Laser, which reaches the uppermost layer of the dermis so that creation of new collagen can occur. Used by Dr. Nitin Bawa, a physician and the medical director of Dr. Bawa & Associates, Pearl Fractional Laser treatment and the body’s natural processes comprise a non-invasive, effective treatment that utilizes light energy for advanced healing.

Many anti-aging treatments utilize harsh chemicals as an irritant to the skin. Chemical peels can also produce fumes that are inhaled during the process and can often lead to allergic reactions. By utilizing pure light based energy, such as Cutera’s Pearl Fractional treatments, such side effects can be avoided. Pearl Fractional treatments can lead to long-term structural changes of the skin, including increased volume and firmness. The objective of Pearl Fractional Technology is to provide an effective treatment to address lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture, discoloration and acne scarring with a shorter recovery period, which is a significant improvement over earlier carbon dioxide laser resurfacing.

“These new fractional resurfacing techniques, although relatively aggressive, may be safely performed on the face, neck, chest and even the hands, and are uniquely effective in treating the delicate tissue around the eyes and mouth,” comments Bawa. “These areas often show the first signs of aging and can be the most challenging to treat.”

Bawa describes that the Pearl Fractional Laser works selectively and in conjunction with the body’s own natural processes. “Fractional therapy exposes only a fraction of the skin to the laser beam, in a pattern of tiny dots. Columns of damaged tissue are selectively removed, leaving surrounding skin intact. The treatment shortens healing time and stimulates the body’s own natural process for creating new collagen, plumping the skin from below and reversing photoaging and other imperfections.”

The Pearl Fractional Laser can be integrated into a holistic approach, especially when coloration and texture issues resist other treatments that holistic dermatologists use for sun-damaged skin, acne scars and age spots. These may include topical creams hosting botanical-based catalysts such as kojic acid, a natural skin lightener derived from mushroom extract; arbutin, also called bearberry extract, for skin whitening and anti-aging; and vitamin C; as well as non-ablative dermatological procedures that include chemical peels and dermabrasion.


Dr. Bawa & Associates has three locations: 45 Sugar Sand Ln., Ste. A, Santa Rosa Beach (850-543-4170); 155 Crystal Beach Dr., Ste. 121, Destin (850-424-7320); and 907 Mar Walt Dr., Ste. 2011, Fort Walton Beach (850-586-7890). For more information, visit


Kyla Stevens is a freelance writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at [email protected].

Global Brief
Health Brief