A laser is a way of applying energy to a specific type of cell. By using different wavelengths and types of light, board-certified plastic surgeon Robin Evans, MD and our experienced team can remove certain types of unwanted cells. This could include pigment cells, hair or blood vessels. It can also stimulate cells such as hair or collagen to restore function and appearance. There have been improvements in laser technology that make lasers and pulsed light more effective and pain free.
How is a Laser or Pulsed Light Treatment Used to Rejuvenate the Skin?
There are a number of different devices that can be used to rejuvenate the skin. There are both ablative (destroying) and non-ablative (non-destroying) methods. This works by thermal damage to the epidermis and dermis. This allowed for a wound-healing response to take place and collagen to be stimulated and regenerate. A more youthful structure and appearance is produced. The first ablative lasers in the 1990s were CO2 lasers and they were quite destructive. There was significant downtime associated with them as the wound healing response took place. As well, they were quite painful. Newer techniques involves the use of variable pulse Erbium:YAG lasers which produces skin tightening and wrinkle reduction with a much shorter recovery time, less pain and less chance of loss of pigment in the skin.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal works by applying energy to the hair follicle and destroying it. However, it requires the pigment of the hair to be in the follicle in order for it to destroy the follicle. Therefore it requires multiple sessions because not all our hair is active at the same time. There are some follicles that are dormant and need to be activated so that we can “find” them. You will typically require 6-8 treatments to get all the active hair follicles.
Why is Your Laser Hair Removal Pain Free?
The reason a laser hurts is because it is damaging nerve endings by burning them. The more specific the laser is at applying the energy directly to the hair follicle, the more effective and less painful it is. Our laser slowly accumulates energy in the skin to damage the hair follicles very precisely. This is a major advantage to our system. It still takes 6-8 treatments to get the active hair follicles, but you won’t mind coming back because it doesn’t hurt and you can see that it works!
Non-ablative devices work in a similar fashion with even less recovery time. They work by rejuvenating the outer layers of skin and stimulating the collagen in the dermis to begin a wound-healing response. This then tightens the skin and gives a youthful appearance. There is no downtime associated with our Clearlift non-ablative resurfacing.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel or “peel” is a way to treat wrinkles, skin texture and pigment problems. It is often used in conjunction with other techniques such as a skin care system and laser resurfacing. A common ingredient in the peel is Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA). This is a cousin of vinegar and dissolves proteins on the surface of your skin. We carefully monitor you during the process to ensure the right depth of peel that you require for the best results. Often less is more.