For a long time, people have associated laser treatments with hair removal. Still, the movement has expanded to so many other areas of skincare and the body with emerging medical and scientific procedures. In addition to hair removal, laser treatments are also available for alternative solutions for issues such as skin resurfacing, treatment of Rosacea, and fat reduction, to name a few. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways that laser treatments are helping individuals transform their lives.
It is important to remember that the best way to identify if these laser treatments are right for you is by scheduling an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist. A medical professional can better help to provide further guidance and help answer your questions.
1) Laser Hair Removal
Tired of waking up early so that you can shave unwanted hair? Or are you annoyed that you have to grow unwanted hair so that you can wax it? Now there’s a way of removing hair that doesn’t give you the hassle. If you’re not happy with shaving, tweezing, or waxing to remove that unwanted fuzz, laser hair removal may be an option worth considering.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly done cosmetic procedures in the United States. A laser produces a beam of highly concentrated light for hair removal for men and women. The light emitted is well-absorbed by the pigment located in hair follicles. The laser pulses for a fraction of a second, just long enough to vaporize the pigment, disabling numerous follicles at a time to eliminate or significantly impede the hair’s growth.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, leg, chin, back, arm, underarm, bikini line, and other areas. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. The laser can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Treating small areas such as the upper lip can be done in less than a minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour. Most patients have permanent hair loss after an average of three to seven sessions.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is more than just zapping unwanted hair. It is a medical procedure that requires training to perform and carries potential risks. Before getting laser hair removal, you should thoroughly check the credentials of the doctor or technician performing the procedure.
If you are planning on undergoing laser hair removal, you should limit plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for six weeks before treatment. That’s because the laser targets the hairs’ roots, which are temporarily removed by waxing or plucking.
You should also avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and after treatment. Sun exposure makes laser hair removal less effective and makes complications after treatment more likely.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Just before the procedure, trimming of the hair that will be undergoing treatment will occur to a few millimeters above the skin surface. Usually, topical numbing medicine is applied 20–30 minutes before the laser procedure to help with the sting of the laser pulses. Adjusting the laser equipment will take place according to the color, thickness, and location of your treatment area, as well as your skin color.
Depending on the laser used, you and the technician will need to wear appropriate eye protection. It will also be necessary to protect the outer layers of your skin with a cold gel or particular cooling device to help the laser light penetrate the skin.
Next, the technician will give a pulse of light to the treatment area and watch it for several minutes to ensure optimal settings are in place and to check for adverse reactions.
Once completed, you may receive ice packs, anti-inflammatory creams or lotions, or cold water to ease any discomfort. You may schedule your next treatment four to six weeks later. You’ll get treatments until hair stops growing.
2) Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a procedure that can serve as an alternative to chemical peels and dermabrasion. More specifically, it can treat sun-damaged skin, facial wrinkles, and scars to achieve more youthful-looking skin. The benefits of using this technique are less pain with faster recovery time. In most cases, it is also more affordable.
How the Procedure Works
Erbium laser resurfacing is aimed at the removal of surface-level and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, hands, neck, or chest. One of the benefits of erbium laser resurfacing is the minimal burning of surrounding tissue. This laser causes fewer side effects such as swelling, bruising, and redness, so your recovery time should be faster than with CO2 laser resurfacing. In some cases, recovery may only take one week. Additionally, if you have a darker skin tone, erbium laser resurfacing may work better for you.
Icon Laser by Cynosure is the latest in erbium laser technology for laser skin resurfacing. It can treat sun-damaged skin, facial wrinkles, and scars to achieve more youthful-looking skin. The benefits of using this technique are less pain with faster recovery time. In most cases, it is also more affordable.
The Icon Laser is the pillar of aesthetic platform technology for laser resurfacing, offering peak power, state-of-the-art cooling, and excellent results. With multiple treatment options in one machine, Icon enables a medical professional to provide a comprehensive suite of popular beauty therapies for both common and uncommon aesthetic needs.
During laser resurfacing, a laser vaporizes skin cells by emitting bursts of heat that are absorbed by water in these cells. Laser light penetrates to a precise, controlled depth (less than five cells thick), making the procedure safe and predictable while reducing the risk of scarring or pigmentation. Laser skin resurfacing is bloodless and is performed by a certified medical professional in an office under local or topical anesthesia.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
If you have fine lines or wrinkles around your eyes or mouth or on your forehead or shallow scars from acne, then you may be a good fit for laser skin resurfacing. If you have acne or if you have very dark skin, you may not be a candidate. This technique is also not recommended for stretch marks. You should discuss whether laser resurfacing is right for you by consulting with the doctor before having the procedure done.
What to Expect
Generally, laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay. Start by consulting a plastic surgeon or dermatologist to find out if you’re a candidate. Be sure to choose a doctor who has documented training and experience in laser skin resurfacing. The doctor will determine which laser treatment is best for you after considering your medical history, current health, and desired results.
The doctor may treat individual wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or forehead or treat your entire face. For small areas, the doctor will numb the treatment areas with a local anesthetic. The doctor may also sedate you. When it comes to a full-face treatment, you may get general anesthesia.
Following the laser procedure, the doctor will bandage the treated area. Starting 24 hours after treatment, you will need to clean the treated area four to five times a day. Then you’ll need to apply an ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to prevent scabs from forming. This wound care is to prevent any scab formation. In general, the areas treated heal in 10 to 21 days, depending on the condition.
