{Aired 06.14.14}

This show is to highlight the advances in laser technology; who is a candidate and what can be expected with the various types of laser treatment in the marketplace, from laser resurfacing to tattoo removal – this show will give you valuable information if you are considering anything laser.  This week we are featuring guest skin care expert Jackie Barreda of MyBodyMD to discuss these topics and give us an insight on industry trends.

Considering a Laser Treatment?

Always research your laser treatment online, there is plenty of information and photos for you to know what the technique looks like. Once in your doctor’s office have your questions ready. Let the doctor know about your research and ask questions to add to your personal research. A key question would be,”What laser is good for my skin type and which laser will have the best outcome.”

What are Lasers?

Lasers are medical devices which produce high-energy, focused beams of intense, “single-colored” light and heat which  interacts on  various tissues within vbeam-laser-therapythe skin and body. The distribution of energy in laser light is more precisely delivered (over a scalpel or topical chemicals) – for the successful treatment of many aesthetic and medical conditions. LASER is an acronym for – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Sounds dangerous if in the wrong hands but you have to ask yourself if this procedure is worth the pain and cost if done by the right, and more importantly, in qualified hands. It is important for patients to understand that lasers have specific applications depending on what they are being used to treat.

Fractional vs. Non-Fractional Lasers

Fractional laser treatment is a non-invasive treatment that targets the surface and lower epidermis of the skin. Non-Fractional Lasers keep the outer layer of skin in place, for faster healing and recovery. The body’s natural healing process creates new, healthy tissue to replace the areas of affected tissue, resulting in healthier, younger-looking skin.

Both techniques  treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne and surgical scars, melasma, striae (stretch marks), unwanted textural irregularities, crow’s feet, blotchy skin and more, on virtually any trouble spot on the body – face, neck, chest, arms, legs.

Fractional laser treatment is more likely to take a few days to heal, may create redness but will need fewer treatments. Whereas Non-Fractional laser treatment will allow you to have less down time but may need multiple treatments.

What are the Most Popular Laser Treatments Today?

The Ultherapy procedure is the only non-surgical, non-invasive treatment that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift and tighten loose skin on the eyebrow, neck, and under the chin.

Thermage® uses focused radio‐frequency energy to strengthen collagen in your skin for a smooth, sleek look that can help you feel years younger

Laser Skin Resurfacing

What is it? Laser Skin resurfacing slightly damages collagen in a controlled procedure. The skin will repair itself in a rapid time for visable results. Application can be painful, it is sometimes described as feeling like a hot rubber band snap or hot grease hitting the skin. A topical can be placed on the skin 45 minutes prior to treatment.

What does it treat?

  • Static wrinkles
  • Dynamic wrinkles
  • Pigmentation
  • Scars
  • Vascular conditions
  • Loss of skin tone

Newer methods of laser resurfacing cause fewer complications and have faster recovery times. These methods include:

  • Fractional laser skin resurfacing, which treats microscopic columns of skin. The treated areas of the skin are surrounded by untreated areas, which results in visible improvement without much bleeding or scabbing.
  • Plasma skin resurfacing, which uses plasma energy to destroy the lower layers of skin but does not affect the top layer of skin. This top layer protects the lower layers of skin as they heal.
  • Superficial erbium: YAG laser resurfacing, which is a mild laser treatment method. This works best for minor wrinkles and other skin problems.
  • Infrared laser resurfacing, which targets deeper layers of the skin with heat to smooth and tighten the skin

Is it Good for All Skin Types?

Everyone is different but you can find a laser that will be more effective with your skin type. See the chart below to find your skin type. There are potential side effects and potential issues with using laser treatment that include: hypo-pigmentation ( the loss of skin color) and hyper-pigmentation (the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin) . There is a discomfort with the treatment  and possible scarring. The key is to have proper expectations with any laser treatment.

Fitzpatrick Scale for Skin Types.

Fitzpatrick Scale for Skin Types.

Laser Hair Removal

Again know your skin type when considering laser hair removal. There are two types of lasers:

  •  Alexandrit 755 wave length  – for fair skin with darker hair
  • Yag 1064 wave length – reads deeper into the skin, more for all skin types.

With newer technology, all ethnicities can get laser hair removal. Both men and women have different popular requests. There may be a few risks such as scarring or burning the skin so it is important to know you are selecting the right doctor or business to perform this procedure with the right tools.

Costs will range depending on the size of the area but will start at $150-$2000. Note you will need at least 5-6 treatments. It’s recommended to buy this service in packages.

Laser Tattoo Removal?

There are many factors when considering laser tattoo removal. The age of the tattoo, what type of ink was used, what type of skin you have and how sophisticated is the tattoo. Some ink colors like black or green are easier to remove but colors like blue, red and yellow can be a little more difficult. Sometimes after the laser removal there may be a while outline of the tattoo left or your skin texture may be a little different.  Other less effective methods of removing a tattoo include:

  • Dermabrasion – again this depends on safistication of the tattoo, may lighten the tattoo but not totally remove it.

  • Excision – you can opt to have it surgically removed but if you do not have excess skin to replace the tattoo this option may not be viable. Also you may have a scar left after the surgery.

The pain associated with laser removal surgery is severe and more painful then actually getting the tattoo. In other words, make sure you really like the idea of a tattoo before getting one because laser removal or even a cover up tattoo can be VERY expensive.

A Treatment for Cellulite

cellulaze-cellulite

Finally! An effective treatment for cellulite with permanent results – Cellulaze. This laser procedure works by damaging the connective tissue  which causes the skin to restrict and tighten thus removing the fat and stopping the dimpling effects. The most effective skin type for this procedures are skin types I & II (see chart to the right). Other skin types may have varying results. This procedure does require sedation however it is an outpatient procedure, you can go home after the procedure and you will be required to wear compression garments for a period of time. Results can be seen immediately but just like liposuction, results are best between 6-8 months after the procedure.  Pricing will range from $5,000- $7,500 and will cover an area less than 8″x11″ (smaller then a sheet of paper).

Special thank you to Jackie from MyBodyMD for her insight on the subject. 

Click here for questions to ask your board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon about their qualifications.