Have you heard of laser treatment and are wondering how it works? Laser treatment or laser resurfacing is a procedure done to lessen facial wrinkles or skin irregularities like acne scars and blemishes. The technique involves focusing pulsating light beams on irregular skin accurately to ensure there is no damage to the surrounding tissues. The lasers remove the blemished skin in layers to achieve blemish-free skin. The procedure is also referred to as laser peel, lasabrasion, or laser vaporization. Let’s look further into this great treatment!
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Laser Treatment
Before you go to any laser body sculpting services, it is good to know whether you are a candidate for this type of treatment. If you have noticed some fine lines around your mouth, eyes, or forehead, your skin is non-responsive following a facelift, you want to get rid of excessive hair, or you have scars from acne, you are a good candidate for the treatment.
If you have acne or dark skin, you may not qualify for this treatment. Laser treatment is also not recommended if you have stretch marks. Consult with a physician first and get professional advice on whether this technique is right for you.
How Does Laser Treatment Work?
There are various types of lasers used in this kind of treatment. Take a look at some of them below.
- Erbium Laser Resurfacing
Erbium laser resurfacing is aimed at removing deep lines and wrinkles on the face, neck, hands, or chest. Its major advantage is that it causes very minimal burning of the surrounding tissues. It also has fewer side effects such as bruising, redness, and swelling. That means the recovery period for this kind of treatment is shorter compared to CO2 laser resurfacing. In some cases, a patient may take only a week to recover. Talk to your doctor and ask how long you can expect your recovery time to be. Also, note that this procedure may work better for people with darker skin tones.
- CO2 Laser Resurfacing
CO2 laser resurfacing is a popular treatment for various skin issues like scars, wrinkles, warts, enlarged or oil glands on one’s nose, and a few other conditions. The latest version of this type of treatment uses ultrapulse or short-pulsed energy to help remove skin layers with very little heat energy. The recovery period for this kind of treatment is about two weeks.
- Pulse-Dye Lasers
Pulse-dye lasers or a vascular laser is used in treating skin problems associated with blood vessels. It is an ideal option for anyone with broken capillaries, hyperpigmentation, or rosacea. The lasers are usually non-ablative, and they use yellow light to heat the skin, absorbing pigments.
Fractional lasers are designed to only target part of the skin at a time. It can treat various age-related issues, wrinkles, acne scars, and eliminate hyperpigmentation.
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Even though IPL treatments are not lasers, they can be used to treat various issues, including removing unwanted hair. According to Statistic Stats, there are three types of laser that a physician can use in laser hair removal procedures. They include long-pulse alexandrite lasers, long-pulse ruby lasers, and long-pulse diode lasers. IPL can also be used to repair scarring, rosacea, sun damage, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation. To lower the risk of skin damage, the laser chosen and how it is used will depend on your skin type.
How To Prepare For Laser Treatment
Before going for any laser body sculpting services, consult a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to know if you make a good candidate. Ensure you take the time to find a good doctor with training and experience in the field. The doctor will then decide which treatment is right for you based on the desired results, medical history, and your current health.
Once you are all set to go, the doctor might ask you to stop taking supplements or medication that can affect clotting, like ibuprofen, aspirin, and vitamin E, for about ten days prior to treatment. If you smoke, you will need to stop two weeks before and after the laser treatment. Smoking can increase your recovery days. The doctor may also prescribe you some antibiotics before treatment to reduce the risk of bacterial and antiviral infections.
What You Can Expect
Laser treatment is an outpatient procedure. Expect to be discharged the same day. If you are only getting treatment on small areas, expect the doctor to numb those areas, but if your entire face is being treated, the doctor will administer general anesthesia.
If the treatment is just for various parts of the face, the procedure can last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Treatment on the whole face takes about two hours. After the procedure, the doctor applies bandages on the treated area, and then you can head home.
Twenty-four hours after the procedure, patients need to clean the treated parts about four to five times a day and apply petroleum jelly or ointment to prevent scabs. In general, the treated areas take around 10 to 21 days to heal, but it also depends on which condition was being treated.
After treatment, you may notice some swelling. This is normal. The doctor may give you some steroids to help manage that. It is also a good idea to get another pillow so that you elevate your head while sleeping. This can help reduce the swelling that is often observed in the first 48 hours after treatment.
You may get a stinging or itchy feeling 12 to 72 hours after the treatment. In about a week, you will notice that the skin has become dry and peeling. These are signs of healing. Once your skin heals, only apply oil-free makeup to reduce redness which usually fades in 2 to 3 months.
After the surgery, you may notice your skin is lighter. As such, ensure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin at this time. Find one specifically formulated for the face. But above everything else, limit your exposure to the sun, especially when it is very hot. This can be anywhere between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you have to be out, consider getting a broad-brimmed hat so that your skin has full protection against harmful rays of the sun.
Do not forget to moisturize. If you have been using glycol acid or Retin A products, six weeks after the procedure, you should be able to start using them again.
Usually, laser skin resurfacing can result in your skin turning red or pink. If this bothers you, once you have healed, it is okay to wear makeup to hide this. Ideally, you should go with green-based products as they are great at neutralizing the pink or red color. While generally, this redness should disappear in about three months, for people with fair skin, it can take as long as six months.
Darker skin-toned patients might get darker pigmentation. If you are in this category, use a bleaching agent pre and post-treatment to prevent that. Also, get broad-spectrum sunscreen and try and avoid too much sun exposure until you have healed.
Complications of Laser Treatment
There are some potential risks that come with laser treatment. That is why when you are looking for laser body sculpting services, you should work with a pro to minimize the risk of complications. And although this treatment may not give you perfect skin, it can enhance your appearance. With that said, here are some potential risks that accompany laser treatment.
- Burns or any other injuries resulting from the heat
- Bacterial infection
- A change in your skin color
Cost of Laser Treatment
The cost of laser treatment varies depending on the procedure being done and the doctor you are working with. And because it is a cosmetic procedure, it is not covered by most medical insurance companies.
If you have seen that you make an ideal candidate, then you can find a doctor offering the services and go for it. Just ensure you follow the instructions before and after treatment for the best results. Reach out to us today for more information!