When you think of lasers, you might think of science fiction. But in real life, lasers are useful in the fight against aging. If you aren’t ready for surgery or have skin issues that surgery can’t fix, laser skin resurfacing can be an effective way to reduce signs of aging on your face.
If you decide to undergo laser skin resurfacing, you have several options. Some lasers are ablative, meaning they damage the top layer of skin, while others are non-ablative. Non-ablative lasers have a shorter recovery time than ablative lasers, but the results aren’t as dramatic.
One of the more obvious signs of aging that laser treatments can help with is facial wrinkles. The treatments work better on some types of wrinkles than on others. While a laser treatment might help reduce the look of dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles created by frequent muscle movements, it’s typically most effective at treating wrinkles that created as a result of years of sun exposure, years of smoking or a loss of collagen that occurs as you age.
How deep your wrinkles are determines how they will respond to certain treatments. A mildFraxel treatment, for example, might be sufficient for fine lines on the face. The depth of your wrinkles also contributes to how many treatments you’ll need. More deeply etched wrinkles will usually require several treatments. Some laser treatments, such as traditional carbon dioxide treatments, might not be appropriate for very deep wrinkles, as the heat of the laser needed would increase recovery and cause significant damage to the skin.
Traditional carbon dioxide lasers and fractionated lasers, such as Fraxel, can help reduce age spots and other areas of discoloration on the skin. The Erbium laser can also reduce the look of dark spots and, as an added benefit, won’t cause pigmentation problems on people who have darker skin.
Laser treatments erase discoloration and spots because the beam of light is able to destroy the pigment cells on the skin. That’s also the reason why traditional laser treatments weren’t recommended for people with dark skin. Instead of treating an area of discoloration, there was the risk that the laser would treat the entire pigmented area, causing unwanted lightening of the skin.
If you suffered from acne in the past, either during your teenage years or as an adults, you might have scars remaining. Acne scars can either be raised or in the form of crevices or craters on your skin. A deeper Fraxel laser treatment can help remove or minimize the appearance of acne scars on your face. The treatment can also help with other types of scars, such as surgical scars.
The Erbium laser can also help reduce the look of scars on the face. Depending on how deep your scars are, you may only need one treatment. The Erbium laser might be ideal for you if you have darker skin and acne scarring, as it is less likely to cause hypo-pigmentation.
It’s called laser skin resurfacing for a reason — it can help improve the texture and surface of your skin. Lasers help improve skin texture by stimulating the production of collagen in the skin. As you get older, your body produces less and less collagen. As a result, there isn’t much to support the sebaceous or oil glands beneath the skin. Without support, the weight of the glands makes your pores look larger, creating a rough skin texture.
Unlike other treatments, such as Retinol, which just makes pores look smaller, laser treatments can actually reduce the size of your pores. The results are long-lasting, too.
Just as laser treatments can destroy pigment cells or the outer layer of skin, they can also destroy hair follicles, helping to remove unwanted hair from the body or face permanently. Typically, laser hair removal is most effective for people who have dark hair but light skin. Certain treatments can be used effectively on people with fair hair or on people who have darker skin.
Learn more about laser skin resurfacing treatments from specialist Dr. Jessica Kulak. Dr. Kulak can discuss which laser options are right for you based on your skin type and the problems that concern you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kulak, call the Naderi Center at (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland today.