Photofacial? Skin Resurfacing? Which Do I Choose?

 

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

Additional benefits

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
  • Shrinking enlarged pores
  • Softening fine wrinkles
  • 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
  • Scar removal
  • Skin tightening
  • Acne scar reduction/removal
  • Stretch marks reduction
  • 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.

 

Real Stories About Success with Scar Revisions

scar revisions

© Macho | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

By Patricia Funder, MS, CLT

Two new clients recently validated my decision to purchase new laser equipment, in ways that left me absolutely humbled and inspired. Both had come in for a photofacial treatment to improve the tone and texture of their skin — and without using their real names, I share their stories to stir you, too.

During the consult with the first, Jesse, I mentioned plans for the new, non-ablative skin resurfacing laser. “Your clients will love this laser,” she said. “One of my old friends has this same laser, and treated the red, raised scar on my face.” Jesse drew a line with her finger from just below the inside corner of her left eye, down and across her cheek to her jawbone. “I had been kicked by a horse, and this scar looked horrible for six years,” she said.

I could not see a scar, even when I squinted. When I picked my jaw up off the floor, Jesse grinned and repeated, “… Yeah, it used to be really red and raised and jagged.”

When the second new client, Theresa, heard of LaserLight’s new laser, she asked if it would do anything for the mastectomy scar and radiation burn scars that she had. I wanted to cry: not only had this very young woman suffered through the terror that a cancer diagnosis brings, she also had to endure disfiguring treatments to cure it. I asked her to serve as a model when the laser nurse/trainer came in to up-skill our staff on the new laser, and this courageous woman agreed to let us evaluate the potential for LaserLight’s treatments to improve her condition. We used the fractional laser to rebuild the collagen under and around her very neat but still visible surgical scar, as well as rebuilding it to smooth out the dimpled area at the surgical site. We then used our Intense Pulsed Light system to begin removing the discolorations she had in the area.

You do not have to have trauma scars to improve your looks using LaserLight’s new technology and expertise. In addition to these two clients, we have helped some women and a few men to reduce (and eventually eliminate) acne scars and get rid of forehead wrinkles and between-the-eyes wrinkles (called “elevens,” or sometimes “anger lines”). We can smooth out “crow’s feet” at the sides of the eyes, tighten the “marionette” folds alongside your mouth, and fill in those annoying little channels above your upper lip that seems to draw your lipstick into little spikes.

For two of our middle-aged clients, we have already scheduled a second treatment to get rid of stretch marks, and both said that they are “so excited to be wearing a bikini again!” Still others we can help to manage one of the most difficult aesthetic problems, melasma, also known as “mask of pregnancy,” for its characteristic brown appearance around the eyes and in other facial locations.

If you are among the millions who have scars, wrinkles and stretch marks that make you want to hide, call today to schedule your always-free consultation, and let us show how we can give you an appearance that is younger, clearer and smoother.

If you do not have any of these conditions, chances are you know someone who does. If you do not know how to gently refer them to the LaserLight services that can change their lives and/or the way they feel about themselves, call us for help with some wording choices. In addition to the reward you get for giving someone hope and help, don’t forget that you will get a $50 Laser Treatment Credit* for referring them!

* For referrals that become a paying client at less than $100, the earned credit is $25.

Now Available: Non-Ablative, Fractional Laser Treatments!

Palomar Lux 1540 non-ablative laser

We’re very excited to announce that we now offer non-ablative, fractional laser treatments! We recently purchased a Palomar Lux 1540 laser which can help you with the following:

  • Reduce or eliminate unsightly scars
  • More effectively reduce wrinkles that make you look old, especially around the mouth, eyes, and other facial areas
  • Get rid of the acne scars you’re been living with since high school
  • Stimulate collagen and elastin production to get a younger, tighter look and feel to your skin
fractional non-ablative laser

Fractional laser treatment

Fractional laser treatment applies light in tiny micro-beams to focus treatment on specific areas. By targeting only a portion of the skin and by controlling the size, energy, and depth of the treatment area, healing and recovery is much quicker, with fewer potential risks.

There are two types of fractional lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Most people don’t realize that ablative lasers actually remove the top layer of skin and even part of the sub-layer, often leaving the patient with a bloodied look.

In contrast, non-ablative lasers keep the outer layer of skin in place, speeding up recovery time and leaving the patient looking a little red and puffy for a few days — but otherwise “normal.”

We’re guessing that looking “puffy” rather than “bloodied” is more your style, so we’re happy to report that our new fractional laser is non-ablative!

before and after scars

Before & After: Scar

Considered to be an aesthetic laser, we use it to to rejuvenate skin and improve its appearance by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, minimizing surgical and acne scars, and reducing stretch marks .

Call now to schedule your appointment. The first 10 people to call to book a non-ablative fractional laser treatment during March will get a FREE $50 treatment credit towards their next laser treatment of any kind, including skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal.