The Wonders of Modern Cosmetic Lasers

by Stephanie Schlageter

If the word “Lasers” makes you think of scientists and light shows, it’s time to learn more about the amazing applications these optical amplification devices can also provide in the world of cosmetic medical skin care.  Lasers have long been used in medicine for a wide variety of applications.  Over the last decade, numerous highly specialized Lasers specifically designed for use in improving the health and appearance of the skin have emerged and have quickly become the gold standard for treating symptoms of aging of the skin on the face and body.  These specialized cosmetic Lasers work by safely stimulating the body’s own natural healing processes.  Cosmetic Laser treatments have the ability to regenerate skin damaged by sun, aging and the environment, resulting in a natural looking, smooth and even complexion.  Furthermore, since different types of Lasers have different capabilities and can target specific skin issues, combining different types of Lasers in the same treatment (referred to as combination therapy) offers incredible, total skin rejuvenation.

One very popular type of treatment, called an Intense Pulsed Light (or IPL) photofacial, delivers intense light energy through the surface of the skin deep into the dermis and deeper skin layers to target unwanted redness, blood vessels and pigment.  While the surface skin remains intact, the intense light energy is absorbed by the unwanted targets under the surface, essentially destroying them so that they are naturally eliminated by the body as waste.  The result?  No more visible redness, brown spots, or broken blood vessels and no downtime.   After IPL, the skin looks significantly healthier and younger with improved skin tone and texture.

Adding Fraxel Laser resurfacing to IPL treatments during the same office visit provides an even more dramatic result.  Like IPL, Fraxel does not break the surface of the skin, and it goes even deeper than IPL.  Fraxel Laser energy thermally damages the skin and thereby stimulates significant new collagen production so that “old’ damaged skin gets replaced with brand new skin.  Through your body’s natural healing process, old skin is sloughed off, and lines, wrinkles and scars (even acne scars) go right along with it.  You will even notice tighter skin and decreased pore size afterwards.  This combination therapy can literally take years off the appearance of the skin.

Following an IPL and Fraxel treatment, there is little to no downtime and, except for sun exposure, you can return to normal activities immediately.  The fall season is an ideal time to get started because treatments are typically performed in a series of four, one month apart, and you will need to stay out of the sun between visits.  

It’s time to think about Lasers in a whole new way.  Scientists might not yet have figured out time travel, but with state-of-the-art cosmetic medical Laser treatments like IPL and Fraxel, you can now take your skin back in time.