What are laser procedures?
Laser technology in the hands of a skilled physician diminishes various skin imperfections:
- Sun damage and aging: Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing stimulates the body’s healing process to replace old, damaged cells with fresh, healthy skin. It targets wrinkles, enlarged pores and acne scars on the face, hands, arms and chest, and can also improve overall skin texture and erase superficial signs of aging like brown spots or melasma.
- Leg veins (of 1 mm or less): Laser treatment can fade visible veins in one or two treatments.
- Facial veins and redness: Laser treatment can remove spider veins on the face, port-wine stain birthmarks, and cherry angiomas on the chest and back, usually in one treatment.
- Freckles, age spots and liver spots: Most isolated pigmented lesions can be removed in one or two treatments. Deep-seated lesions can’t be treated with a laser, however, and may need surgical removal and biopsy.
How laser procedures work
Laser procedures direct highly concentrated light below the surface of the skin to gently heat the lower layer. Some procedures focus a particular wavelength of light to target and destroy specific pigments, like the red hemoglobin in broken capillaries, or the brown melanin in age spots or freckles. Other laser procedures are designed to stimulate collagen production, which plumps and smooths the skin.
Before the procedure, a numbing gel is applied to the face and the area to be treated is cleansed. You and your doctor will both wear protective eyewear during the procedure. The skin on the area being treated will be pulled taut while the laser device is passed over the area. The length of the procedure depends on the size of the area being treated.
Which areas of the body are best for laser procedures?
Laser procedures can be effective almost anywhere on the face and body. Your physician will select the type of laser that’s best for you based on what you want to treat.
How soon will you see results with laser procedures?
If your treatment is performed to remove pigment, you’ll begin to see results immediately, and the pigment will continue to fade for months following treatment.
If your treatment is performed to improve your skin texture, you’ll notice softer, smoother, tighter skin right away, and will continue to see improvements over the next three to six months as new collagen is created in the deeper layers of your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Procedures
A. If you’re having a laser procedure to remove pigment, those results will be permanent. Laser skin resurfacing has long-lasting effects, but it doesn’t stop the normal effects of aging on your skin. Make sure you always wear high-SPF sunscreen to protect yourself from sun damage.
A. If you have a lot of broken blood vessels in your face caused by rosacea, laser treatments can erase them and reduce redness. The blood vessels that are treated won’t reappear, but new ones can form.