Are you confused by all of the anti-aging terminology in the world of laser skin care — that all sounds too similar? If you are confused, you are not alone!
You read advertisements about photofacials, photo rejuvenation, skin resurfacing, fractional laser — all promising to make you look younger and give you clearer, healthier skin – and you haven’t a clue as to how to start a discussion with your laser services provider to see what is right for you.
Let’s see if we can simplify it for you.
First, take a long, curious look in the mirror, and decide which issues bother you the most. Make a list of them: is it brown spots? And are they little freckles, or sizeable spots the size of a dime or bigger? Is it that ruddy look around your cheeks, the redness that deepens when you get embarrassed or eat/drink the wrong things?
Is it scars … old acne scars, surgical scars or trauma scars? Do you see stretch marks? Enlarged pores, wrinkles, or even just a “blah” complexion? How about the need for a little bit of tightening?
Next, use a scale of 1 – 3 to rank the issue or issues in order of how much better you would feel if they were taken away for you! For example, you may have a few small but bright red blood vessels around your nose, but you can live with them. You are mortified, however, that you have a number of large brown spots on the sides of your face, hands or legs — and you dearly wish that you could avoid using makeup or wearing pantyhose. You might rank the blood vessels a “1,” but the sun-damaged spots get a “3” because you are willing to do whatever it takes, within reason, to get rid of those spots for good.
Now you are ready to talk to a knowledgeable, kind Laser Technician who can guide you in a plan to make your skin healthier — “from the skin-side out,” as we like to say at LaserLight!
Most common skin problems — and you are surely not alone having acquired these issues – will improve with the right laser treatments. And most of the problems identified here can improve with treatments by either one or two kinds of laser, as follows. Bear in mind that it usually takes a number of treatments to achieve your goals.
- If your issues include pigmentation that you do not like — brown or red structures, you will likely benefit from one to four photofacials. Your Certified Laser Technician can help you to determine the course of treatment and what to expect.With this treatment, you will be pleased with the clarity and brightness laser gives your skin!
- If your issues include wrinkles — even deeper wrinkles — scars, sagging skin or enlarged pores, a laser skin resurfacing– also called non-ablative skin resurfacing or fractional laser — will give you an improvement with three to six treatments monthly. (NOTE: there is also an ablative fractional laser treatment that can do this quicker: but you must expect about five days of down time, and you may be very red, swollen, and possibly bloody.)Your improvements with this laser treatment can last from three to five years!
In summary, the table below gives you a good basis for participating in a discussion about the kind of anti-aging and skin improvement specific to you.
Laser Type/including alternate common names
Best treatment for
|Photofacial (depigmentation, a/k/a skin rejuvenation, photorejuvenation, Fotofacial™
- Removing brown, sun-damage spots
- Reducing rosacea, visible blood vessels on the cheeks, chin and around the nose
- Produces an even texture and tone to your skin
- Effectively closes tiny surface blood vessels so that they disappear
|Skin Resurfacing a/k/a Fractional laser, skin rejuvenation, non-ablative fractional or ablative fractional lasers)
- Wrinkle reduction or removal
- Acne scar reduction/removal
- Uses your body’s natural process for rebuilding collagen and elastin
- Gives your skin an even texture and tone
- Improvements outlast injections by YEARS — at far less cost!
Important points to remember center on the “long lasting,” sometimes permanent, improvements that lasers achieve. Unlike topical treatments such as creams and serums, which typically sit on the surface of your skin, laser penetrates several microns below the surface, and actually makes structural changes that will eliminate the causes of the imperfections you are seeking to improve.
To read more about the differences between the ablative and non-ablative skin resurfacing lasers, read our blog post on Fractional Laser, dated February 27th.