Laser skin resurfacing is useful in reducing wrinkles on face and skin problems like acne scars. In this method laser beams are directed towards the problem area to remove layers of skin so that new skin can develop.
Who is right candidate for this procedure?
In case you are suffering from following problems then this treatment is right for you:
Fine lines around eyes
Wrinkles on forehead
Shallow scars due to acne
If your skin is very dark, are trying this procedure for stretch marks or you still having active acne then laser skin resurfacing might not be suitable for you and you need to talk with your doctor first.
How it works?
There are 2 laser types which are used in this procedure, one is carbon dioxide (CO2) and the other is erbium. Let us look at both of them in the next section.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
This technique is commonly used for various skin problems ranging from warts, wrinkles, enlarged oil glands on areas such as nose to scars. In CO2 laser skin resurfacing ultrapulse is used which refers to short pulsed light beams which are directed on the skin in scanning pattern for removal of very thin skin layers and cause insignificant heat damage to the skin. Normal recovery time is about 2 weeks.
This other technique removes somewhat deep face wrinkles and wrinkles on areas such as hand, chest and neck. The advantage of this method is that there is very less burn in surrounding tissues and recovery time is faster compared to CO2 technique. For people with dark skin complexion this technique would yield better results that the other method.
How to prepare for the treatment?
Begin with consulting a dermatologist to know if this treatment is right for you. Doctor will go through your medical history and present health to determine which laser treatment will be more suitable for you. Remember, in case you get cold sores around mouth than laser resurfacing can cause breakout, so it is important to tell your doctor about the problem.
Usually, your doctor will advise to stop taking medications such as aspirin or vitamin E at least ten days before your treatment date. Antibiotics are given to stop any bacterial infections and antiviral medicines for people who suffer from cold sores.
What happens during & after treatment?
Normally, for these procedures you do not require overnight stay and can go home after the treatment. In case area to be treated is small, doctors generally use local anesthetic to numb the part. If whole face is being treated then general anesthesia can also be given.
For full face the average treatment time is around 2 hours while if it is only some part of the face then the procedure can be completed in 30-45 minutes. After the procedure completes you will be able to return back and will have to clean the treated area 4-5 times every day and apply ointment prescribed by doctor to prevent scab formation. Healing process will take between 10-21 days and depends upon the skin condition that was treated.
Post treatment skin care
After the skin completely heals it is advised to use makeup especially the oil free ones to reduce redness which can stay up to a month.
It is also important to use a sunscreen after the treatment as the skin is much lighter and it should be SPF 50 or higher. Additionally, keep skin moisturized and start using glycolic acid products 6 weeks after the procedure.
What are the possible complications to be aware of?
You may get slight swelling after laser skin resurfacing and using ice pack over the area that was treated helps to reduce the swelling. An itching sensation is also normal after the treatment and it normally subsides in a few days.
What is the meaning of photo rejuvenation?
It is a type of skin rejuvenation in which intense pulsed light (IPL) is used. This light is absorbed by red as well as brown pigments present in the skin. The energy of IPL gets delivered to epidermis and also dermis layer but there is no damage caused to epidermis or the superficial layer since a chilled crystal remains in contact with the skin and prevents any damage. Therefore there is practically no downtime with this skin photo rejuvenation treatment.
There are several benefits of this procedure which include:
Decrease in brown spots that are caused by sun damage
Reduction in fine lines and
Improvement in skin texture
Which areas are treated using this treatment?
Normally, this treatment is used for areas such as face, hands, chest, neck and shoulders.
Does it treat Rosacea?
Yes but it is not a cure for the problem. This therapy can significantly improve Rosacea’s symptoms covering inflammatory acne, enlarged pores and excessive flushing. Results are clearly visible after a few sessions of this treatment.
What happens during the treatment?
Prior to the treatment, your doctor will apply a cold gel over the treatment area and you will be provided with protective eyewear. Afterwards, bright pulses of intense pulsed light will be delivered over skin surface to cover the whole area being treated.
How much time procedure takes?
Each of the sessions is normally of 30 to 45 minute duration. After the session is over you will experience warm feeling over the treated location but that would subside within a short period of time and you can head back to doing your normal tasks almost immediately.
