ARE YOU CONSIDERING LASER TREATMENT?
You or someone you know may have considered laser treatment in the past but were afraid of its mystery and complex technology. There has been commercial hype generated against use of lasers in skin rejuvenation. Newer techniques available at Ageless Cosmetic Clinic will demystify these “minimally invasive” techniques for what they truly are. That is, effective “skin repair” tools.
WHAT IS LASER TREATMENT?
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER) produces an intense beam of light of particular wavelength with insignificant dispersion of the energy over a short distance. This property is utilized in plastic surgery and dermatology to treat various skin disorders. Unquestionably, there is no doubt that true clinical improvement in the apparent ageing of the skin requires resurfacing to accomplish visible changes. Pigmentation and red blood vessel pattern on the skin will be corrected by using various types of lasers as described below.
HOW DOES LASER ACHIEVE ITS RESULTS?
When a laser beam is directed at the skin, water or the naturally occurring pigments, like melanin and hemoglobin, which absorb light, are rapidly heated. Lasers cause very precise tissue destruction of the lesion in focus, leaving the skin tissue in the immediate surroundings undamaged. It is this precision that has generated tremendous interest among plastic surgeons to use it as an operative tool. You may be a candidate for Laser Treatment if you have the following conditions:
- Sun spots,
- Melasma (Mask of Pregnancy)
- Deeper wrinkles eg Lipstick Lines
- Crépiness around the eyes
- Stucco keratosis and similar superficial skin lesions
- Broken blood vessels
- Unwanted hair
TYPES OF LASER TREATMENT
Neodynium – Yttrium Aluminum Garnet laser (Nd YAG laser) is a versatile laser. It has a wavelength of 1064 nm and has the capability to reach deeper layers of skin tissue. Pigment removal is done by rapid short pulsed laser beams. Long pulsed beams are used for epilation (hair removal) & telangiectasia (redness removal). However, white hairs cannot be removed due to their lack of pigmentation but the blood vessel to the follicle can be altered to decrease nutrient blood flow and thereby reduce the rate of hair growth.
LONG-PULSED Nd YAG
The lasers are absorbed by hair follicle and spares other skin appendages. Cooling devices further prevent the heat damage to the rest of the skin. Laser hair removal needs multiple sessions. Re-growth of hair after each session may take from 3 months to up to a year where the latter is considered as a ‘very good result’. The re-growth is thinner, slower and scantier after each session.
Laser hair removal has proven to be a very popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure; see current American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) statistics. It is a non-invasive, convenient way to permanently reduce unwanted facial or body hair.
- A non-invasive, gentle technique that eliminates undesirable hair from all parts of the body.
- Leaves skin looking smoother and silkier.
- Treats larger areas effectively because it removes more than one hair at a time.
- Minimal discomfort.
- Replaces waxing, electrolysis, razors, and painful light–based procedures
- Immediate return to normal activities.
- An ongoing process that requires multiple sessions.
- Sometimes there is a temporary slight reddening of the skin or localized swelling.
- May have to use specially formulated skin care products, and/or a prescribed skin care regimes.
Sunscreen is recommended for any treated areas exposed to the sun after laser
- Patients with darker pigmentation may not respond well.
- Blonde, white or gray hairs are less responsive to laser treatments and sometimes cannot be treated even after multiple treatments.
- Shaving the day prior to treatment is recommended
Some patients are resistant to laser treatment due to hormonally stimulated hair growth. The ability to use other light based technologies such as BBL®, Alexandrite and diode lasers can be used as well if this is a problem. However, some people may not see complete reduction of hair growth even with these additional techniques.
Erbium YAG Laser
The near infrared adsorption is 100% in tissue water resulting in complete wrinkle removal.
With Profractional® laser acne scars as well as skin tone and texture issues can be removed effectively with staged, less aggressive treatment that requires local anesthesia only. The small spot size allows rapid healing and need for little anaesthesia (usually topical cream only). The more aggressive deeper peels may require brief anaesthesia. But the treatment is usually one time only. Scars and deep wrinkles can be effectively treated with one time anaesthetic, usually of a general type.
For facial wrinkles it is stressed that strict solar avoidance be exercised to prevent recurrence. The patient is sent home with moisturizer and sunblock that are essential for care in the first 48-72 hours post treatment.
The skin will remain pink for 7- 21 days. It takes 6 full weeks for the skin to return to its original state. Skin cover can be used in the interim to achieve natural skin coloration, however.
The degree of resurfacing can effect the time of recovery but remember that the deeper the peel the better the result!