A laser skin treatment is a relatively new technology that surgeons have only recently begun using. It is when the surgeons utilize lasers (containing carbon dioxide) to vaporize the skin’s upper layers, consequently allowing a new layer of skin to form. The technique is commonly used to fine tune wrinkles and various face lines, especially around the eyes and the mouth. What is great about the laser skin treatment is that it can be used at any part of the body, including damaged areas, as the laser beam is extremely precise. This allows some forms of scars and burns to be faint or less noticeable. Also, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, which use pulses of the laser light, is used to treat scars such as acne scars and various veins and stains.
Also known as a laser peel, the laser skin treatment create similar effects as chemical peels. Basically, the technique will remove the top layer of the skin. Then, as the dermis (the bottom half of your skin) is revealed, a new top layer of skin that is smooth and soft will be recreated.
Usually a single laser skin treatment does not take so long. Conducted under anesthetic and sedation, the whole process can take from a few minutes to a couple hours (considering that the whole face is being treated). As is the case, recovery time varies quite drastically. Those who did not have the laser dig very deep might have a short (or possibly even no) downtime. However, those who did undergo deep laser treatments might have a slightly longer recovery time. Regardless of the depth though, aftercare is necessary. Laser treatments of all types, including the laser skin treatment, are very precise. There hardly is any bleeding and thus there is hardly any discomfort afterwards.
Behind the Laser Skin Treatment Process
After having the local anesthetic material applied on the skin area that is to be treated (usually a day prior to the treatment), your face is then cleansed again, which can take a few minutes to a few hours depending on the size of the area being treated. Usually, when doing a small treatment job, the laser will only penetrate up to the epidermis or the papillary dermis. However, for deeper operations, it may even penetrate up to the upper levels of the reticulas dermis. This is what is great about laser skin treatment; it allows the surgeon to be very flexible when dealing with the skin that needs to be treated, as all areas, depending on whether it is a scar or a deep wrinkle, needs to be treated at different levels.
After the treatment, the surgeon will apply some antibiotic ointment to avoid any infection before the top layer of the skin is back to normal. In rare cases, there might be swelling too, in which case, ice packs are used to limit it along with some painkiller if there are any discomforts. For the first few weeks after the treatment, mild moisturizer such as cream will need to be used to prevent the skin from drying out. Any other products that could get onto the skin, such as shampoo, should also be as mild as possible. Like with all skin treatment, the patient is also suggested to stay out of direct sunlight by wearing a strong sunblock cream.
Possible Risks Behind Laser Skin Treatment
Usually, laser skin treatment is a very safe treatment for all people. However, those with black, brown, or olive skin might face some difficulties, as the treatment can trigger the change in the original pigment. Also, if the patient took accutane in the last 18 months or is prone to keloid scarring, there is a greater likelihood that they might catch an infection. In rare cases, a treatment can also provoke a new cold or make the patient feel drowsy. Swelling and red and pink spots are a possibility too, although very temporary. Nonetheless, as anesthetic products are used with the treatment, the treatment is usually very safe and risk free.