If you’ve struggled with problem skin conditions – anything from fine lines and wrinkles, sunspots, acne scars and large pore size – laser skin treatment could be a good option to consider.
If you have hyperpigmentation, unwanted sunspots/freckles, or even an old tattoo you now regret getting (although it seemed like a good idea after that 3am kebab), laser resurfacing is most certainly for you!
Anyone can benefit from laser resurfacing techniques; however, the people that benefit most from procedures are generally older than 30. In younger individuals, acne can be treated using lasers, but this is only a temporary effect as people experience on-going hormonal changes. It’s best to let your skin calm down with time and use a laser resurfacing technique at a later stage in life to treat acne scars.
How does it work? Get that image of James Bond strapped to the table with the imminently approaching red laser out of your mind’s eye! Lasers used by a qualified beauty therapist concentrate a vast amount of energy at a fixed point on the face, removing layers of skin and letting new layers rejuvenate in those problematic areas.
Here’s an in-depth look at 3 different types of laser skin treatments on the market, what they’re used to treat and how they work.
If you’re looking for a laser that will drastically improve acne scars, uneven skin tone, fine lines & wrinkles, then a CO2 fractional laser is the perfect option for you. CO2 lasers work by generating heat in little columns and damaging old layers of skin, which in turn cause the skin to re-generate. You should expect to take some downtime after completing this procedure – anywhere from 1-2 weeks for a proper heal – but the rewards are permanent. Once rejuvenation is complete, if there are still remaining difficult acne scars, these can be touched up with filler for a flawless look.
For those who have unwanted sun damage (melasma), large pore size, excess sebum production, fine lines and wrinkles – but who aren’t able to take time out after treatment – a YAG laser treatment could be right for you. The results are immediate and the laser works by stimulating collagen reproduction and cellular turnover rate, improving skin clarity. However, with this skin resurfacing treatment, results are not permanent and maintenance is required – approximately every 3-4 months, depending on age and skin type.
An IPL is not a laser – in fact, it is an ‘Intense Pulse Light’. This light is best described as a camera flash, but much more intense in energy. Your beauty therapist will flash a light of a specific wavelength that filters out lower wavelengths, which is used primarily to treat hyper-pigmentation, unwanted thread veins and sun damage. In some cases, IPL is also known to reduce hair growth (but not always), so be careful getting this type of treatment on the face if you like your facial hair.
Arora, P., Sarkar, R., Garg, V. K., & Arya, L. (2012). Lasers for Treatment of Melasma and Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 5(2), 93–103. http://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.99436
Goldberg, D. J. (2012). Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 5(6), 45–53.
Ramsdell, W. M. (2012). Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing.Seminars in Plastic Surgery, 26(3), 125–130. http://doi.org/10.1055/s-0032-1329414