There’s no doubt that your skin is exposed to multifarious environmental elements on a daily basis that can end up damaging its appearance and overall health. Acne, aging, and over-exposure to the sun can often leave your face with prominent scars, blotches, wrinkles, and fine lines.
While it isn’t all that easy to get rid of these issues from your skin, there is a dermatological procedure that can help: laser skin resurfacing.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you are probably aware of the number of fields that laser therapy is being used in, including skincare. By precisely removing the dead and redundant skin layer by layer, laser skin resurfacing helps make your skin appear younger and healthier. The best thing about this procedure is that it can either be performed on its own, or with other cosmetic surgeries.
So, without further ado, lets enter the world of laser therapy to see how it really works.
Laser skin resurfacing is a cutting-edge cosmetic procedure that has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in enhancing skin appearance. This advanced treatment leverages the power of laser technology to meticulously improve the skin's texture, tone, and overall quality. It addresses a range of skin concerns, including wrinkles, scars, and age spots, offering a non-invasive solution to those seeking rejuvenation for a more youthful and radiant complexion.
The following paragraphs delve into the essential facts and practical tips about laser skin resurfacing, providing a comprehensive understanding of what the procedure entails, its benefits, ideal candidates, potential risks, and the importance of aftercare for optimal results.
What Are Lasers and How Do They Work?
The word laser means ‘light amplification through the stimulated emanation of radiation.’
Sounds a little complicated, no?
Well, it isn’t all complicated. From a dermatological perspective, laser is used for skin resurfacing in a way that they harness the power of heat and light to enhance one’s skin tone, texture and color. Laser therapy does this by creating controlled injuries in the tissue that stimulates the body to have a healing response, eventually making it look better. As lasers conduct controlled damage on your skin, your body reacts by creating new skin.
With time, as you age, your skin loses its capability to produce collagen and elastin, making it looser, and causing it to lose its firmness. Laser skin resurfacing enhances the production of collagen, helping combat fine lines and wrinkles, and restoring the firmness of your skin.
All things considered, the thing with lasers is that they pose their fair share of threats. This is why we have made a comprehensive list of fact and tips from a skincare expert.
Here’s everything you need to know before opting for laser skin resurfacing.
This procedure utilizes concentrated beams of light, specifically lasers, to remove skin layer by layer with precision. The primary technology used in this procedure can be broadly categorized into two types: ablative and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide) and Erbium, remove the outer layers of the skin and are more intense, offering dramatic results in texture improvement and skin tightening.
Don’t Assume the Person Operating the Laser Is a Trained Professional
Well, in the current era of med spas and salons, the line between aesthetics, pampering, and medical treatments is quite blur. Only trained and licensed aestheticians are well-equipped to perform laser procedures safely. However, the problem is that with the growing casualness surrounding such skin treatments, not everyone checks the credentials and experience of an aesthetician.
Lasers aren’t toys! They are a very powerful and potentially dangerous tool. You need to maintain the perfect balance and exact wavelength of the tiny fluctuations of light and heat manipulation to get the perfect skin, and prevent disaster. So, if you are looking seeking for laser skin resurfacing treatment, make sure to reach other to a certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.
Certain Medications or Conditions Affect How Your Skin Might React to a Treatment
Laser therapy is serious business. You need to be honest and share all important information with your treatment provider. This includes briefing them on your medical history and enlightening them about any medications or supplements you might be taking. For instance, if you tend to experience cold sores or fever blisters, laser skin resurfacing can cause acne breakouts. Moreover, acne medications contains a substance called Accutane that often leads to a poor healing process and increased scarring from laser skin resurface. Also, you need to be even more careful as certain over-the-counter medications such as aspirin can amplify the risk of post-procedure bleeding.
Chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes also influence the results of laser skin resurfacing. Many professionals even suggest that you quit smoking at least 2 weeks before and after getting laser treatment to steer clear of any complications that might hinder the healing process or reduce the probability of getting optimal results.
Know the Basic Categories of Resurfacing Lasers
They are particularly effective for deeper wrinkles, significant sun damage, and scars. However, they require more downtime for healing. Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, don’t remove skin layers but instead use heat to stimulate collagen production, leading to skin tightening and improvement in skin tone and texture. This method is less invasive and has a quicker recovery time, but may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results.
Laser skin resurfacing can be done using a variety of laser types, depending on your skin type, such as ablative and non-ablative lasers. Certain like ablative ones can end up wounding the skin while other therapies like light therapies are far gentler for your skin.
So, here are some of the basic resurfacing laser types you need to know about.
