Chances are that you have some kind of blemish on your skin or skin condition that you’d like to clear up. Sure, you can cover it up with make-up, but how much better would it be to eliminate or reduce the blemish altogether? There are a variety of laser treatments available to you that can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, change the uneven pigmentation of your skin due to age, sun damage, freckles or vitiligo, reduce the appearance of scars, treat your psoriasis or rosacea, and remove unwanted hair. Discover some of the best laser treatments for giving your skin its best look.
Laser resurfacing can rejuvenate your skin by smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines and clearing the effects of sun damage, age, spider veins and scarring. Laser resurfacing accomplishes this through applying heat to the lower layers of skin, which causes small amounts of damage to the skin. As your skin is minimally damaged, your body is prompted to start healing the damage and create new skin that has better tone and structure. There are two types of lasers used in skin resurfacing: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers remove the thin, top layers of your skin, stimulating new skin growth that is tighter and brighter. You will need to have down-time of up to a few weeks after ablative laser treatment, allowing your skin to heal from the redness, peeling and swelling that will occur. A benefit of ablative laser resurfacing is that you typically only need one treatment. Non-ablative lasers only heat the lower levels of the skin, prompting collagen growth. Because less microdamage is done to the skin, the downtime is less than with ablative lasers: usually between 3-10 days. But because it is a milder laser treatment, you will probably need a few sessions to get the desired results.
Fraxel is a highly popular form of laser resurfacing. It has become so well known that the “Fraxel” term has come to describe a variety of fractionated laser therapies the same way Scotch tape or Tupperware is used to describe all similar products. Fraxel lasers come in both ablative and non-ablative forms. Fraxel gets its name from the laser beam being broken up into fractals, thus treating the skin in a grid-like pattern, with treated areas right next to untreated areas. This decreases down time and increases the rate at which your skin heals from the treatment. In its ablative form, the Fraxel laser treatments create micro injury to the skin and let the skin heal naturally to improve the radiance of your skin and reduce skin blemishes from acne, sun damage and age, smooth the skin where there are fine lines and wrinkles and reduce the appearance of scars. Fraxel is also helpful for laser stretch mark removal. Most Fraxel laser treatments are gentle but also require more than one session. There are many Fraxel treatments, including Clear + Brilliant, C02 Fractional, ResurfFX, Fraxel Restore, Fraxel Dual, and Repair. You will need to consult with your dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for Fraxel treatments (people with darker skin, sensitive skin or skin conditions like acne or eczema might experience skin damage from Fraxel-type treatments) or which Fraxel treatment is best for you.
XTRAC has proven beneficial in reducing the plaques associated with psoriasis. XTRAC is an eximer-type laser that works by exposing the psoriasis lesions to a single ray of ultraviolet B (UVB) light. The UVB light attacks the DNA of the T cells, which are cells that help in your body’s immunity. The T cells seem to play a role in the development of psoriasis plaques. XTRAC can’t stop a psoriasis flare-up from happening, but it can lessen the duration of the flare-up. Some of the benefits of using XTRAC are that you will need fewer sessions to get noticeable results than with other laser therapies, it targets small areas of skin (which reduces damage to surrounding skin), there is little to no downtime for XTRAC therapy and that it can provide relief when other therapies like topical medications aren’t helping.
If you have spider veins or other broken veins and capillaries on your face, you may want to seek laser therapy. Some of the stronger laser treatments can effectively reduce the appearance of broken veins on the surface of your skin. Laser treatment for rosacea has proven to be effective for reducing the redness associated with the condition. Laser treatment for spider veins that are deeper in your skin might require endovenous laser vein removal, in which your doctor will insert a laser fiber into the vein. The heat from the laser will close the vein, causing it to disappear over time. Although you will have some swelling and discomfort following the procedure, you will be able to return to your normal activities.
Like other laser treatments, cold light therapy stimulates healing in the skin but does so with low levels of light and without heating the skin. Also called low level laser therapy (LLLT) and red light therapy (RLT), cold light therapy focuses light on a targeted area, which is absorbed by the skin cells. The cells respond by producing more collagen (a common protein in your body that helps give your skin strength and elasticity), and by protecting cells from future damage. Cold laser therapy is used to boost rejuvenation in your skin, treating acne scars, treating rashes, reducing fine lines and relieving psoriasis symptoms. LLT is also an effective vitiligo laser treatment. Because it is a gentler laser treatment, there are few side effects and little downtime needed. You will need more treatments to achieve the same results as you would from other, more invasive laser therapies.
Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area can help you make the decision on which laser treatment is best for you. Contact them today to make your appointment!