What to expect after the treatment?
Immediately after the session is over, you will see mild redness in the area which normally goes off after some hours. Brown spots will also darken but in a couple of days these dark spots will develop flaky cover and gradually shed to reveal the new fresh skin.
How many sessions are required?
Generally 5 sessions are required which are spaced at an interval of 3 weeks. However, number of sessions required may vary from person to person and how many sessions you will require will be decided during the preliminary consultation.
How long do the results last?
If you use good sun protection cream such as SPF 30 with a well planned skincare routine then the results will last for several years. However, you need to understand that skin damage you see are due to prolonged sun exposure over the years and its manifestation in the form of brown spots or enlarged pores will continue. For these reasons, you may require maintenance treatment at an interval of every three to four months or one year, depending upon your particular situation.
Which precautions are necessary while procedure is on?
At the time your photo rejuvenation sessions are in process, avoid sun baths (tanning) as during this time the skin is more vulnerable to reactions from intense light.
What side effects I should be aware of?
There are generally very few side effects such as redness in the area where pulsed light is applied. In very rare situation there would be side effects like formation of blisters in the area.
Spider veins are tiny blue or red colored veins that are shaped like a tree branch. They mostly develop at a later stage in life and appear on the calves and ankles. More than 50 % of adults deal with spider veins on legs. The disorder is more common in women as compared to men. Although it might not be entirely possible to avoid them, there are certain things that you can do to inhibit their onset. Learn about the causes this disorder and what you can do to prevent them from forming.
Tips to Prevent Spider Veins
Avoid standing or sitting for long periods. In case your job requires you to be on your feet throughout the day, break up the time you stand by taking a walk at lunch, or even just walking around the office.
Since the condition is caused due to poor blood circulation, it is essential to avoid positions that obstruct circulation. Avoid crossing your legs while sitting. Crossing the legs for long periods obstructs blood circulation to the legs, which in turn causes vein walls to weaken and ugly veins to form.
Elevate your feet by using a stool while sitting down. Raising your feet to 6 to 12 inches will improve circulation and regulate blood flow in the veins. It even reduces swelling in the calves and ankles, which in turn reduces the risk of developing this condition.
Wear a low grade compression hose. It is available at most drugstores. A compression hose supports the blood vessels and improves circulation, thus making the legs less swollen and achy.
Avoid wearing high heels, particularly if your job requires you to stand or sit for long periods of time. High heels put excess pressure on the legs and restrict the circulation of blood to the legs. This in turn leads to the formation of these veins.
Another way of preventing this disorder is keeping your weight under control. Follow a balanced diet and maintain a weight that is appropriate for your body type and height. This reduces excess stress on the legs and blood vessels.
Restrict the intake of salt as it causes water retention (edema) in the body, which in turn puts pressure on the veins. Avoid junk and processed foods as they are loaded with sodium (salt). Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meat.
Exercise regularly as it helps improve blood circulation and lets you maintain a healthy weight. Focus on exercises which keep the legs and feet moving, to prevent the appearance of these unsightly veins.
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle as it can lead to this disorder. Sitting for long periods of time obstructs circulation and makes it harder for the veins in the legs to carry blood. This excess strain can result in spider veins on legs.
Dealing with The Problem
There are several treatments available. Laser treatment for spider veins is considered as one of the most effective options to treat superficial veins. During laser spider vein removal, an intense pulse of laser light is directed into the pigment in the blood. The laser heats up the vein and destroys it. Over a period of 4 to 6 weeks, the vein gets reabsorbed by the body and permanently disappears.
Laser for spider veins is quick, easy, non-invasive and painless as compared to other procedures. The majority of patients don’t require any type of anesthesia, but for those who anticipate pain, the physician will apply a topical anesthetic 20 minutes before the procedure. Most present day lasers include a cooling system which makes the procedure relatively pain free. If you are considering laser for spider veins, fix up an appointment with a specialist to know more about the procedure.
With summer almost here, who would want to miss out on a beach trip or a visit to the rooftop pool? If you want to be ready for a beach season, it’s certainly time to consider your options when it comes to keeping your bikini line, hands and legs swimsuit-ready. Let’s take a look at some common hair removal options, and their different levels of convenience, pain, expense, and longevity.
