Laser resurfacing treatments can help with a number of facial concerns, including reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and other facial blemishes. The treatments can also help to firm up your skin and restore a balance tone.
It can be easy to get lost in all of the information that is searchable online. With that in mind, we’ve narrowed down everything you need to know about laser skin treatments to the top 5 facts about this great therapy.
1. Therapy should not be painful
According to the experts at The DOC, patients who have undergone laser therapy have most often compared the sensations that are felt during treatment to an elastic band being snapped against their skin in quick succession. It’s important to keep in mind that the sensations felt may depend on several factors, including the following.
- Type of laser used
- The area being treated
- The depth of treatment
- The individual tolerance of pain
Some types of laser treatments may require a local anesthetic in order to keep patients as comfortable as possible during the procedure.
2. The time of year matters
Most cosmetic procedures can be done at any time of the year. While that is still the case for laser treatments, it’s recommended that patients wait until the autumn months. This is due to the laser-treated skin being hypersensitive to the sun. This hypersensitivity can last as long as a full year after some of the more intensive procedures.
Undergoing the treatments during the autumn or winter months, when there are few sunshine hours and you’re spending more time indoors, can help you to better protect your treated skin.
Regardless of when you undergo laser treatments for your skin concerns, it’s important that you use sunscreen to protect your skin, help to prevent against the risks of skin cancer and avoid the signs of premature ageing.
3. Some medications and supplements may impact your results
It’s important to always be honest with your provider when it comes to your medical history, medications you’re prescribed and any supplements that you take. As an example, if you are taking acne medications that contain specific ingredients, you may find that you scar after laser resurfacing. You may also heal much slower, which could increase your risks for infection.
Some products, such as aspirin, may lead to an increased risk of bleeding.
Underlying health concerns, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can have an impact on your safety. They can also have an impact on the results that you see from your laser therapy.
4. You may need more than one treatment
There are certainly some cases where a single laser therapy session can resolve the concerns a patient is being treated for. However, in order to see the best in results, a series of treatments is most often called for.
This can be frustrating for someone who is hoping to see results much sooner, but this mild inconvenience is worth it for results that are long-lasting.
5. You may need a bit of downtime after your treatment
Laser treatments are considered to be non-surgical, but not all of them will require zero downtime. The type of laser used, along with the health and recovery rate of each individual will play a role in the recovery time each person faces.
If the treatment uses non-ablative lasers, no downtime will be needed. If the treatment uses ablative lasers, the patient may need up to 3 weeks in order to allow their skin to recover. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be bound to your bed, but it does mean that you need to protect your skin and modify your activities to exclude those where injury or infection may be possible.
6. Treating keloid scarring with laser therapy
Keloids are scars that are the result of scars cells, known as fibroblasts, growing at an exaggerated rate. They can be caused by any number of contributing factors, including acne, piercing, tattoos, surgical procedures or any other type of skin inflammation or injury. Keloids are commonly seen on the upper back, arms, shoulders, chest and even earlobes.
More than just a cosmetic concern, keloid scars can often be itchy and painful.
Laser therapy can be used to reduce the size of and flatten the scars. A combination of surgical removal and laser therapy may also be used for some patients. In some rare cases, keloids do not respond to any type of treatment.