Laser hair removal is a method for getting rid of unwanted hair on the body. It involves using a concentrated beam of light (laser light) to destroy hair follicles.
The laser light is directed at hair follicles—small sacs in the skin where hair grows from—whose pigments absorb the light. The light energy is converted to heat, which then destroys or at least damages the hair follicles. After laser removal treatment, the hair doesn’t grow back for a long period of time, if ever, because of the damage that’s been done to the follicles. Because the laser beams work by targeting the color (melanin) on the hair follicles, laser hair removal works best on light complexions with dark hair.
You’ll probably need multiple sessions of laser hair removal, typically three to seven, before you can expect semi-permanent or permanent results. If the results aren’t permanent and the hair does regrow, it’ll likely be a lot less apparent than it was in the past.
Lasers can be used to remove hair from most body parts, and common areas it’s used for include the back, legs, arms, chest, face, and bikini area.
The two basic types of lasers can be further broken down into many subcategories of laser types and into literally hundreds of variations and brand names which fit into these subclassifications.
The main differences between the types of lasers have to do with wavelength. In other words, different laser wavelengths (colors of light) target different skin issues. Therefore, a variety of lasers are needed to treat a variety of skin concerns. For this reason, a combination of several different lasers may be recommended by your surgeon to address all of the problems that you may have. An explanation of the differences between these different laser types could get very lengthy, technical and rather confusing, so we will focus here on what types of cosmetic issues are best treated by the various laser types.
Laser Types for Different Cosmetic Uses
Fine Lines and Wrinkles:
For treating lines and wrinkles, a combination of skin resurfacing and skin-tightening procedures can be used or both can be accomplished with a more aggressive ablative laser, such as a CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser or Erbium YAG. The CO2 laser is also commonly used for the removal of warts and skin tags and for cutting skin in laser-assisted surgery. Pulsed dye lasers have also shown some success, along with less aggressive nonlaser, light-based treatments, such as IPL and LED photofacials. (See other light-based cosmetic applications below.)
Most cosmetic laser procedures provide at least some level of superficial tightening because they produce a controlled injury of the skin, which encourages increased collagen production. For more significant tightening results, however, CO2 lasers are the laser of choice. In addition, there has been much success using nonlaser, light-based treatments, such as Titan infrared devices and Thermage radio-frequency based systems. For more info on Laser Hair Removal check Rbts
The most commonly used lasers for the treatment of pigmented lesions, such as sun spots, age spots, melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation are the pulsed dye, Nd:YAG, and fractional (Fraxel) lasers, along with nonlaser, light-based treatments, such as IPL.
Almost all surgeons agree that cancerous lesions should be removed via scalpel (with a knife during surgery) to ensure clear borders and complete removal. In addition to making sure a skin cancer has “clear margins,” this assures that there is a sample for a pathologist to look at to determine exactly what the lesion was. By removing precancerous growths, such as actinic keratoses, before they have a chance to become malignant (squamous cell skin cancers), though, lasers are now routinely being used as a preventative measure. Ablative lasers, such as the CO2 and erbium:YAG, are generally chosen to remove these lesions.
Vascular lesions include broken blood vessels on the face, unsightly spider veins on the legs, spider nevi, hemangiomas, and certain birthmarks such as port wine stains. For these types of skin irregularities, IPL is a common choice, as it is minimally invasive. Also popular for treating these lesions are the pulsed dye, Nd:YAG and diode lasers.
The CO2 laser and Nd:YAG remain popular for tattoo removal, although some success can also be had with the use of IPL.
The success and safety of laser hair removal is highly dependent on the pigment present in both the skin and the hair of the patient being treated. For darker-skinned patients, the Nd:YAG and diode lasers are often the lasers of choice, and for lighter-skinned patients, IPL has proved effective.
Acne and Acne Scars:
For deeper acne scars, the CO2 laser remains the gold standard, although more recent developments such as the erbium:YAG, fractional laser and certain nonablative lasers have shown considerable success with superficial acne scarring. For the treatment of active acne, LED technology has proven to be quite effective.
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