Just hearing the words ‘lasers’, ‘face’ and ‘skin’ in the same sentence could kickstart anxiety for the faint-hearted but what exactly goes into a cosmetic treatment that requires the involvement of lasers?
Bearing in mind that with the myriad of treatments we can avail ourselves of, dermatologists or aestheticians may need to employ lasers to effectively enhance the appearance and texture of skin that has been damaged by skin troubles such as acne, pigmentation or scaring. Lasers also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face as well improve the skin tone and complexion caused by scarring or sun damage.
Depending on the reason for seeing a medical professional, your dermatologist may suggest either an ablative or non ablative laser procedures. Ablative lasers aid in the reduction of scars, warts and deep wrinkles and are used for the outer layers of skin.
Non ablative lasers do not remove any skin layers but instead glide over or are directed at specific areas of the skin. Commonly, such lasers are used for treatments that require pulsed light, like those used for hair removal or fractional lasers that correct prolonged hyperpigmentation or acne-related skin concerns. Dermatologists have also been known to recommend skin peels instead of lasers for superficial skin concerns.
It is important to note that before the actual laser procedure begins, skin should be adequately prepped to increase the skin’s tolerance to professional treatments thereby reducing the risk of facing adverse side effects. While there are expected side effects like a burning sensation or some redness, following your doctor’s post-care instructions is crucial to ensure your skin heals properly.
Although the procedure itself usually does not require much down time, healing generally takes between three and 10 days. As a general rule, the bigger the treatment area and the deeper the laser, the longer the recovery time. While it is not necessary to confine yourself to the four walls, you’ll want to be careful about being in areas that could increase risk of infection.