Laser Dermatology Treatments
Laser treatments harness the power of light energy to create amazing cosmetic results for hair removal and for skin health. Lasers are versatile tools and highly effective, particularly when in the hands of the professional skin health specialists at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery.
Laser Hair Removal
Removing unwanted hair is frustrating and time-consuming. Shaving, plucking and waxing are painful, and they do not work altogether well – the hair just grows back right away. For men and women who are tired of old-fashioned hair removal methods, laser treatments may be the perfect solution. The most common areas for laser hair removal include around the lips and on the chin, neck, back, arms, bikini area, and legs.
The light from laser hair removal travels down the hair shaft to the follicle, which is the tunnel-shaped structure in the skin from which hair grows. Exposing hair follicles to laser light delays and suppresses the growth of hair from those follicles. Laser hair removal works ideally for those with dark hair and light skin, but not quite as well for white, gray, blond, and red hair. However, the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery performs laser hair removal that provides optimal benefits for those with any skin type.
While laser hair removal is highly effective, it typically requires multiple treatments with four to six weeks in between each treatment. Repeat treatments are necessary because hair growth and loss occur in a cycle, and the laser treatments work best on newly grown hair. The first treatment removes the hairs at all stages of growth, while the subsequent treatments removes hair during that new-growth stage, just as all of the hair in the treated area is starting to grow out. The number of sessions depends largely on hair and skin color, follicle size, and hormone levels; maintenance treatments keep skin free from hair.
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes visible blood vessels and redness in the face; it can also cause the appearance of small red bumps. While there is no cure for the condition, a variety of treatments can control rosacea symptoms. Laser treatments targets and treats the red color in the skin; it also addresses the blemishes and blood vessels of rosacea.
Laser therapy for rosacea involves minimal discomfort and a short recovery period – most patients can return to work or other activities the same day as they undergo treatment. Most patients benefit from multiple sessions.
Skin rejuvenation is a group of treatments that restore aging skin by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, enlarged pores, sagging skin, brown spots, and more.
Skin care specialists use different types of laser treatments to address various skin conditions. These treatments can include Botox, soft tissue fillers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. The most advanced skin care specialists use even laser therapy that improves the color and tone of skin. Results from skin rejuvenation treatments often take up to a few months to appear, and many require repeat treatments to achieve optimal effect.
Scars, like those from acne, can ruin the smooth, youthful appearance of skin – they can also be embarrassing. While the visible appearance of scars can slowly fade, scar tissue can damage the underlying layers of skin; this damage can cause the buildup of collagen, which is a protein that gives structure to the skin. New collagen continues to build up around the damaged area, even after the skin has healed, and the excess collagen can cause the scar to be raised and bumpy. Scars can also cause skin discoloration in the affected areas.
Laser scar therapy gently lifts away the layers of damaged skin to reveal new, restored skin. Lasers are extremely precise, so they treat only the damaged tissue and leave the surrounding healthy tissue intact. State-of-the-art lasers safely and effectively treat scars in areas too sensitive for other treatments.
Blue Light Therapy
Blue light therapy treats moderate to severe acne that does not respond to other treatments and in cases in which oral medications are not an option. The treatment works by killing the bacteria that contribute to the development of acne.
Done by itself, blue light therapy is fast, comfortable and effective. A treatment session typically takes less than 20 minutes. Most patients benefit from repeat treatments done once or twice a week for 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of their acne and their individual treatment goals.
In some cases, a doctor will apply a photosensitizing medication to the skin before exposing the area to blue light. Photosensitizing medications react to exposure to light. Oil glands in the skin will absorb the photosensitizing medication, and upon exposure to blue light, will shrink and destroy the oil glands that contribute to acne. The activation of the photosensitizing medication can cause some degree of stinging, burning, redness, and inflammation following treatment. Patients typically undergo four treatment sessions performed four weeks apart.
For more information on these innovative laser treatments, consult with your dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery.