Everything You Need To Know About Laser Treatments
We dove into the science of laser treatments to find out how they can for work you!
If you’re someone who’s into skincare, chances are you’ve already heard about laser treatments. Lasers can be used to treat a plethora of skincare woes, from acne scarring to discoloration, to stretch marks and even tattoo removal. If you have a stubborn skin problem and you’re looking for a more permanent fix, then lasers might work for you, too.
Given that they are able to treat a variety of skin conditions, lasers aren’t one size fits all. There are lots of different types and each one is effective for different issues. To give you a sense of which laser treatment works for you, what you need to know before getting one and what the after-care looks like, we talked to a laser expert and Skin House Laser’s dermatologist, Dr. Ron Michael Dagala to give us the low-down.
What are the things to know before getting a laser treatment for the face?
Like any other medical or aesthetic consultation, the patient should determine the chief concern in undergoing a laser procedure. Is it for rejuvenation? Pigmentation? Acne scars?This will help your dermatologist discuss the nature of your skin condition and ultimately suggest appropriate and personalized management, which may include other treatment options, whether medical, supportive or procedural. There may even be times laser is not the first line of treatment at all! So do yourself a favor, and make it a habit to consult a board-certified dermatologist before undergoing any procedure.
A thorough medical history and physical examination must be done. Information regarding the following is of note before doing laser procedures:
Current medications, whether maintenance, supplementary or topical, must be discussed with your dermatologist. Certain oral medications, like aspirin, maybe temporarily discontinued prior to laser procedure because healing may be delayed. Oral and topical medications that contain a retinoid must be stopped before the procedure.
If your lifestyle requires you to be out in the sun most of the time, or if you have sunburn from a recent outdoor activity, then laser procedures may not be best for you at the moment. Lasers could burn your skin further or produce a discoloration that is very difficult to treat.
There is actually no strong evidence whether or not lasers have an adverse effect during pregnancy. Because of the lack of clinical data, dermatologists usually recommend pregnant patients to avoid laser treatments until after delivery.
Previous laser/cosmetic procedures
The patient must volunteer information regarding previous procedures like chemical peels, and other laser treatments, so as to ascertain that your skin has already recovered from the previous treatment and help avoid any untoward events.
Smoking is ideally discontinued if you are serious in improving skin conditions, whether or not lasers are involved. Not only does it delay healing, but it also enhances the skin ageing.
And lastly, the patient should be honest about his/her expectations from the desired laser procedure. Always keep in mind, that results may vary from one patient to another. Although it is both the patient and the dermatologists desire to address your concern as soon as possible, some procedures may take a while before you can have noticeable improvement, and it is very important that the patients have an understanding of this.
What types of lasers are used at Skin House?
Skin House Laser Beauty and Laser Clinic offers an array of laser treatments for different skin concerns. Here’s a quick rundown of these lasers and their indications:
StarWalker Fotona, Angel White and Revlite
These are Q-switched laser technologies that can help in the lightening of pigmented skin conditions like acne marks, dark underarms, lentigenes, sun/age spots, and melasma. They are also used for skin rejuvenation or improvement of skin tone, texture and over-all quality. These lasers offer safe and effective treatment without an inconvenient downtime, and are usually done every 2 to 4 weeks.
This laser is used for hair removal, and facial and leg vein removal for all skin types. It can even tone, minimize the appearance of pores and contours the skin. This is also done every 2-4 weeks, with no downtime.
Medical Grade Diode
This laser is used for hair removal, This is also done every 4 weeks, with no downtime.
Pixel CO2 laser
This is a fractional, resurfacing laser that addresses deep scars that are most often caused by acne. It helps improve the texture of the skin with minimal downtime of about 3 to 7 days and is usually done once a month.
What types of skin concerns does a laser treat?
As mentioned, different lasers address different skin conditions. For pigmentations like acne spots and dark underarms, Skin House offers StarWalker, Angel White, and Revlite lasers. For deeper acne scars, Pixel CO2 laser is initially the best way to go. Then, there’s GentleMax laser for all your hair and vein removal concerns. Again, it’s best to consult our board-certified dermatologists first, to know which treatment would best address your skin needs.
Can laser treatments be combined with basic facials?
Most definitely! Facials are actually encouraged before a laser procedure. Not only is it a good way to get pampered, but it also ensures that your skin is clean and ready before your laser treatment of choice. Skin House offers a range of facials for every skin type and concern. Here’s a pro tip: It is best to schedule a ‘once a month’ full day at Skin House. Get the most out of our treatments, and if permissible, do everything you want done within the day!
Are there products that you should stop using before and after the treatment?
Yes, there are oral and topical medications that must be discontinued before and after laser treatments. Oral medications like aspirin may delay healing, and therefore advised to be discontinued temporarily. Some doctors may even ask you to stop taking certain oral supplements as well.
Topical medications containing retinoids (commonly prescribed for acne), and skin care products like exfoliants with hydroxy acids, are advised to be discontinued 3-5 days before your scheduled laser procedure. These can be easily resumed 3-5 days after treatment or once your skin has recovered, or simply put, the post-laser redness or any downtime have subsided, which usually span the same number of days.
What does after-care look like?
If there’s one non-negotiable after-care regimen, it’s sun protection, or the application of your sunscreen. This is a must before and after the procedure. If you have been exposed to the sun, moreover, if you have a prior tan or sunburn, laser procedures are usually delayed until these have resolved. This is to avoid burning your skin, which could produce further hyperpigmentation that is even more difficult to manage. After the procedure, one must conscientiously apply sunscreen on the treated area. A minimum sun protection factor or SPF of 30 to 50 is required. Skin that is unprotected from the sun after a laser procedure can be burned further, again producing darker pigmentation on the skin. Do this until your skin heals, or better yet, incorporate it to your daily skin care regimen and get the maximum benefit of your treatment.