The CUTERA® Pearl® YSGG 2790nm resurfacing laser works to remove part of the epidermis to reduce fine lines, texture changes, and pigmented sun damage.


During treatment, a portion of the skin’s surface cells are gently removed by thermal heat, which is applied to the skin at a controlled depth. A natural protective dressing on the skin surface is created, minimizing downtime during the restorative process. Clients can expect the treated area to look slightly sunburned for 5-7 days while the results are manifesting.

The Pearl® is a procedure performed by a physician-trained Registered Nurse, and requires a topical numbing anesthetic cream and an analgesic. You will require a ride home after the procedure. You can expect to have minimal social downtime and return to normal activities in seven days.

Who is a good candidate for treatment?

Lighter skin types with pigmented sun damage and fine lines.

Who is not a good candidate for treatment?

Patients who have darker skin types are not candidates for laser treatment.

If you are pregnant, have been on Accutane within three months, have peripheral vascular disease, or have an active cold sore, you should not have this procedure. You should advise us of all oral and topical medications that you are currently using prior to treatment, as some medications are photosensitizing and laser treatment should not be performed while you are taking such medications. Patients also cannot be treated if they are taking blood thinning medications.

If you are tanned, or have recently been exposed to the sun in the area to be treated, you may be more susceptible to potential side effects, such as blisters or crusts.


The most obvious potential benefits are an improvement in the appearance of skin clarity, smoothness, and softness; and a reduction of the pigmented sun damage.


Every cosmetic laser therapy procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you comprehend and accept the risks involved with the Pearl®. An individual’s informed decision to undergo any cosmetic procedure is based upon a comparison of the risks to potential benefits, alternatives, and costs. Although the majority of patients do not experience complications, each item will be discussed fully with your nurse to ensure your understanding.

  • Discomfort:  Some discomfort may be experienced during treatment. A topical anesthetic will be applied to your skin before treatment. Your skin may feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.
  • Redness/Swelling:  Redness (erythema) and/or temporary swelling (edema) of the treated area is common. This usually resolves in about 5-7 days.
  • Pigment Changes: During the healing process, there is a possibility that the treated area can become either lighter (hypopigmentation) or darker (hyperpigmentation) in colour compared to the surrounding skin. This is usually temporary, but on rare occasion, it may be permanent.
  • Sun Exposure: Treatment cannot be performed if you have an active tan. This includes the use of tanning lotions and beds.  In addition, you must avoid sun exposure after the treatment for six weeks, and use a zinc-based SPF of 30 or higher once the skin has healed.
  • Milia/Acne:  Ointments that occlude hair follicles, sweat ducts, or sebaceous ducts may lead to milia/acne formation. This is more common in patients with a history of cystic acne or oily skin.
  • Skin Wound:  Treatment can result in burning or blistering of the treated areas. It is important that you not pick or scratch the sites as this may lead to permanent scars or promote an infection. If not allergic, apply Polysporin ointment to the affected area.
  • Infection: Infection is a rare possibility whenever the skin surface is disrupted. Through proper wound care and keeping the treated area clean, this risk is minimized. Herpes simplex (cold sores) is seen in a small percentage of patients, even if prophylaxis (anti-viral medication) is used. This may lead to scarring. Signs of an infection can include pain, heat, or an increase in redness. If not allergic, apply Polysporin ointment to the affected area.
  • Scarring:  Scarring is a rare occurrence; however, it is a possibility if the skin surface is disrupted. To minimize the risk of scarring, it is IMPERATIVE that you follow all post-treatment instructions carefully. Do not put anything on your skin except Vaseline, unless otherwise instructed by our staff.
  • Treatment Pattern:  A persistent spot size pattern may be apparent on the treated skin and usually resolves with time. In rare cases, it may be permanent.
  • Petechiae:  These small red spots may appear for several weeks after healing and will clear without treatment.
  • Dilated Pores:  Collagen contraction that occurs as part of the resurfacing process may also contract the skin between the pores, which widens the existing pores. This occurrence, though rare, is permanent.
  • Contact Dermatitis:  Potential increased sensitivity, irritation and/or itching can occur due to skin surface disruption. It is imperative you follow all post-treatment instructions to help avoid this.
  • Allergic Reaction:  There is a risk of an allergic reaction to the topical anesthetic, and/or any other product that comes in contact with your skin.
  • Eye protection:  Patients are required to use protective eyewear (shields) at all times during the treatment to prevent the possibility of laser injury to the eyes. There is a rare risk of corneal abrasion during treatment.
  • Injectable fillers: The effectiveness of injectable fillers may be reduced by the Pearl® depending on the depth and type of products used.


All patients can respond differently to the Pearl®. Your response may be subject to variation, but on average 70-80% of patients who have undergone treatments report a noticeable improvement in the appearance, quality, and youthful vitality of their skin. Approximately 10% will be non-responders.

There are many variable conditions in addition to risks and potential complications that may influence the long-term result. Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks cited above are particular for the Pearl®. Other complications and risks can occur but are also uncommon. Should complications occur, additional surgery or treatment may be necessary. The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied as to the results that may be obtained.

To further enhance your results, the IPL, Laser Genesis™, Botox Cosmetic®, dermal fillers and/or a comprehensive physician-grade skincare line may be used. Zinc oxide SPF 30 sunblock protection year-round is essential to protect your skin from future damage.


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