The science and the aesthetic beauty of cosmetic medicine allow us to look and feel gorgeous for longer. This is most noticeable in skin rejuvenation, where laser treatments are renewing the way people look.
In this article our team is going to focus on all the ways light can be used to illuminate your skin.
What Is a Cosmetic Laser?
If the only information you had about cosmetic lasers came from the James Bond movie Goldfinger, our team that it would be a good idea to start from scratch.
L.A.S.E.R. is actually an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
Cosmetic and medical lasers give off a beam of light in a sole wavelength or colour. Lasers offer a wide range of power settings which makes them valuable in a collection of different applications that revive the revive skin.
The main benefit of lasers for cosmetic revitalization is their accuracy. The high-intensity light that comes from a laser can be adjusted to transfer light energy onto a tiny area, which is where the term laser-focused comes from.
Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Cosmetic Lasers
Two kinds of lasers are used by aesthetic specialists in cosmetic practices. Each has its purpose, and both have proven to be useful in giving skin a young and radiant look. The more you invest in initial discomfort and subsequent recovery, the more you will be able to succeed in a given treatment.
Ablative Lasers – were the original type of laser that were used for non-surgical cosmetic practices. Ablative lasers work on the surface of your skin. The light they discharge vaporizes the top two layers of damaged skin. Ablative lasers used for resurfacing skin are either a carbon dioxide (CO2) or an Erbium: YAG (a type of metal enriched crystal) laser.
Non-Ablative Lasers – These work at a deeper level without harming surface skin. Treatments are not as aggressive and need less recovery time than with ablative lasers, but they are also less effective.
The main differences between the effects of ablative and non-ablative lasers have to do with the wavelengths they give off. For this reason, a combination of several different lasers may be recommended to address facial ageing and discoloration.
Light Beyond the Laser for Glowing Skin
Laser light is not the only light used for aesthetic enhancement. Many different light-based methods are effective at reviving the skin. These methods include the following:
• Intense Pulsed Light
• LED treatments
• Infrared energy-based technologies
• Radio-frequency based treatments
• Intense Pulsed Light Treatments
As you’ve already read, lasers produce a pulse of single wavelength light energy. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments use a flash lamp (rather than a laser) to rejuvenate skin. Like lasers, IPL machines can be dialled to a range of power settings. Unlike lasers, however, IPL lamps produce light energy of multiple wavelengths and are great for patients with the diffuse redness and dilated vessels on the face associated with rosacea.
IPL treatments provide a primary improvement in pigment (browns and reds). They also heat the deeper layers of skin to stimulate collagen production. Between increased collagen and the improvement in texture and pigment, people who undergo IPL treatments generally experience an overall glow or luminosity to the skin.
The bottom line: If your skin irregularities are mostly to do with pigment, IPL and Pulsed Dye Laser treatments for skin rejuvenation are probably your best bet. If you’re trying to improve deeper textural problems such as pronounced wrinkles and scars, laser technologies are most likely to offer significant improvement.
Cosmetic Uses for Lasers
We could list all the names, sub-categories, and brands of lasers – Nd: YAG, fractional lasers, CO2 lasers, etc. – or provide a detailed and technical explanation of the differences between lasers and light therapies. Instead, however, we’re going to focus on what matters most to you: the benefits of laser skin rejuvenation.
The Best Way to get rid of wrinkles and fine lines Fine Lines
A combination of skin resurfacing and skin tightening can be accomplished with a CO2 laser or Erbium laser. Both are aggressive ablative lasers. The CO2 laser is also a useful tool for the removal of warts and skin tags.
IPL photofacials are also a valuable treatment option, though the results are not as good as with laser treatment.
The Best Skin Tightening Cosmetic Treatment
Laser treatments produce a controlled injury to the skin, which will lead to some superficial tightening due to increased collagen production. CO2 lasers are considered the most useful in this situation.
Light-based treatments, including infrared devices and radio-frequency-based systems, have also proven to provide excellent results.
The Most Effective way to erase Pigmented Lesions
Nd: YAG and fractional lasers are the most commonly used tool to treat sun spots, age spots, and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
Intense Pulsed light treatments can also be effective in lightening and smoothing lesions.
Treating Pre-Cancerous Legions
Cancerous lesions should be surgically excised to ensure clear borders and complete removal. However, lasers are an effective treatment to remove pre-cancerous lesions such as actinic keratoses due to sun or ageing.
Ablative lasers such as CO2 and Erbium: YAG is generally the lasers of choice for this problem.
The Best Way to Treat Vascular Lesions
Broken blood vessels on the face, port wine birthmarks, spider veins on the legs, and other skin irregularities are most often treated with Intense Pulsed Light therapy. As IPL is minimally invasive, it is the first line of treatment.
In some instances, pulsed dye, Nd: YAG, or a diode laser may be indicated.
Removing Tattoos – Today’s lasers – CO2 and Nd: YAG – are helping lots of people with tattoo regret. The new generation of lasers is more effective than ever at lightening even the darkest dyes.
IPL can provide some lightening of a tattoo, but is not recommended.
Acne and Acne Scars – The CO2 laser remains the gold standard for treating deep acne scars. More recently, however, developments such as the erbium: YAG, fractional laser, and certain non-ablative lasers have shown considerable success on more superficial acne scarring.
What Can’t a Laser Do?
We should note that laser skin rejuvenation therapies and IPL treatments can improve the tone and texture of skin. They cannot eliminate excessive skin or tighten the sagging skin that can cause a weak chin line and jowls. Other cosmetic treatments and surgical procedures can remedy those problems.
Happily, it is possible to combine a variety of facial rejuvenation treatments into a single session to achieve optimal results in minimal time. A consultation with your aesthetic professional is the best, easiest and smartest way to determine which therapies are right for you and your skin.
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