Laser is a broad term. First laser was developed in the 1960s. And it took a long time before it was really used aesthetically. The role that lasers play in various medical specialties, including dermatology, has virtually exploded in the last 2 decades by the technological advances and many treatments have only become possible with the use of lasers. Lasers slowly were introduced, first for treating red birthmarks, then more recently for red spots, brown spots, broken blood vessels, rejuvenation and toning of damaged skin, skin resurfacing and microdermabrasion, breakup tattoos, hair removal and growth reduction; wrinkle reduction, acne treatment and cellulite and on and on. Newer applications of lasers for medical indications are psoriasis, vitiligo, acne or wound healing. So there is an ever-expanding role for lasers, particularly in cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic medicine. When discussing the term ‘lasers’, many different types of lasers and other similar energy-based devices have to be considered.

How does it work?

Lasers use light energy and convert it to heat to resurface the skin. Such energy is very precise, and only targets damaged skin cells while preserving healthy skin cells. Along with protecting the healthy skin cells, laser skin procedures also stimulate the growth of fibroblasts, which are precursors to new collagen in the skin. More collagen means firmer, fresher, younger-looking skin.

What skin conditions can be treated with lasers?

Hair removal

The most common use of cosmetic laser therapy today is hair reduction. Lasers can be used to remove excessive hair. In this process, concentrated laser beams are sent to the hair follicles and hair growth is delayed and stopped, and it may take 3 to 6 months before regrowth is evident. Several treatment cycles are required with the spacing between treatments depends on the body area being treated. Laser treatments are less painful and much quicker than electrolysis.

Facial wrinkles, scars, and sun-damaged skin

Laser treatment has been successful in reducing and removing facial wrinkles, acne scars and sun-damaged skin. Aging, primarily sun damage, causes large pores, wrinkles on skin.

For lower face wrinkles and scars, we use laser. It tightens the skin and stimulates collagen production by laser resurfacing, which gets energy into the dermis where most damaged collagen is found. A deep laser peel with what's called a carbon dioxide laser, which will eliminate or reduce many wrinkles. Not so much the wrinkles around the eyes but the wrinkles particularly above the mouth.

All brown spots are not created equal! Some are sun damage, some are genetic. Some are superficial, some deep. Some are from hormones, some from acne or trauma. Lasers can help some, not all, brown spots. Lasers can darken brown spots from hormones.

Pigmented lesions

Laser treatment can successfully lighten or eradicate a variety of pigmented lesions. Pigmented lesions that are treatable include freckles and birthmarks including some congenital melanocytic naevi, blue naevi, etc.

Tattoo removal

Although tattoo removal is challenging, cosmetic dermatologists can perform laser tattoo removal. It involves multiple colors, and requires multiple wave lengths. The laser hits the ink and breaks it into smaller pieces, so it is removed faster. Number of sessions for tattoo removal depends on factors such as the color of the tattoo, how deeply it penetrates the skin, and how long it has been on the skin. Black tattoos respond very well to laser tattoo treatment but other colors like blue, green, purple, yellow, flesh-colored tattoos, they often times don't respond predictably well.

Tattoo removal can be applied to many people without any problems. However, people with health problems that weaken the immune system, pregnant and breastfeeding women may not be suitable candidates for tattoo removal.

Vascular lesions

Lasers have been used successfully to treat a variety of vascular lesions including superficial vascular malformations, facial telangiectasia (commonly known as "spider veins"), etc.

Vascular malformations associated with more superficial blood vessels respond better to treatment than deeper vessels so it is best to begin treatment early.

Laser safety

Safety precautions in our Clinique includes: Thorough training of personnel, Eye protection for the patient and clinic staff, Use of non-reflective instruments, Avoidance of flammable materials.

Adverse effects of laser

Adverse effects differ between the available laser types. Typically, side effects of treatment are rare but superficial burns, post-operative tenderness, redness, swelling, pigment changes (brown and white marks), and even scarring may occur. The redness and tenderness last several weeks, while new skin grows over the area where the damaged skin has been removed by the laser treatments.

To avoid adverse effects and achieving optimum results, it is necessary to prepare the skin before laser treatment, and advise the patient on post-laser skin care.

What's the recovery time for laser skin treatment?

For most treatment it has almost no downtime and you may just get some redness and you can go back to doing whatever you're doing after treatment. It is better not to get in the sun and stay indoors for few days.

Importance of selecting Doctor in laser therapy

People are always trying to look younger. Laser skin treatments seem to have gained popularity over recent years for treating skin conditions. Lasers are not a one-size-fits-all treatment, but there is a treatment out there for everyone.

Today, there are more medical and aesthetic dermatological procedures utilizing laser technology than ever before. Applications range from mildly invasive procedures to completely non-invasive ones. This wide spectrum includes skin resurfacing, non-invasive body contouring, hair and tattoo removal, treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions, to name a few. Success in each of these applications is largely dependent on correct choice of laser type, wavelength, and pulse width. In our Clinique in order to ensure the optimal outcome of any laser treatment, we follow these steps; first carry out a precise evaluation of the patient regarding his/her diagnosis and expectations of the treatment to prevent dissatisfaction with laser treatment. After that we select the right laser to meet the treatment goal.