Laser Skin Care
Laser skin care, also called laser skin resurfacing and laser peel, can reduce the appearance of imperfections on the surface of your skin by dissolving damaged skin layers, according to DocShop.com. The result is generally a smoother, more rejuvenated appearance. However, laser skin care has its limitations, so weigh its pros and cons before you invest in treatment, according to MayoClinic.com.
What it Treats
Laser skin care can help treat skin problems such as fine to moderate wrinkles, age spots, sun damage and uneven pigment in the skin. It can also help reduce the appearance of scars from skin injuries such as chickenpox and acne.
Laser skin care isn't limited to one type of laser treatment. Different laser types can work at different skin layers, depending on the type of skin condition being treated, according to the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. An ablative laser, for example, burns off the skin surface and requires longer healing time. Alternately, a non-ablative laser targets the underlying skin layer to stimulate new growth of collagen without causing injury to the skin layer; this type of laser treatment requires less healing time but requires multiple treatment sessions to achieve an effect similar to an ablative laser treatment, according to the Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. Another type of laser is a fractionated laser, which targets small, damaged skin areas without touching the surrounding areas.
During a laser procedure, the skin to be treated is numbed, you're given a sedative and your eyes are covered to keep them protected from the laser light, according to DocShop.com. The full length of the procedure depends on the extent of the skin damage and the size of the damaged area. The procedure may be finished in 30 minutes but may not be over for up to a couple of hours, according to DocShop.com. The healing time after the procedure also depends on the extent of the treatment. Treatments for subtle skin changes generally require little or no healing time, but long, intensive laser treatments generally demand multiple weeks for full skin recovery.
Laser skin care isn't a foolproof method of eliminating all signs of aging. It won't get rid of any deep wrinkles or eliminate excessive sagging skin. Additionally, your skin ultimately continues to age despite any treatment you receive to rejuvenate your appearance. If you want your skin to stay youthful, you will likely need to undergo repeated treatments.
A laser treatment may cause your treated skin to look darker or lighter than normal starting a few weeks after surgery and lasting multiple months. Laser treatments can also cause a dormant herpes virus to flare up, so you may need to take a preventative medication after surgery if prone to cold sores or shingles around the area to be treated. Other potential complications associated with laser therapy are: infection, scarring and burns, redness, skin inflammation and formation of small white bumps known as milia.
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