Although lasers have been employed for cosmetic purposes for decades, they seem to be receiving more buzz these days than ever before. With numerous new innovative procedures promising to treat a wide range of skin problems with just a few zaps, the excitement is understandable. From wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and skin laxity to acne scars and more, skin laser treatments can be used to correct a wide range of skin issues. That said, it is important to research before pursuing any new skincare treatment. Here’s some baseline information to help you decide whether skin laser treatments are the right solution for you.
What Are Laser Skin Treatments?
Laser skin treatments are non-surgical solutions for a wide range of skin concerns and problems. Given that they can treat quite a number of skin conditions, there are lots of different types used for different issues. Lasers use liquid, solid, or gas mediums to function. They energize the medium, which then emits energy by way of a light photon. This light transforms into heat when absorbed by the skin and energizes targeted cells at a specific depth depending on wavelength. The specific features of laser devices vary depending on the condition being treated.
Laser skin treatments can be divided into ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers remove the outer layers of tissue to treat skin imperfections, whereas non-ablative (also called non-wounding) laser treatments target the tissue underneath without affecting the outer layers.
What Skin Conditions Can These Treatments Address?
Laser skin treatments offer a potential solution to a wide array of skin conditions and concerns. The conditions that may improve with laser skin treatment include:
- Acne Scars
- Sun Spots
- Visible Blood Vessels
- Poor Skin Tone
- Loose or Sagging Skin
- Rough Skin Texture
- Stretch Marks
- Fine Lines
- Tattoo Removal
It is important to understand the applications and potential risks of any laser skin treatment, in addition to consulting with an experienced plastic surgeon, before deciding if it is right for you.
Is Laser Skin Treatment Right for Me?
With so many options available, deciding whether laser treatment is right for you can be overwhelming. The key is to focus on your skin goals rather than brand names. There are laser treatments available to treat a wide range of cosmetic skin conditions, however, not everyone is the right candidate for every procedure. It is important to consult your board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to find out which treatment is right for you.
How Long Are Treatment and Recovery?
The length of treatment and recovery depends on the type of procedure employed. Generally, ablative laser treatments require a longer recovery time compared to treatments performed with non-ablative lasers. Some non-ablative lasers require no recovery time at all, while ablative lasers require at least five to seven days for recovery.
Similarly, the frequency of laser treatment required to achieve your desired results will depend on the skin condition you want to correct and the type of laser device being used. Some conditions and devices require just one session, while others may require three to five sessions.
The Bottom Line
The technology behind skin laser treatments is constantly changing. As of today, skin laser treatments offer some of the best solutions to the most nagging skin conditions. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to consult with your doctor to get a professional opinion on whether laser skin treatment is right for you.