The Definitive Guide To Laser Treatments for Every Skin Skin Concern
photo source: The Woodruff Institute
We all have that one friend with clearest, dewiest, glowiest-- okay let’s just say it-- perfect skin. It’s annoying, right? We ask ourselves, does she live exclusively on a diet of avocados and walnuts?? Does she use a million SkinCeuticals products?? Was she just born this way?? All of the above might very well be true, but her goddess- like skin might also be a result of multiple laser or light-based skin treatments. If you’re thinking about getting a skin treatment, the vast array of options can be really overwhelming. And if you’re going to spend the money on one of these procedures, you want to be sure you’re getting the results you’re looking for. Here at Mirra, we’re here to break it down like collagen.
We all live busy, busy lives and sometimes the biggest thing (other than cost) that keeps us from treating ourselves to a laser skin treatment is our concern about the visual aftermath. So reasonable! You might come out of the dermatologist’s office with a face that looks like a tomato that was run over multiple times. If you don’t have time in your life for that, you can still benefit from some great laser skin treatments that are non-ablative. Before we dive into finding the best treatment for you, let’s quickly understand the difference between ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative: #bye to the outer layers of your skin! Ablative laser treatments are severe and can cause epidermal burning. This is that red, peeling, raw, tender skin we mentioned above. Recovery time is generally longer-- we are talking 4-6 weeks. Worth it?? Yes. You literally get new skin.
Non-ablative: much less invasive because no skin is being removed and the epidermis is left intact. In a non-ablative treatment, underlying skin tissue is heated so that the body can produce new collagen. This is better for more superficial wrinkles as opposed to deeper scars and is the better way to go if you don’t have the ability to take any time away from work or social commitments. A less aggressive laser will require more treatments, but the less intense downtime will surely make it easier for you to go about your life.
And In the Category for Best Treatment for acne scars
The Oscar Goes To…..
Fractional CO2 Laser
Vocab lesson coming in hot! The Co2 laser is one of the most common ablative laser treatments. This treatment smooths out the skin surface by removing the outer layer and regenerating collagen growth, filling the areas of tissue loss due to acne scars. During treatment, the doctor pulses laser light into the treatment area, controlling the depth of penetration. It takes about thirty minutes and is typically not super painful. Of course everyone’s pain tolerance is different, but most people liken this treatment to the feeling of a rubber band snapping on the skin. You can probably get away with one treatment, but if your acne scars run deep, you might want to consider multiple treatments. Peeling and redness are pretty standard for recovery, but you should be able to go back to work pretty soon after this treatment.
Best Laser Treatment for broken blood vessels
Pulsed Dye Laser
Intense, yet gentle. And zero downtime! You can pop in and pop out-- this treatment only takes a few minutes. These lasers use yellow light to gently heat up the skin and get rid of broken blood vessels and capillaries without harming the surrounding skin. Your body can then absorb the damaged vessels and the flow of blood can be diverted into deeper vessels!
Best in-office treatment for dark spots/ sun damage
Intense Pulsed Light, otherwise known as IPL
Unlike a laser, this non-ablative treatment does not remove skin. IPL targets the melanin in those pesky dark spots and after a few days they flake right off to reveal your super gorge face.
Best for low key down time
Sometimes referred to as a “lunchtime procedure” because of its efficiency and zero downtime. The LG is a speedy, great option if you have rosacea and is a collagen booster too. For those of you with #commitment issues, this might be the treatment for you!
Best laser for wrinkle reduction
Can I get an F for Fraxel??
Fraxel is v trendy. All the cool girls are talking about Fraxel. This non-ablative treatment is truly bomb for those creepin’ crow’s feet. There is downtime, but once the post-procedure sunburn look fades away, your skin is sure to look younger and tighter.