Laser cosmetic treatment technology has revolutionized the way dermatologists address a number of medical and cosmetic skin conditions. There’s a laser treatment for almost everything, so let’s explore the applications of this amazing technology.
While laser therapy can treat a broad spectrum of conditions, its application is fairly straightforward. Simply put, a laser is a highly concentrated beam of light. Laser light can be any color, depending on what you’re looking to treat. The intensity of the light can also vary based on its use, and it’s sometimes pulsed rather than sustained. Laser light contains ultraviolet rays that cause damage to skin, but that’s often the desired result. When the laser damages skin cells, they slowly die off, giving way to new, healthy skin. Laser therapy is often used to promote healthy, new growth. In other treatments, laser light can destroy certain types of pigmentation or deliver a concentrated blast of sterilizing heat to a precise location. While unfocused light can work to treat issues similarly, the laser’s ability to target very specific areas with extreme accuracy protects surrounding skin that doesn’t need to be treated. With certain treatments, you may apply a photosensitizer. This is a topical ointment that makes your skin more susceptible to light.
Laser therapy treats acne in a few different ways, depending on your specific acne needs. For acne, laser therapy is considered a supplementary treatment, meaning it is usually offered alongside another treatment, like topical or oral medications. When acne is stubborn and severe, laser therapy can give your dermatologist the edge they need to reduce your symptoms. The most comprehensive laser treatment for acne is called photopneumatic therapy. Photopneumatic therapy targets pimples directly, exposing them to intense pulsed light (IPL), which damages the skin and has a disinfectant effect on the pimple. Soon after this treatment, a pimple will give way to healthy skin, with the added benefit of reduced inflammation and a far lower likelihood of infection.
Facial scarring from severe acne is an unfortunate side effect of the condition. Most acne facial scars leave small craters in the skin long after your acne has cleared up. For many people, acne scars are an unsightly reminder of their struggles with acne, and some find them to be just as socially limiting as acne itself. Thankfully, laser treatment for acne scars is possible. The laser targets the scarred areas and damages the skin. As new skin grows, it can fill in the craters left by acne scars, smoothing skin and reducing the appearance of scarring.
Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by facial redness and dryness. One of the main causes for redness is broken blood vessels just beneath the surface of the skin. When lasers are used to treat broken blood vessels, the results can be remarkable. Visible redness gives way to healthier skin, as the broken blood vessels are destroyed and replaced by new, unbroken vessels.
Conditions like melasma, in which the skin’s pigmentation darkens in patches, can be treated by laser therapy. While not every skin pigmentation problem can be treated with lasers effectively, many issues like vitiligo can be treated by laser therapy. Laser therapy targets the pigmented areas and applies intense light that can help even the skin tone, either by darkening it (in the case of vitiligo) or causing superficial damage that promotes healthy, regular skin pigmentation.
Skin conditions are all different, but laser treatment is an effective way to treat a wide variety of ailments, from cosmetic issues to acne and the scars it leaves behind. Reach out to an expert at Northeast Dermatology Associates to see if laser therapy is right for you.
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