Laser skin treatments or laser facials, or laser resurfacing treatments all convey the same meaning and represents a modern high tech means of skin improvement. The addition of the word ‘laser’ to this type of skin treatments lends it the hi-fi/hi-tech tag, particularly because many of us always go after the most modern technology offering advanced treatment options.
But, when you take a closer look at laser skin treatments, it is a simple procedure with some superior results. But these superior results also come with certain serious risks and therefore it helps to be an informed customer whenever you visit a clinic or parlour expecting laser skin treatments. We have therefore culled out the pros and cons of laser skin treatments.
What is Laser Skin Treatment?
In simple terms, laser skin treatment is merely another form of skin resurfacing and for those who are familiar with microdermabrasion or acid peel, laser skin treatment is about similar. The difference is that light pulses are used to remove skin layers off the surface so that the younger and fresher skin below becomes more visible and pronounced and help regeneration of skin cells. Over repeated sessions with your parlour or dermatologist, this process is expected to reduce imperfections on the skin surface giving it an overall improved look. Beneath the surface of the skin, this treatment is also aimed at enhancing production of collagen in the skin and making it more elastic and firmer after multiple sessions of the treatment.
Similar to peels and microdermabrasions, the intensity level of exfoliation provided by laser can differ from one location to the other and the machine employed. Remember that a stronger treatment would mean removal of more skin layers, can be more painful and also more expensive.
You can also choose laser skin treatment that is non-resurfacing which is also called non-ablative laser facials. This procedure employs radio frequency for firming up skin and fixing issues such as broken capillaries and redness, but will not remove any skin.
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Who Should Perform Laser Skin Treatment?
Laser skin treatments are significantly more intense and side effects are more compared to an average facial. Therefore it is desirable that the procedure is performed by registered nurses or qualified doctors.
Why Not Your Favourite Salon?
As mentioned above, lasers constitute serious business and therefore you should work with licensed and experienced professionals only. You will also see some of the associated risks in another part of this article. You should understand that you can stay safe from most of these risks when the laser skin treatment is performed safely by qualified personnel. Remember that beauticians or cosmeticians with inappropriate experience can potentially burn your skin which is precisely the opposite of what you are seeking to get done.
Types of Laser Skin Treatments
There are also multiple types of laser skin treatments which vary in side effects, strength and those targeting various skin issues. Smaller salons tend to have a single machine giving weaker facial and lower recovery time while cosmetic centres offering comprehensive treatments may have 4 to 5 different variants of laser skin treatments. Further, some treatments may also not be reckoned technically as classic laser aided facials though they may be advertised to look similar.
What Skin Issues are Generally Addressed by Laser Skin Treatment?
Laser skin treatment can be beneficial in addressing the following skin issues:-
- Build up of dead skin
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Shallow scarring
- Dark marks and hyper pigmentation
- Uneven or thick skin texture
Non ablative laser is employed in treating the following conditions
- Fine lines
- Sagging skin
- Broken capillaries and redness
Cost of Laser Skin Treatment
When you choose a quick laser treatment, such as during the lunch hour, it could cost you $250 to $600 and a more intense treatment can cost $2500 per session. When you book several sessions in one go, your average cost per session tends to peg down, compared to paying for single sessions. But, when you find very cheap prices offered, you should be wary of what you can expect from such treatments.
Preparing For Laser Skin Treatments
Your preparation for laser skin treatments include regular wearing of sunscreen at least one month prior to visiting your doctor or nurse to start the procedure. Similarly, you should stop use of retinol or AHA at least 2 weeks prior to the laser treatment. Use of chemical peels or laser hair removal for the area to be treated should also be stopped two weeks prior to the laser skin treatment. You should also consult your physician on medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and Vitamin E.
The strength of laser employed in the course of treatment will largely dictate the side effects to be expected. A raw feel on the skin and redness are common side effects. But, extended risks include burns and potential blindness (when your eyes are inadequately covered) or infections to damaged skin. There can also be instances when pigmentation which you want treated gets exacerbated. Generally speaking, when the laser is less intense and administered by a qualified practitioner, the associated risks tend to peg down.
Reliability of laser skin treatment would depend largely on what you expect to achieve and the amount of maintenance you are willing to handle. For quick skin rejuvenation treatments and non-resurfacing treatments you may not experience any damage. For fine lines and scarring the ablative laser skin treatment is known to be very effective. But, for acid peels, pigmentation and hydroquinone creams or vitamin C at home treatments may work better. Compared to other gentle options, laser skin treatments do not necessarily offer better results while you should pay close attention to potential side effects.
Before you decide on laser skin treatment, you should be able to decide, perhaps in consultation with your doctor as to how such a treatment can be helpful to you. Considering that most laser skin treatment involves multiple sessions and each session costs you precious dollars, the overall spend is another consideration. Check with your insurance carrier on what gets reimbursed and what does not.