Fun fact: Did you know that the word “laser” stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”? Do you also know the most important factors to consider before choosing a laser treatment for your specific skin type and needs?
If you’ve ever wondered, “Is my skin type safe for laser treatments?”, this is the post for you. Let’s discuss what light and laser treatments are about, what they treat, and the factors to keep in mind when deciding on a laser treatment.
How Do Lasers Work?
Lasers are devices that produce a focused beam of light with a specific wavelength to a target area. When applied over the skin, this emitted light energy causes controlled injury to the skin’s surface. This happens so that the body can react by creating newer skin layers via collagen stimulation.
This highly precise technology is a great non-surgical option for treating skin discolorations, skin laxity, fine lines and uneven skin texture.
Here are three main factors to consider when choosing a laser treatment.
1. Consider Your Skin Tone
Skin tones have different responses to the spectrums of light and laser energy. This is because we all have differing levels of melanin concentration, the natural pigment that absorbs light energy. This is also why some light-based treatments are not recommended for certain skin types, as they can be damaging.
Below are images of different skin tones using the Fitzpatrick scale:
This Fitzpatrick model is frequently used within our clinic as it helps with selecting the best treatment for you. This initial step establishes your skin’s viability for specific laser treatments.
2. Consider Your Target Concern
The next step is to determine the target area of concern. Below are images of different skin concerns:
A, B and C: These are coloration issues that start deep in the skin’s layers and are usually due to increased melanin, sun exposure and skin injuries.
Non-ablative treatments are best optimized for conditions such as sunspots, rosacea and excessive leg veins. They take a gentler approach by removing the deeper layers of the skin without affecting the outermost layers.
Here are some non-ablative light and laser treatments we offer at SpaMedica:
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).
- Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL): Mostly for blood vessels in the skin.
- PicoSure: Especially for discoloration.
D, E and F: These are textural issues that start at the outermost skin’s layers and are usually due to increased buildup of dead skin cells, acne scarring and aging.
For these skin concerns, ablative treatments are more beneficial. That said, ablative treatments are more aggressive and require a longer recovery time.
An example of an ablative treatment available at SpaMedica:
- Secret Pro CO2
Other examples include:
3. Consider the Recovery Time
As we’ve discussed above (ablative vs. non-ablative), recovery time varies depending on the type of treatment. For shorter turnaround times, non-ablative is the better option. Determine in advance, if possible, how much time you can commit to your recovery. Also, be sure to note any important upcoming events you might have and discuss during your consultation.
Book Your Consultation with SpaMedica
No matter what kind of skin you have, our skilled staff members are here to help with your skin concerns.
“Your skin type determines what technology we would use. For darker Fitzpatrick skin types or patients with melasma, we have the Pico Laser for pigmentation. For fairer complexions, we offer Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) treatments to target vascular concerns. The light and laser technology we offer improves the clarity of the skin!”
— Jennifer, Esthetician at SpaMedica.
So far, we’ve only covered the basics of light and laser treatments. Armed with this basic knowledge, you can feel confident going into your appointment and know exactly what questions to ask. You can also learn more extensively about what laser treatments can do for you.
Get in touch with our experts today.