Waxing is a common method of hair removal in which warm wax is applied to the area and pulled off in the opposite direction with a waxing strip, pulling hairs out at the roots. It works best for underarm, bikini area, and leg hair removal. It is great for women with coarse, dark hair.
This method temporarily removes hair at the root and results lasts for an average of about 3 weeks. However, the procedure can be moderately painful, since hair is ripped out at the root. Also, it can also lead to ingrown hairs. Also, in order to be effective, waxing needs some hair re-growth as the wax needs at least 1/4-inch of hair to adhere to. The cost can range anywhere from $35 to $80, depending upon the areas waxed and your choice of salon.
Depilatory creams contain chemicals that weaken the hair so that it can be wiped off effectively. They are best for people who want a quick, easy, and relatively painless hair removal option to do at home. This option is most popular for facial hair, underarms and bikini line.
These creams can be used at home, and remove hair slightly below the surface of the skin. They promise a slower and less coarse re-growth as compared to shaving. However, the chemicals in such products can irritate sensitive skin, especially on delicate areas. Also, the creams are infamous for their smell and can also lead to ingrown hairs. The cost of these creams is $6 to $12 on average.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is one of the most effective and popular options available today. During treatment, the laser penetrates the skin and targets the hair shaft to inhibit hair growth. It basically destroys the hair follicles, which means it can help achieve permanent hair removal for men and women. Usually, hair on the treated area falls out within 2 to 3 weeks.
Laser hair removal is best for people who have hair that is darker than their skin. It is not suited for people with dark skin and pale hair, since it targets the melanin in the hair. The treatment is great for long term hair removal on all areas of the body. It does not cause any damage to the skin and therefore the most sensitive skin can be treated. There’s a good reason why so many people are even opting for facial laser hair removal. Amongst all other methods of facial hair removal for men, laser treatment is considered the most effective.
The cost can range from $95 to $250 per session, with an average of 6 sessions recommended, depending upon the area being treated. While it may seem quite expensive, many consider laser treatment as an investment that pays off in the long run. It is the most effective treatment considering how much you spend over a lifetime with other hair removal options. To know more about body or facial laser hair removal, fix up an appointment with a specialist.
What Does Fractional Laser Treat?
Fraxel skin treatmentThere are 2 types of fractional lasers, the erbium fractional laser and the CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. Erbium lasers like Fraxel are the gentler of the two, and referred to as “non-ablative”. In general, Fraxel laser skin resurfacing is better for younger patients (under 50). It is effective for treating fine wrinkles and mild to moderate acne scarring. The CO2 system is better for older patients, and for treating deeper wrinkles, deeper acne scarring, other scars and skin tightening. Fractional co2 laser skin resurfacing treats skin more deeply, but requires more downtime as compared to Fraxel.
What is the Difference between Fraxel and Fraxel Dual?
Fraxel Dual is effective in treating pigment problems, brown spots, and sun damage in a better manner than regular Fraxel. However, its effect on melasma caused during pregnancy is still in question and one needs to be skeptical if that is your main problem. It’s better for larger areas such as the chest, arms, back or legs.
How does Fractional Resurfacing Work?
In fractional laser skin resurfacing, the laser creates “microthermal” zones deep in the skin. The skin repairs these zones by pushing the old sun damaged skin out from the tiny pixels and replacing it with newer skin. Every treatment replaces approximately 15 to 20 % of the wrinkled sun damaged, or scarred skin. It triggers the natural healing process of the body and accelerates the production of collagen as well as of new and healthy skin cells. Around 1,000 to 2,000 microthermal zones are created per centimeter squared.
Can Fraxel Be Performed With Other Cosmetic Procedures?
Yes. It can be performed with Juvederm, Restylane and other temporary or semi-permanent fillers. However, wait for one week after having the fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure done. For Sculptra, it’s best to have Fraxel done first, or you would need to wait for 3 months after your last Sculptra injection in order to start the Fraxel treatment. For Thermage, wait for 1 week before or after the Fraxel procedure.
How Many Treatments Do I need?
