When it comes to our skin, we always want to look our best. Wrinkles, aging spots, scars (no matter how small) and acne are all things we don’t want to see when we look in the mirror. Unfortunately, our self image correlates with our self esteem and if we are unhappy with our appearance, our self esteem suffers. Your local cosmetic clinic can help you with a variety of services meant to help you accomplish your best look.
Treatments without Lasers
To be fair, there are several treatment options that do not involve using laser equipment. One common method you likely have heard of is a chemical peel. These come in varying strengths to treat issues like discoloration, age spots, and to soften lines and wrinkles. There are several problems with these types of treatments including higher risk of infection, swollen or red skin, and pigmentation issues. Depending how strong the chemical used, it can take a week to several months of down time. For example, if your skin is prone to breakouts or very sensitive, this abrasive treatment will likely further exacerbate your skin condition.
Pulsed Dye Lasers
PDL or pulsed-dye lasers use dye as a medium for treating skin conditions. Different dyes reach different wavelengths, each providing a different type of treatment. This method is for spider veins, stretch marks, rosacea and other conditions. Common side effects include bruising and pigmentation changes, which makes it a little less desirable for cosmetic issues, but more effective on medical issues.
Carbon Dioxide lasers, or CO2 lasers use gas to act as a continuous wave laser and produce an infrared light to target the skin. When they first came out, CO2 lasers required a long recovery time. Later, fractional CO2 lasers debuted and required only 2 to 3 weeks of recovery time, plus were a gentler treatment. Both of these types of lasers are still used, so make certain to ascertain which type of CO2 laser they use or you might be in for a rude surprise.
If you have either Asian or darker skin tones or if you have acne, you need to avoid this type of laser use.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lasers use an intense pulse of light to target specific cells in the body, heating them up until they are absorbed back into the body. A cooling device is part of the IPL laser to prevent overheating the skin. IPL’s are frequently used for hair removal, collagen production, and to improve skin elasticity.
If you have darker tones of skin or irregular patches, you should avoid IPL treatments as they use light to treat the skin. Hyper pigmentation and further discoloration can result.
The Smartest Option
There are many more types of lasers available. Check with the local clinics to find what they offer and what they recommend for your skin condition. As always, speak with your physician or dermatologist to find out what they suggest as they know you best. It’s important to select the treatment that will provide the results you want and that will work on you skin care needs.