Lasers have been around for decades, but their applications in dermatology might surprise you. A far cry from the laser pointer your cats chase, laser therapy can treat a variety of cosmetic issues safely and effectively.
Stretch marks are a natural, but very distressing skin condition for most people. Stretch marks can occur for many reasons, happening in teens who grow quickly, pregnant women or people when they gain weight. Our skin is naturally elastic, to a certain point. That means that the healthier and younger we are, the less likely we are to develop stretch marks. As we age, or undergo rapid weight gain or growth (like in some cases of puberty where teens grow inches over one summer) we become susceptible to stretch marks.
Laser treatment for stretch marks is fairly straightforward, because stretch marks are nothing more than scars that appear in the deep layers of the skin. Unlike topical, over the counter treatments that can only soften the top layers of your skin, a laser can go deep. The laser will target and damage the scar tissue, allowing healthier skin cells to replace the damaged tissue. This treatment, after a few different sessions, can drastically reduce the appearance of stretch marks anywhere on the body.
As we get older, our skin begins to produce less of the many much-needed proteins that give it its elasticity. When skin loses its elasticity and ability to hold moisture, wrinkles, fine lines and age spots can develop. All of these conditions are, to a certain degree, inescapable for anyone. No matter how good your genes are, you will develop wrinkles at some point in your life without preventive treatment. The good news is that laser therapy can work to treat fine lines, dynamic wrinkles and discoloration caused by aging. Laser therapy works to damage the topmost layers of your skin, where the issues lie. Once that skin dies off, new skin grows in its place. Since your skin is working harder to regrow than it usually does, laser therapy also encourages higher production levels of things like collagen and elastin. These both work to keep skin hydrated and elastic, keeping wrinkles at bay.
Have any tattoos? If your ink just doesn’t reflect who you are anymore, you might be wishing you’d never gotten it in the first place. While you can’t turn back time, you can get laser tattoo removal at your dermatologist’s office. Lasers work a little different when it comes to removing tattoos—rather than damaging your skin, lasers are fine-tuned to destroy the ink itself. While some damage can result in the treatment area from the laser, the goal is to render each color of ink invisible by destroying the pigment it contains. Each color of ink responds to a different type of laser light, so some fine-tuning is going to be necessary. Black ink is the easiest to remove, so if you’re looking to remove a complex tattoo, plan for more treatments. As with many laser treatments, multiple sessions will be necessary to fully remove your tattoo. But, a laser treatment is a far less invasive procedure without the risk of major side effects related to general anesthesia.
Lasers offer so many solutions for such a wide breadth of skin conditions that we can’t possibly cover them all right now. If you want to see what laser therapy can do for you, make an appointment with the experts at Northeast Dermatology Associates.
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