Usually, Fraxel laser skin resurfacing takes 3 to 5 sessions, spaced approximately 3 to 8 weeks apart. You will be given an estimate during your consultation. The number of sessions required depends upon the extent of the sun damage, wrinkles or acne scarring. You will notice gradual improvement with each treatment.
Can I Resume Work Immediately?
No, you need to rest on the day of treatment. You can resume work and routine activities after your doctor approves it, normally 1 to 7 days after treatment.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
This depends upon how well you protect your skin against the sun, and your genetic ageing process. If you use sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing, the skin will look good for longer. Don’t spend a lot of time outdoors or go tanning. If you take proper care, your skin will continue to look good for a long time, with annual maintenance treatments.
When Can I See Results?
Results from laser skin treatment depend upon what you have undergone treatment for. Many people notice results in a week after their first session. The skin feels smoother, has a glow and looks less blotchy. It can take 5-6 months before you see best results. Usually, collagen continues to develop even up to 3 to 6 months after treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Side effects include temporary swelling, redness, crusting and occasional bruising or tiny superficial blisters.
What Does It Cost?
The cost of laser skin tightening or skin resurfacing can vary according to where you live, the clinic you opt for, and the size of the treatment area. Costs for full face resurfacing range from $900-$1400. A full face with neck and chest can range from $1500 to $1900. You will be given a specific quotation before the procedure.
Tattoos are permanent designs made on the body when pigment is inserted into the skin through tiny ruptures in the top layer of skin. Modern day tattoos are applied using an electric tattoo machine that has needles which rapidly puncture the skin in an up and down motion.
Can Tattoos Be Removed?
Tattoos are meant to be permanent; hence removing them is quite difficult. Some surgeons guarantee complete removal, while the majority of them say that complete removal is not possible. Today, there are several options for tattoo removal that have proved effective. However, successful tattoo ink removal depends upon factors like size, location of the tattoo, how long it’s been there and an individual’s ability to heal.
Doctors say that they cannot predict the exact degree of ink removal because they usually don’t know which of the 100 inks available today was used.
What Are The Options For Tattoo Removal?
Before laser tattoo removal became popular, removal involved the use of one or more painful and scar inducing procedures. These included:
- Dermabrasion, wherein the skin is “sanded” to remove its surface and middle layers.
- Cryosurgery, in which the area is frozen before removing the tattoo
- Excision, in which the surgeon removes the tattoo using a scalpel and closes the wound with stitches. In cases involving larger tattoos, a skin graft from another part of the body might be required.
Although these procedures are still used today, laser tattoo removal has become the standard treatment for tattoo removal as it offers a bloodless, low risk, and effective alternative with minimal side effects.
How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
Lasers produce short pulses of light that harmlessly pass through the top layer of the skin to be absorbed by the tattoo pigment. The laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to break down into smaller particles which are then removed by the body’s immune system. Researchers have confirmed which wavelengths of light need to be used for tattoo ink removal.
In case you’re wondering whether the laser effects normal skin, do not worry. The laser beam only targets the pigments in the tattoo, without damaging the surrounding skin. Pre-treatment steps include application of an anesthetic cream 2 hours before the procedure. This is wiped off just before the procedure begins.
Laser tattoo removal results will start to appear after approximately 2 weeks. Some fading, either general or in spots, can be seen after this period.
Does It Hurt?
Unfortunately, both getting and removing tattoos is uncomfortable. The impact of the energy from the laser has been described as similar to being snapped by a thin rubber band. Since black pigment absorbs laser wavelengths, it is the easiest to remove. However, other colors, like red and green, selectively absorb the laser light and are treated only with selected lasers, depending upon the pigment color.
Laser tattoo removal aftercare involves applying antibacterial cream and dressing on the treatment area. The area needs to be kept clean at all times. A shower the day after treatment is okay, but the treatment area must not be scrubbed.
How Much Does It Cost?
Does laser tattoo removal work, and how much does, it cost are common questions people ask. Well, getting a tattoo removed is a lot more expensive than getting one done. The cost of removal can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the size, type and location of the tattoo, and the number of treatment sessions required.
