Harness the power of light to get a glowing & beautiful skin almost instantly
I come across patients who when I recommend a laser treatment start imagining a laser emitting from the ‘death star’ in ‘star wars’. Fortunately, in this case, the fact does deviate a lot from fiction. Lasers have been used in medical treatments for a few decades now and some of them fall under extremely safe to use devices. LASER if you must know is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” which in lay terms means a focused beam of light of a certain wavelength and that is all it is….Light.
From surgeries to therapies for various parts of the body and various symptoms lasers are now commonplace. In dermatology and cosmetology, some of the common uses of lasers are: Treatment of Pigmentation (Skin Toning, reducing birthmarks etc)
Q switched – ND Yag is a type of laser that is used by us in treatment of pigmentation… This includes toning of skin as well as for helping eliminate some more intense pigmentation conditions like melasma, birthmarks etc. Of course, the settings and methods of exposure are different in different cases.
ND Yag: This refers to the type of crystal used in generating the exact laser wavelength. The wavelength in this question is 532nm and 1064 nm both of which find uses in the skin conditions.
Q Switch: It refers to the ability of the laser machine to create very short pulses of a laser using switching the laser on an off at a very high rate. This ensures that we can control the absorption of a laser into the pigment without damaging the skin.
But really how safe is it? And does it work?
- Laser-Based skin toning or rejuvenation treatment is far safer than most facials done by beauty parlours.
- Do you even know what goes into the facial chemicals and do you know if they are approved by the FDA? The general answer to this is NO.
- Yet, unfortunately, more people are willing to trust unqualified treatments at beauty parlours as it is the general convention.
- A simple web search of established and verified medical journals for laser skin toning will put you at ease and I highly recommend the same.
So how do I look better when I undergo a laser skin rejuvenation treatment exactly?
For various effects desired on the skin different types of lasers are used. For skin rejuvenation, we work on an evening the tone of the skin by affecting the pigment present in the skin.
On exposure to laser the areas of skin with a higher concentration of pigment, the pigment absorbs more of the light energy and tends to breakdown. This leads to an overall even appearance of the skin tone.
And what about dark marks and spots?
As mentioned the same laser can be used on concentrated pigment bases lesions with different settings and exposure techniques to reduce the intensity of the lesion and also in a lot of cases to completely eliminate the pigmentation.
So what are these different types of conditions which this laser can treat?
Here’s a long but not complete list of conditions that can be treated with this laser:
– Lentigines ( age spots)
–Uneven skin tone
–Pigmentation due to hormonal imbalance
– Fine lines, wrinkles
–Fine hair reduction
PS: You know you can even get rid of that tattoo that you do not want anymore with the help of this laser treatment.
But do I qualify for laser treatment?
Lasers for the purpose of skin treatment are generally very safe when done under medical supervision. However, there are some things that one must care for before undergoing treatment:
1) Avoid Laser treatments during pregnancy
2) Never do it when having an active skin infection
3) Never do it if you suffer from any chronic skin condition that involves skin pigmentation like vitiligo.
The above applies to most skin treatments which are optional. And as always, if in doubt do not hesitate to ask your dermatologist.
So what do I expect in the procedure?
The procedure involves an initial cleanup of the face, following which a trained aesthetician under medical supervision uses the laser on the affected area or the entire face. The treatment is governed by the doctor and the intensity and other settings are adjusted to suit the patient.
The procedure is safe with no downtime. During the procedure the patient experiences some heat on the treated skin. Sometimes the patient may experience minor redness, swelling or bruising. However the same disappears within a few hours to a few days. Post-procedure care is minimum with a primary focus on the reduction of sun exposure and usage of sunscreens.
What can I expect as results and When?
It is important to understand that this is a medical procedure and results will vary from individual to individual based on age, diet, lifestyle, individual’s constitution and the exact condition an individual is suffering from.
The treated area is seen to be lighter in tone. Incase of full-face treatment the entire face seems to have an evener skin tone with a glow.
In case of more severe conditions like melasma and birthmarks, there are multiple sessions needed and with each session, there is a gradual but definite reduction in the pigmentation.
Do I need to keep doing this treatment?
Well, the human body keeps ageing and also our lifestyle keeps exposing our skin to sun, pollution and other environmental factors. Depending on your lifestyle the skin will tend to lose its ‘glow’ in a few weeks time, however, with multiple sessions spread over a period of time you will see sustained results.
I always recommend that no matter what skin treatment you undergo, more than the treatment itself it is more important to take proper post-procedure care like reduced exposure to sunlight, wearing a sunscreen etc.
As always on a parting note, I would advise everyone that beautiful skin is not about how many procedures you can afford and do, but is more about keeping a good routine. and trust me, I hope you will need less and fewer skin procedures and external interventions of any kind are it a visit to the beauty parlour or a skin doctor.