Laser skin treatments are quickly becoming one of the most popular anti-aging procedures. Practitioners boast that their laser treatments can reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots while toning the skin so it looks overall younger – all without invasive surgery. This all seems too good to be true – so you can rightly expect there are some precautions you need to be aware of before you go under the laser.
How Laser Skin Treatments Work
Laser skin treatments use a. targeted beam of light which gets aimed at skin, destroying the blemished area. Your body reacts to the damage by triggering new cell growth. The new cells are blemish free and stronger. The lasers used for skin treatments use just one color of light so they can target just certain layers of skin while leaving the other tissues undamaged.
There are two main laser skin treatments for anti-aging: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative laser treatments completely vaporize the entire top layer of your skin. Non-ablative laser treatments leave the skin intact. Even though all laser skin treatments are often advertised as being non-invasive, only the non-ablative laser resurfacing treatment is truly non-invasive.
Chemical peels work in the same way that laser skin treatments work. The difference is that they use chemicals to burn off the top layer of facial skin. Since these cannot fully penetrate into the skin, they will not affect collagen cells, thus not give a tightening effect, nor will they treat spider veins.
Is Laser Skin Treatment Painful?
The non-ablative laser skin treatment is not a comfortable procedure and, for some, the burning sensation can be painful. It is a bit disconcerting too because you can hear popping sounds as your skin is burned by the laser and there may be a smoky smell.
Ablative skin treatment must be done under anesthesia because it would otherwise be too painful. It requires an intensive healing time where you may be required to wear a full-facial bandage. Generally, scabbing will occur for about 10 days and your skin may remain red for weeks afterwards.
Precautions about Laser Skin Treatments
Even though laser skin treatments can be very effective for providing an anti-aging effect (especially the intensive ablative treatments), they are not simple procedures. It takes a very experienced, skilled doctor to operate the laser so that the top layer of skin is destroyed but not permanently damaged. Even with the best doctor, you still risk permanently damaging your skin with laser resurfacing. You will need to find a plastic surgeon to perform the anti-aging procedure.