Consider Your Skin Concerns
One way that laser treatments differ is in the type of skin concerns they address. Some lasers are meant for hair removal, for example. Others treat cosmetic concerns just beneath the surface of the skin, such as spider veins. Many laser treatments will reduce wrinkles, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone or uneven skin texture. Some lasers also help to correct sun damage or redness.
Once you know what your primary skin concerns are, you can start narrowing down your treatment options. Some people find that they have multiple concerns, such as redness and uneven pigmentation or wrinkles and enlarged pores. Finding the laser treatment that will help correct all of your concerns is the ultimate goal.
Think About How Much Improvement You Want
Laser treatments vary considerably in their intensity and in the type of results they provide. If you want a dramatic change or improvement, you’ll most likely want to consider an ablative, CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. Ablative lasers completely destroy the top layer of the skin. The destruction of that top layer encourages the production of new skin cells. The new cells help to create a more youthful appearance. Ablative lasers also encourage the production of collagen, which helps to firm and smooth the skin.
Non-ablative lasers, such as Fraxel, leave the top layer of skin intact. Fraxel lasers work by creating micro-injuries in the dermis. Those micro-injuries encourage the exfoliation of dead, tired skin cells and the production of new cells. Non-ablative laser treatments produce less dramatic improvement than ablative lasers, but they are also much gentler.
Some lasers, particularly those that use intense pulsed light (IPL), direct their energy at pigmented areas of the skin. They don’t damage the outer layer of the skin. Instead, the pigment absorbs the energy from the laser and eventually breaks down. IPL lasers are most commonly used to treat areas of hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure. They can help remove freckles, age spots, and redness.
Look at Your Calendar
Downtime is something to consider when choosing the right laser treatment. Some treatments involve a lengthy recovery process. Even treatments that don’t cause damage to the outer layer of skin might need more recovery time than you’d expect. For example, it’s common to take about a week off from work after Fraxel, even though the treatment is relatively non-invasive.
You might want to take that week off after a laser peel because the skin will initially look red and swollen. As the old skin cells fall away, the skin can look dry and flaky.
On the other hand, many people are able to go back to work right after treatment with an IPL. The skin might be slightly red, but the redness usually fades pretty quickly. Another laser treatment with a short recovery time is Laser Genesis. In fact, IPL and Laser Genesis are often performed together to provide the best possible results to patients, with the least amount of downtime.
When it comes to choosing a laser treatment, there’s no single right or wrong answer. The right treatment for one person might not be right for another. The right treatment for you today might be different from what’s right for you in a few years.
To learn more about your laser treatment options and their pros and cons, call 281-810-9083 to schedule an appointment at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas today.