Laser treatments have come a long way since their commercial debut nearly 20 years ago. Today, laser treatments of all kinds, offer a sophisticated, targeted approach to achieving perfect skin.
What you should know: These laser treatments feel like a rubber band snapping on the skin. Treating people with darker skin with laser can result in hyperpigmentation. If your treatment is for dilated blood vessels, the condition can return if you drink, smoke or expose your skin to extreme weather conditions. Those with rosacea can experience redness again if their condition is triggered due to lifestyle. Read more about Rosacea signs and symptoms in our article Rosacea.
Laser for Fine Lines – Fractional, nonablative lasers (known as Fraxel) work by heating columns of tissue and creating tiny ‘wounds’ under the skin’s surface. As the skin heals, it products more collagen which tightens lines and plumps the skin.
What you should know: This is an effective treatment and results are measurable. During treatment you will experience a ‘hot’ sensation on the skin and you will have redness and peeling after the treatment.
Learn more about Fraxel in our article Fraxel Laser Resurfacing
Laser for Acne – on of the most effective treatments for acne is actually a light treatment, rather than laser treatment. While laser (IPL) treatment does reduce the production of oil by shrinking the oil glads, light treatment can work to kill bacteria associated with acne and reduce inflammation. There are difference types of light therapy – blue light is the most commonly used wavelength, although a combination of blue light and red light also appears to be effective. For more information on laser treatment for acne, read our article on Laser Treatment: Is It Effective for Acne?
What you should know: Before the procedure, your doctor might apply a medication to your skin to make it more sensitive to light. Multiple treatment sessions are usually necessary with light therapy. Side effects can include temporary redness, crusting and peeling in the treated areas.
Laser for Tattoo Removal – Turn the clock back on a bad decision and remove tattoos with laser treatment. There are different lasers for tattoo removal, but one of the latest (the Q-switched Nd:YAG), is a highly effective laser for removing a wide range of colored ink. The laser works by targeting and breaking up the ink into tiny particles, which are then absorbed by the skin over time – and it’s FDA approved!
What you should know: Some tattoos can take multiple treatments to remove, especially if several different ink color were used. Light blue, light green and turquoise are difficult colors to remove entirely. In many cases no more than 70% to 80% of these ink color can be removed (unless the tattoo is more than 20 years old).
Results are not immediate. It takes time for the body to absorb the ink particles. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve desired results. Some people experience a little muscle tenderness after treatment. You can expect some swelling, redness and minor blistering after laser tattoo treatment, however, these side effects are temporary and your skin should heal completely.
Read more about Tattoos and tattoo removal in our article on Tattoo Remorse.
Laser for Hair Removal – the oldest, and most common use of laser treatment is for hair removal. Pulsed light heat the hair follicle, triggering a response that interrupts growth. Traditional laser hair removal works best on light skinned people and dark hair. Those with darker skin types should check with their professional practitioner before laser hair remove, since it can trigger hyperpigementation or hypopigmentation.
What you should know: You should stay out of the sun after laser hair removal treatment for at least 48 hours. The treatment feels like pin pricks on the skin and may require 6 or more sessions for permanent hair removal due to the cycle of the hair follicle.
Read more about laser hair removal in our article IPL Hair Removal.
On a final note, any laser treatment, regardless of the condition you are treating, should be performed by a licensed, certified practitioner. Laser burns, are unfortunately, common enough to head the warning. For more information on the precautions of laser, read our article on Laser and IPL Burns and make sure you proceed with caution.