At the age of 47, I am very familiar with things like sun spots, fine lines & under eye wrinkles. Over the years I have tried many different things but found chemical peels to be more effective compared to others.
My dermatologist plans out a rotation of medium as well as superficial depth peels at an interval of six to eight weeks. The results are quite good and give my skin a fresh look. Let me share my experience with you of how chemical peel treatments are to be planned to get a clear glowing skin.
Point 1 – Get in touch with a dermatologist
It is important to consult a dermatologist since only he can evaluate the different skin conditions, whether it is melasma, sun spots or freckle. Dermatologist will check your skin type to tell if chemical peels would be the right option for your skin condition.
Doctor will find out the strength required for your skin type and also the frequency of application. Normally a licensed aesthetician will apply the chemical peel but you must see to it that the person has minimum five years experience in application of chemical peels since only with experience they can know how long it should be kept and which areas on the face need more attention.
Point 2 – Be aware of chemical peel’s strength
It is necessary that you know chemical peel’s strength so that you can plan your work accordingly. As for example, if peeling is performed on Thursday and you have to go to a big function on Sunday then stronger peels are to be avoided. Similarly, you don’t have to wait for a month to schedule any excursion after application of medium ones.
There are 3 basic types of peels:
Medium depth peels
Superficial Peels – These work on skin’s top layer called as epidermis and you can get it done during your lunchtime. You will see instant effects such as a luminous complexion and practically no downtime. However, skin may feel dry and tight for the first few days. These are useful for problems such as acne spots, fine lines, mild hyper-pigmentation and dry skin and considered safe for all types of skin. Common ingredients used consist of salicylic acid (for stronger exfoliation), glycolic acid and TCA in very low strength. You will require a series of treatments to get the desired result and these are also less effective in providing anti-aging results of longer duration that are gained from some of the stronger peels.
Medium Depth Peels– As the name suggests, these have deeper penetration and reach the dermis where they remove skin’s deep layers in which several blemishes such as sun spots are present. These develop a wound which can be like sunburn which lets new skin to form and some amount of downtime is involved to let the new skin grow. As these go deeper into the skin and stimulate collagen, you will find them effective in curing sun damage. Common ingredients include TCA of 25-35% concentration and glycolic acid. Scarring risk is possible if TCA of higher than 35% concentration is used. Normally, I go for two to three medium peels every year during the months of March & October when it is much less warmer.
Deep Peels– These consist of carbolic acid and are used to treat sun damage as well as deep wrinkles with a downtime of around 2 weeks to let your skin recover. You will need sedation before application and risk of hypo-pigmentation is present so you need to consult your doctor first.
Point 3 – Changes in Skin Care Routine
You will have to follow specific skin care routine before as well as after the chemical peel treatment. Generally, try to avoid waxing and also use of retinol a week before the treatment date as well as for 2 weeks after the treatment. Additionally, if you suffer from fever blisters then consult doctor to get anti-viral drugs which can stop outbreak of blisters. After the treatment your skin care routine should include soft cleansers and highly emollient moisturizers. Anything that exfoliates the skin needs to be avoided for a week’s time after the treatment and if have to go out then sunscreen is a must.
Point 4 – Use of Sunscreen and Going Out
After the treatment avoid going out for about 2 weeks but if you must, then apply good amount of sunscreen to prevent any sun damage to the recovering skin. You need to be aware of the fact that extreme temperatures can result in hyper-pigmentation while the skin is healing, so avoid places like saunas for around a month during the chemical peel treatment and only schedule a vacation in the snows or on a sunny beach at least one month after taking a second level peel.
Point 5 – Exercises and Alternating the Peels
My doctor tells me not to exercise for about 48 hours after the treatment to avoid sweating and it would be same for you as well. During the healing period it is also better not to venture into swimming pools as chlorine in the water can make the skin dry out. Additionally, alternating different type of peels is advised so that skin tolerance does not develop for any particular type.
- Stem cell cure for diabetes: a reality? August 29, 2016
- Neck Lift Surgery August 17, 2015
- Face rejuvenation – Works miracles!! August 16, 2015
- Autologous- A treatment for dark circles under the eyes. July 30, 2015
- Cosmetic Surgery in India July 19, 2015