It’s one of today’s most popular and versatile beauty tools: the laser. These exciting beams of light energy come in many forms and provide doctors with both “cool” and “hot” options for improving or eliminating tissue as needed.
Most of us at some point are worried about wrinkles – particularly around the eyes. Importantly, all the squinting, poking and prodding done to adjust glasses and insert contacts can add wear and tear to delicate tissue around eyes. Today, lasers are used in LASIK eye surgery to help improve your eyesight so you can see clearly without straining your eyes or relying on eyeglasses or contacts.
When used in cosmetic surgery, these beams of light energy also can help eliminate your wrinkles, acne scars, brown spots and other skin imperfections to reveal a more youthful, healthier complexion. They can also remove unwanted facial hair and even tattoos.
If you’re thinking about adding a laser treatment or two into your face regiment you’ll want to know a bit more about the lasers used. Let’s get started:
Laser Skin Resurfacing
The lasers used in skin resurfacing may appear to be wands your surgeon waves over your face to magically improve your skin and make you look younger. But they’re not. They’re hardworking devices that use rapid pulses of high-intensity light to remove the damaged outer layers of your skin and stimulate collagen growth.
There are two kinds of lasers that surgeons can choose from when performing the procedure: ablative and nonablative. Ablative lasers actually remove thin layers of skin, while the less-aggressive nonablative lasers penetrate the skin without breaking the surface. Within these two groups there are several types of lasers, including high-intensity carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium lasers; medium-strength lasers such as the nonablative fractional laser, and lighter-strength lasers such as the diode nonablative fractional laser.
Which type is best for you? Talk to your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about what you are looking to achieve and which treatment will deliver the best results for your skin and face.
Laser Vision Correction Surgery
If you are fed up with wearing prescription eyeglasses and dislike the marks they leave on your face, or get weary of having watery eyes from contact lenses, you may want to consider LASIK eye surgery. LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses laser technology to reshape the cornea to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Advanced laser technologies let surgeons customize the LASIK procedure for each patient and their different vision prescriptions.
Today, vision-correcting (refractive) surgeons use two lasers to perform LASIK: femtosecond lasers, which use ultra-high speed infrared energy, and wavefront-guided excimer lasers, which emit a cool ultraviolet light beam. With the femtosecond laser, your surgeon will make a thin, circular flap in your cornea and fold the flap out of the way. He or she will then use the excimer laser to remove microscopic pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it, before laying the flap back in place. By reshaping the cornea, light rays can focus properly into the eye – resulting in clearer vision.
Laser Hair Removal
What’s the best thing about having laser treatment to get rid of unwanted facial hair? It doesn’t usually grow back! The non-invasive lasers used in laser hair removal beam highly-concentrated light into your hair follicles. The follicles absorb the light, which destroys the hair.
There are a number of devices available for laser hair removal, including Nd:YAG, diode and alexandrite lasers. Your cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist may use one laser or a combination, depending on your skin type, the thickness and color of your hair and the location of the area being treated.
So that’s the beauty of lasers. They can help transform your skin and eyesight. Are you ready to put the power of lasers to work on your face?