- Light Therapies
- Additional Lasers
Choose the Right Laser for Your Skin
Candidates for laser skin resurfacing are typically those who wish to address certain cosmetic concerns related to the skin. Ideal candidates are individuals with a fair skin tone, non-smokers, and those with realistic expectations about the outcomes. It’s important for those interested in this procedure to consult with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon who is experienced in laser treatments. The specialist will evaluate the person's skin type, the severity of skin issues, and overall health to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure.
They will also discuss the expected outcomes, potential risks, and the required post-treatment care. Risks associated with laser skin resurfacing include redness, swelling, itching, and a temporary change in skin color. More severe complications, though rare, can include scarring, infection, or changes in skin texture. It’s crucial to follow the aftercare instructions provided by the specialist to minimize risks and ensure optimal healing.
It is a wise decision to get your laser skin resurfacing done from an expert who has considerable experience using a range of lasers. Trained professionals that have operated different laser types have an idea about customizing their treatments in terms of the ideal wavelength and the best laser to use. Very often, they mix it up by combining various lasers with varying wavelengths. So, if you are seeking to get laser skin resurfacing, make sure to consult your doctors about the pros, cons, and recovery time of every laser type.
Be Prepared to Ask Questions during Your Consultation
Always be prepared to ask questions from your doctor. After all, it’s a matter of the wellness of your skin. When it comes to lasers, the rule of thumb is that the more aggressive the treatment, the longer the recovery, and the better the result. On the other hand, the less aggressive the treatment, the lesser the recovery time, the lesser obvious the result, and the more treatments you will require.
Don’t instantly jump in with a decision of the kind of laser you want to get. Make sure to make a list of questions you need to ask your doctor during your consultation, allowing them to give you an idea about the best laser skin resurfacing therapy for your skin. Your specialist will check your skin, weigh the pros and cons of all the available options, and will help you make the ultimate decision.
Be Careful with Lasers if You Have a Dark Skin Tone
Not all skin tones and shades react to lasers the same way. The Fitzpatrick scale is utilized by dermatologists to get an idea about how different types of colored skin will respond to ultraviolet (UV) light. This scale ranks from 1 to 6, with 1 being the lightest color, and 6 having the most melanin.
Even though it is possible to use any category of lasers on any skin tone, it is imperative that you remain mindful of doing so. The more pigmented the skin, the higher the risk of that person experiencing more darkness, blotchiness, and brown spots, even if that’s what they want to treat in the first place.
Lasers Help Treat Acne Scars, but Aren’t Suitable for Active Acne
Laser skin resurfacing and other light-related therapies might seem like the ideal treatment for acne. However, it’s not all that simple. While lasers can be great and substantially effective for resurfacing acne scars, they won’t do much more active acne. The best light treatment to seek for active acne includes a treatment with blue or blue-red light. Moreover, your dermatologist might also recommend a simple treatment for acne such as creams or lotions.
Aftercare and recovery are vital components of the laser skin resurfacing process. Post-treatment care typically involves keeping the treated area clean, applying prescribed ointments to prevent scabs, and avoiding direct sun exposure. The healing process varies depending on the type of laser used and the individual’s skin type. For ablative laser treatments, the recovery can take up to two weeks, during which the skin will heal and start to form new layers.
Non-ablative laser treatments have a shorter recovery period, often with mild redness and swelling that dissipates within a few days. The final results of laser skin resurfacing will become more apparent over time as the skin continues to heal and produce new collagen. It’s important to maintain a healthy skincare routine after the procedure, including the use of sun protection, to prolong the results.
Regular follow-up appointments with the specialist are also recommended to monitor the progress and address any concerns. Laser skin resurfacing can offer significant improvements in skin appearance, but maintaining realistic expectations and a commitment to skin health are key to achieving satisfactory results.
If you are indeed interested in getting laser skin resurfacing, you need to ensure that you take good care after you have gotten it done. Once you have gotten your treatment, you will need to avoid behavior patterns and habits that might recreate the same problems for you. Certain steps you can take to care for your skin after your laser treatment is to use face products with retinol like the Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer or a vit c serum like the Advanced Anti-aging Vitamin C Serum by ML Delicate Beauty!
So, have you ever opted for laser skin resurfacing or are planning to do so? Let us know in the comments below!
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Christine Wright is a trusted beauty expert and an esthetician who is loved by editors and bloggers. She is a prolific writer on the topics of natural, chemical-free skin and body care. She also does reviews on store brand beauty products, with fairness and a real point-of-view. She is well-known of creating products for specific skin types, especially to those with ultra-sensitive faces.