What You Need to Know Before Considering Laser Treatments for Your Skin
Suffering from pigmentation or acne? Chances are you’ve been recommended a laser treatment by your doctor and are probably considering having it done too. While lasers can help achieve what basic facial treatments can’t, you should be armed with all the information about them including processes, aftercare and possible side effects. Read on for the details on laser treatments and what to keep in mind before you sign on the dotted line.
What is a laser treatment or facial?
A treatment that involves the use of any (or many) types of laser technology to achieve certain cosmetic results is called a laser treatment. A laser facial is an upgraded version of a regular facial that harnesses the power of laser to give you better results. But, buyers beware – it may not be the typical spa-like facial you are used to. Laser facials or treatments are quick, mean business and will probably give you better results than ordinary facials but are not meant to be a pampering session. Think of it as a facial done by a doctor – fast, precise and worth it!
Read more: What the Chinese say about good skin
What are the different types of lasers one can use?
Lasers are merely a tool to arrive at your skin goal. Your doctor is the right person to choose the type, intensity and frequency of laser treatments needed to achieve that. Lasers generate invisible light energy and treat a variety of skin problems, such as acne, rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation or simply skin rejuvenation.
Non-ablative lasers are a resurfacing device that stimulate collagen and improve the skin’s appearance without damaging the surface. And ablative lasers are more aggressive and typically used for more serious issues. These two basic types of lasers can be further broken down into many subcategories and variations.
Again, your doctor is the right person to determine what works best for your skin type.
What type of skin concerns can lasers help with?
Got pigmentation issues? The Pico Discovery Plus is perhaps the most powerful laser in the market and is equipped with 3 different laser wavelengths. It has been studied in many clinical trials and has been very successful in the treatment of pigmentation disorders and tattoo removal.
Should you be looking for just skin rejuvenation, lasers can provide ample help too. Thermage FLX is a non-invasive laser treatment that uses radiofrequency energy which penetrates deep into skin to stimulate collagen production and skin tightening.
Ultherapy is another breakthrough procedure that uses medical ultrasound for dramatic and long lasting facial firming, skin tightening and lifting. A way to lift your face without the need for a scalpel!
What happens during the procedure? How long will it take and do I need any downtime?
Laser treatments are quick and painless – 30-minutes is all you may need! Most users don’t feel any pain, but in case you are of sensitive skin ask your doctor for a numbing cream to make it a comfortable experience.
There may be mild flushing of the treated area which usually resolves in a few hours. There may also be more obvious localised redness that lasts a few days but that is also completely normal. Should you need a shorter downtime, request your doctor to go for a less intensive route.
Any side effects to be wary of?
While some redness can be expected and is often normal, side effects of a wrongly done laser treatment include swelling, itching, infection and scarring.
It is also important to keep before and after care in mind. Your skin should ideally not be tanned prior to treatment. You should also stop the use of retinoids and acids a week or so before the treatment so as to not over sensitise your skin. Post care essentials include sun protection of SPF 30 of higher and also a considerate effort to avoid UV exposure for a few days after the treatment.
As with any aesthetic treatment the way to minimize issues post treatment is to go to the right doctor in the first place. Find someone who comes with the experience and knowledge on how to work with lasers and you’ll be fine – in fact you’ll be back for more!