People with darker skin tones are more likely to get darker pigmentation. Using a bleaching agent before and after laser skin resurfacing may minimize that, as well as strict sun avoidance with the use of daily broad-spectrum sunscreen.
3) Laser Rosacea Treatments
Rosacea is a chronic, progressive condition of the face involving the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It is a common skin condition that causes the blood vessels in your face to become visible and your face to appear red or flushed. Patches of small, pus-filled bumps are another common symptom. Affecting over 16 million Americans, Rosacea doesn’t pose a danger to your health. Still, it can make you feel self-conscious when your symptoms flare-up. If left untreated, Rosacea tends to worsen over time.
How Can Lasers Treat Rosacea?
For those diagnosed with Rosacea, there is treatment available. Lasers today are capable of treating dilated blood vessels, persistent redness, and thickening skin on the nose and cheeks (also known as rhinophyma). The pulsed dye laser (PDL) has been used for years to treat the flushing and visible blood vessels of Rosacea.
Laser treatment for Rosacea is an excellent choice for some patients, many of which see exemplary results. These treatments help to eliminate the visible blood vessels from the face. It helps with redness, and dramatically improves the texture of the skin.
How It Works
Laser Rosacea treatments target the symptoms of redness, thickening skin, and recurring patches of visible blood vessels that occur for some people who have Rosacea. With a pulsed-dye laser treatment such as Cynosure, light is pulsed at an optimal wavelength to penetrate vascular lesions or visible blood vessels. The use of dye makes the laser beam different colors, which aims to reduce the look of redness and inflammation.
The lasers use heat from wavelengths of light to collapse the visible, tiny red blood vessels. The result is a very effective and most painless way of treating rosacea symptoms. After just one treatment, most patients will find significant improvement. With two treatments, redness can decrease by 50%. Patients also reported reductions in flushing, itching, dry skin, burning, swelling, and sensitivity. Patients state that they have significantly improved their quality of life after completing rosacea laser treatments.
Find a dermatologist to discuss your symptoms to determine if you’re a candidate for laser therapy. There’s no cure for Rosacea. Even though the results of laser treatment for Rosacea may be impressive in some case studies, the results do fade over time. Keep this in mind as you weigh the costs, time commitment, and side effects.
4) Laser Fat Cell Treatment
In South Florida, the zest for diet, exercise, and an alluring figure seem to accelerate steadily. “If I could just be one size smaller,” is no longer reserved for swimsuit season. We are of people addicted to healthy, fit bodies and beautiful contours. And now, those of us who pine for an easy fix to love handles, muffin tops, and man boobs have a resource that seems too good to be true.
What Is Vanquish Laser?
Vanquish Laser is an FDA approved approach to the destruction of fat cells through deep tissue heating without damaging skin or muscle. The technology is an entirely non-invasive procedure to demolish fat cells, using radiofrequency. Dermatology and Laser Medicine claim it as an enormous breakthrough. There is no surgery or needles involved; in fact, the procedure is entirely pain-free, and individuals may see results after just four 45-minute sessions. The machine never even touches the patient’s skin.
What to Expect
The Vanquish Laser device, FDA-approved for deep tissue heating, is an arch that extends across the target area without touching the patient. During the session, the patient lies comfortably on a table. At the same time, the device delivers controlled RF thermal energy to the area, heating the skin to 101 degrees and the underlying fat to 120 degrees, destroying the fat cells. Over the next several weeks, the lymphatic system eliminates the dead fat cells, naturally flushing away excess fat.
Vanquish is painless, described by patients as being warm like a heating pad. Because the device does not touch the skin, the only side effects may be skin that feels warm and slightly tender. An individual may also experience minor swelling and redness that generally disappear within a few hours.
No special preparation is needed. The non-surgical treatment requires no anesthesia and no recovery period. Upon completion of your session, you’re free to return to your usual routine. To enhance results, patients are encouraged to be well hydrated the day of and day after treatment and to enjoy a walk or other light exercise.
Many patients report seeing results after the first session, with the full effect being seen within two weeks after the final session. Vanquish kills the entire fat cell, not just the fat inside the cell, making results successful long-term. Long-lasting results are sustainable with a healthy lifestyle.
Who Can Benefit from It?
Vanquish treatments are safe for all healthy patients who want to take control of their core and improve the problem areas when exercise and diet have failed. This option is for those who desire aesthetic improvement without the cost and recovery time of surgery. Vanquish is not appropriate for patients who have metal implants, are pregnant or nursing, or have certain other medical conditions. Be sure to give your medical provider your complete medical history to ensure the treatment is safe for you.
Schedule a Laser Treatment Consultation with a Board-Certified Dermatologist in Delray Beach.
For over ten years, Balshi Dermatology has provided the most exceptional state-of-the-art skincare and cosmetic services to patients of all ages in South Florida. Dr. Thomas Balshi is board certified in both internal medicine and dermatology. His specialties include the aesthetic enhancement of pigmented skin conditions, non-invasive skin rejuvenation, and cosmetic dermatology.
To schedule a preliminary consultation with a board-certified dermatologist in Delray Beach, contact Balshi Dermatology at (561) 272-6000 or send us a message on our Contact Page to set up your appointment.