Laser Skin Treatments and Their Benefits
Skin conditions include blemishes, acne, wrinkles, etc. The list is never-ending. Aging brings dark circles, sagging skin, wrinkles, etc. Anti-aging products, medications, etc. all promise to redress these skin problems. But most of these promises remain unfulfilled! That is when people turn to laser treatments!
Skin is the largest and most visible part of our body. Performing many functions, starting from sense to protection, it suffers all the environmental chaos, the use of harsh products and many other external and internal torments. Any problem, in whichever part of the body, will affect the skin for sure.
Laser therapy is used to treat varied skin condition and ailments, including:
- Pucker marks and frown lines
- Brown spots and uneven skin color
- Uneven skin tone and texture
- Smokers’ line
- Vascular lesions
- Skin tightening
Lasers are sources of high-intensity light. It exactly focuses on small spots with high energy.
The laser beam can gently vaporize and/or ablate the skin tissues to treat wrinkles, scars, and blemishes, seal blood vessels or cut skin tissue. Broad-spectrum of the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) has the ability to specifically treat blood vessels and pigmentation.
The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin, precisely removing the skin layer by layer.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles: For treating lines and wrinkles, a combination of skin resurfacing and skin-tightening procedures can be used or both can be accomplished with a more aggressive ablative laser, such as a CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser or Erbium YAG. The CO2 laser is also usually used for the removal of warts and skin tags and for cutting the skin in laser-assisted surgery. Pulsed dye lasers have also shown some success, along with less aggressive nonlaser, light-based treatments, such as IPL and LED photo facials. (See other light-based cosmetic applications below.)
Skin Tightening: Most cosmetic laser procedures provide at least some level of superficial tightening because they produce a controlled injury of the skin, which encourages increased collagen production. For more significant tightening results, however, CO2 lasers are the laser of choice.
Pigmented Lesions: The most usually used lasers for the treatment of pigmented lesions, such as sunspots, age spots, melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation are the pulsed dye, Nd: YAG, and fractional (Fraxel) lasers, along with nonlaser, light-based treatments, such as IPL.
Precancerous Lesions: Almost all surgeons agree that cancerous lesions should be removed via scalpel (with a knife during surgery) to ensure clear borders and complete removal. In addition to making sure a skin cancer has “clear margins,” this assures that there is a sample for a pathologist to look at to determine exactly what the lesion was. By removing precancerous growths, such as actinic keratoses, before they have a chance to become malignant (squamous cell skin cancers), though, lasers are now routinely being used as a preventative measure. Ablative lasers, such as the CO2 and erbium: YAG, is usually chosen to remove these lesions.
Vascular Lesions: Vascular lesions include broken blood vessels on the face, unsightly spider veins on the legs, spider nevi, hemangiomas, and certain birthmarks such as port-wine stains. For these types of skin irregularities, IPL is a common choice, as it is minimally invasive. Also popular for treating these lesions are the pulsed dye, Nd: YAG and diode lasers.
Tattoos: The CO2 laser and Nd: YAG remains popular for tattoo removal, although some success can also be had with the use of IPL.
Hair Removal: The success and safety of laser hair removal are highly dependent on the pigment present in both the skin and the hair of the patient being treated. For darker-skinned patients, the Nd: YAG and diode lasers are often the lasers of choice, and for lighter-skinned patients, IPL has proved effective.
Acne and Acne Scars: For deeper acne scars, the CO2 laser remains the gold standard, although more recent developments such as the erbium: YAG, fractional laser and certain nonablative lasers have shown considerable success with superficial acne scarring. For the treatment of active acne, LED technology has proven to be quite effective.