The short answer is, yes. Laser skin treatments can help refresh the skin and improve many skin conditions, including age spots, veins, wrinkles, scars, sagging skin, unwanted hair and tattoos. Lasers can target different structures in the skin. Pigment in the outer layer of the skin is targeted for treating sun spots caused by sun damage. Redness and veins are improved by lasers selectively treating veins. Wrinkles and scars are enhanced by the treatment of deeper dermal tissues with lasers. Tattoos are lightened and cleared by selective absorption of laser energy that reaches the tattoo ink particles below the outer layer of the skin. Unwanted hair in various areas is also selectively targeted by lasers that impact the root of the hair deeper in the skin.
At the Laser and Skin Surgery Center, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Renuka Diwan has more than 25 years of experience using lasers to help address her patients’ skin issues. She is committed to delivering natural-looking results that give you the confidence that comes with ridding yourself of wrinkles, unwanted veins, discoloration, tattoos, and hair.
Dr. Diwan is dedicated to helping her patients. This blog explains the benefits of laser treatments and is intended to help patients make informed decisions about the procedures they’re considering.
How Do Laser Treatments Work?
The number of lasers manufactured has multiplied. Any given skin problem can be treated by lasers made by different vendors for the same problem. Each vendor has its own brand name for the laser, which is said to be the best. This is a source of confusion for patients looking for a specific laser. It’s better to ask if the physician has a laser that treats the particular problem you want to have treated. It’s important to remember that it’s not the laser that takes care of a problem but the specialist physician who knows how to use the laser who treats the problem. What patients need to know is the specialist’s training experience and skin as demonstrated by results.
Just as there are multiple lasers that can address a given problem, there is no single laser that can treat all problems. Dr. Diwan has invested in five lasers, intense pulsed light, and other devices for treating different skin problems, giving her the right tools to address various issues.
Resurfacing lasers are used to carefully remove layers of the skin. Fractional resurfacing lasers treat a fraction of the skin surface. Fractional resurfacing lasers create microscopic injuries to a controlled depth. The microscopic columns of treated skin are eliminated (seen as peeling) and are replaced by new healthy skin with more elastin and collagen. The new collagen and elastin cause an improvement in wrinkles and scars.
Preparing for Laser Skin Treatment
Many laser treatments are performed after simply cooling the skin or after numbing the skin with an anesthetic cream. Anesthetic injections and oral medications are needed for deeper laser resurfacing. Before your treatment, these steps can help set you up for success:
- Tell Dr. Diwan if you get cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth. These can be activated by laser treatments around the mouth and need to be prevented with an antiviral medication started before your laser procedure.
- Stop taking any medications or supplements that affect blood clotting, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and vitamin E, 10 days before a laser resurfacing procedure.
- If you smoke, quit smoking at least two weeks before and at least two weeks after a deeper laser resurfacing procedure.
- Avoid a tan before your treatment by using adequate sun protection. Sun protection is essential after all laser treatments to ensure the success of the procedures and prevent complications.
What to Expect from Laser Skin Treatments
Depending on the problem being treated, the treated skin may be pink and slightly swollen, have darker pigmented spots, have peeling, or crusting. The skin needs to be handled and cleansed gently and treated as recommended. After laser tattoo removal, the treated area is covered with a bandage.
To get the best results of Laser Skin Treatments
Laser skin treatments are incredibly safe and effective, in the right hands and especially with the appropriate specific precautions and post-laser care. After laser resurfacing, follow these steps to maximize your results:
- Avoid picking any crusting or scratch your skin. Apply icepacks to help reduce any discomfort or swelling.
- Avoid strenuous exercise during this recovery period, as well.
- Cleanse your skin two to five times per day using a cleanser recommended by Dr. Diwan.
- Practice sun protection methods daily including the application of a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and a minimum SPF 30. This is important after any laser treatment.
Contact Our Westlake Dermatologist Today
Dr. Diwan strives to give her patients elegant results that give them back their self-confidence. She relies on her extensive experience and continuing education and recognizes every detail and nuance that can help give you a natural, age-appropriate look. Dr. Diwan serves Westlake, Cleveland, and nearby areas of Ohio. Call (440) 871-9832 today to schedule a consultation.