Increasingly, people are becoming familiar with the concept of laser skin care treatments, but there is still uncertainty over exactly what lasers are and what they can do for you.
Lasers use heat and microscopic beams of light to stimulate the growth of new fibroblasts in the skin. A fibroblast is a specialized cell that combines with other specialized cells, namely collagen. Collagen is the primary component in the connective tissues that form the body's framework of tendons, skin, muscles, and bones. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it is what holds it all together. Lasers work by stimulating the production of collagen. Here are some thing to know about laser skin care and what it can do for you.
There are two main types of lasers:
- Ablative Lasers
These lasers essentially remove the very top surface layer of the skin. The skin will be left raw, red, sore, and oozing as it heals, typically two weeks, during which time your activities will need to be curtailed. When the healing period is over, scars and deep wrinkles are drastically reduced.
- Non-Ablative Lasers
For skin issues such as pigmentation problems, age spots, and enlarged pores, non-ablative lasers are used. This less-invasive laser typically doesn't require any downtime. They don't actually break the skin and only minor redness and irritation results.
Which laser is used depends on the severity of the skin issues you are looking to address. Lasers can be used for both fine and deep wrinkles, skin discoloration from age or sun damage, reducing the appearance of scars, and lessening unsightly spider veins.
In addition to cosmetic procedures, lasers are now being used for the medical treatment of cystic acne and a rare skin condition known as hidradenitis suppurativa, both of which are notoriously difficult to treat and can make life very difficult and painful for the sufferers of either disease.
This type of acne happens when pores become clogged, usually with dead skin cells. Bacteria becomes trapped in the skin, usually Staphylococcus aureus, which lives on the skin and in the nose and respiratory tract of many people. This causes skin eruptions to become extremely inflamed and infected, creating a bump full of pus deep in the skin. It is not only painful, but quite unsightly and embarrassing as well. When the cyst bursts, it unfortunately usually leads to further contamination. It is a vicious circle that quite literally scars sufferers physically and, many times, emotionally as well.
This chronic condition is similar to cystic acne, but the boil-like cysts tend to form in channels in the groin and armpits along the apocrine glands, or sweat glands. This can make walking and moving very painful, and in addition to the pain, it can make the daily activities of living very difficult, potentially leading to depression.
In the past, both of these conditions were barely controlled with the continual use of low-dose antibiotics or isotretinoin, a powerful drug with severe side effects. Laser treatments may be helpful in managing these chronic conditions.
Whether you want a more youthful appearance, more even skin-tone, or have a more serious skin condition, schedule a consultation appointment with a laser skin care expert, such as those at Rejuvenate Center for Medical Aesthetics, to explore your personal options for younger or healthier skin.