Healthy-looking skin starts with the basic steps: a cleanser, moisturizer, treatment products and, of course, sunscreen. These products are essential to help skin look and feel its best– but can’t repair past damage or (truly) reduce wrinkles. Those who want more from their skincare routine seek advanced options with a dermatologist or aesthetic physician – and lasers are usually the first procedure they explore.
1). How does laser skin rejuvenation work?
Collagen provides the essential support network for our skin.
As we age, collagen breaks down, causing lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure damages collagen too, and can cause pigment problems (brown spots), uneven tone and rough or leathery texture.
Lasers use a precise wavelength of light energy to target underneath the skin, deeper than any lotions can work, stimulating collagen production at the source. As new collagen is generated, lines and wrinkles are reduced. Studies indicate laser therapy helps create a refreshed appearance, smoother texture, more even skin tone, and a decrease in pore size.
2). Which laser is right for me?
Many lasers used for skin rejuvenation are non-ablative, meaning they do not damage the skin’s surface.
The most popular non-ablative lasers (Q-Switched Nd:YAG) use Photo Acoustic energy to vibrate and re-organize the collagen scaffolding — gently and effectively stimulating long-term collagen remodeling.
Other lasers are ablative and use thermal energy to ablate or wound the top layer of the skin. These more aggressive lasers treat deep wrinkles and advanced photodamage, and require several days of downtime. Non-ablative laser treatments using Photo Acoustic energy are quick (about 20 minutes for a full face) and require no downtime. There is minimal discomfort, and a very low risk of any complications. Patients will feel a difference immediately and experience progressive improvement over several months.
3). Is the procedure safe?
When used by experienced practitioners, lasers are extremely effective. The energy is very selective and targets only the collagen fibers, hair or pigment. Advanced lasers that use PhotoAcoustic energy can treat all skin colors can treat all skin colors – including darker and tanned skin.
4). What does laser therapy feel like?
Many people describe the feeling of non-ablative laser therapy as a tingling sensation. Anesthesia is usually not necessary, but you may request a topical cream if you wish.
5). How many laser treatments will I need?
Although you will notice results after your first treatment, non-ablative laser skin rejuvenation is a gradual process. You typically need four to six treatments spaced three to five weeks apart. Many patients choose to return for regular treatments to maintain their great results. Just as they schedule hair color and nail appointments, many women schedule laser treatments every one to three months as part of their ongoing skincare routine.
6). What can I expect after the treatment?
Laser skin rejuvenation may cause a mild to moderate redness, which usually fades within an hour after treatment. No specific post-care is needed, although you will be asked to avoid sun and certain skin products for a period of time. It is important to follow your physician’s instructions and ask if you have any questions.
7). Can I have laser therapy in combination with dermal fillers, neartoxins or surgery?
Yes — many physicians combine laser therapy with other antiaging tools to customize treatment for the needs of each patient.