When people view our before and after photos, we often hear them say, “Wow!” This is especially the case with light-based treatments. Truly, the results of laser are amazing. Here we explain three cosmetic options that relieve common skin problems:
- hair removal laser
- fractional CO2 laser
1. Unwanted Hair
Laser removes unattractive hair on the face, legs, chest, back, abdomen, and bikini line. It spares you of tweezing, waxing, creaming, and shaving. With utmost precision, the light targets coarse and dark hair, without affecting surrounding skin. Laser hair removal works fast! Upper lip hair is treated in less than a minute. Large skin surfaces, such as the back and legs, take an hour. Plus, a few treatments render permanent hair loss. The number of sessions to achieve this varies among people, ranging from three to seven. Laser hair removal has a 20-year history of cosmetic use and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Laser is comprised of concentrated light beams. There are several types of cosmetic lasers. Those for hair removal target follicles, sacs from which hairs grow.
Within each follicle is a dark pigment called “melanin,” which attracts laser light. The absorbing mechanism is similar to the way black fabric draws heat on a summer day. As the laser enters skin, its light energy converts to heat. Melanin soaks up the heat, which disables the follicles. This impairment causes hair to release and hampers future growth.
First, your skin is cleaned, and unwanted hair is closely trimmed. To minimize discomfort, a topical anesthetic gel is applied to the treatment area. You’re also fitted with protective eyewear.
Then, the laser is adjusted to your hair color, thickness, location, and skin tone. Next, the handpiece is gently pressed over the target area. A built-in cooling system further promotes comfort while protecting your skin. The heat generated by the laser kills hair roots.
Avoid sun and ultraviolet light for six weeks before your treatment. This vital prep includes not using a tanning bed, tanning lotion, or spray tan. Otherwise, the dark pigment of your tanned skin will absorb the laser light before it can penetrate your hair follicles. This interference renders poor results.
Additionally, for the six weeks leading up to your procedure, do not engage in electrolysis, waxing, or tweezing of hair. These methods remove hair roots, which must be present for the laser to do its job.
Over one to three weeks, treated hair falls out. In the meantime, avoid hastening the process by plucking or waxing. For best results, let hair release on its own timetable.
For two days after treatment, your skin may feel mildly sunburned. This can be eased with cool compresses and aloe vera. For women who wear makeup, they can resume the day after laser treatment.
For the first week, shower in lukewarm rather than hot water. To prevent pigmentation of treated skin, you’ll need to wear sunscreen for one month.
If hair starts to recur, a few more treatments will permanently stop hair growth. You can schedule additional sessions four to six weeks apart. The reason for the delay is that laser only works on live hair cells, so you must wait until hair is growing.
2. Blotchy Skin
The photo facial corrects skin imperfections at a deep level. Also called intense pulsed light or IPL, this technology fades rosacea, freckles, dark spots, birthmarks, sunspots, spider veins, broken capillaries, and fine lines.
With a 25-year safe track record, the photo facial is a popular cosmetic option. Common treatment sites are the face, hands, shoulders, neck, and back. Depending on the target area, a session takes 30 minutes to one hour.
After a photo facial, your skin will look fresher, smoother, and even-toned. For optimal results, patients average three or four treatments, spaced one month apart.
Similar to laser, intense pulsed light acts on melanin and generates heat. However, IPL more effectively targets the pigment in skin, rather than hair. IPL also collapses blood vessels and shrinks large pores.
IPL differs from hair removal laser regarding light wavelength. Each IPL pulse contains hundreds of energy waves, scattering upon entering skin. Conversely, laser employs one specific wavelength, with a narrow beam.
When the IPL device is applied to your skin, melanin draws the light. Then, the pigment breaks down, and your skin absorbs it. Additionally, IPL spurs the production of collagen and elastin, proteins that make skin smooth and supple.
First, your skin is cleansed, followed by applying a cooling gel. Dark glasses are placed over your eyes. Next, the IPL machine is adjusted to your skin tone. Then, the handpiece is run over your skin, directing the light pulses through it.
During the procedure, you’ll feel warmth through the handpiece and possibly a mild snapping sensation.
Before receiving IPL, you must be tan-free. Otherwise, the device can’t accurately detect spots. Also, for 10 days preceding your treatment, avoid taking aspirin, blood thinners, ibuprofen, and alcohol. Let Dr. Solomon know if you’re on antibiotics or supplements.
After a photo facial, normal activities can be resumed, including wearing makeup. Initially, your skin appears red, fading within a few hours. For several days, your skin looks mildly flushed and swollen, relieved with cold packs. Treated brown spots may temporarily look darker, for about a week, and later flake.
To prolong good results, avoid direct sun exposure and wear sunblock. To keep skin looking young and fresh, some patients obtain photo facials annually or every six months.
3. Prominent Flaws
Fractional CO2 laser is one of the latest advances in non-surgical skin rejuvenation. Commonly known as laser resurfacing, it deftly eliminates deep wrinkles, warts, moles, benign lesions, dark spots, and scars from acne, surgery, and trauma.
In the hands of an expert cosmetic surgeon, such as George Solomon, M.D., this laser also brightens skin, evens tone, smooths roughness, and eliminates sagging. Typical treatment sites are the face, neck, arms, legs, and chest.
The CO2 fractional laser splits light beams into tiny shafts, precisely penetrating skin, layer by layer. By dividing the light beam into columns, the skin between them stays intact, expediting healing.
After skin cleansing, a numbing cream is applied to the treatment site. Then, you’ll put on protective eyewear. If eyelid areas are being treated, comfortable laser contact lenses are placed over the eyes.
Next, the laser passes over the target area, along with cooling air. Due to the anesthetic, most people feel little discomfort. A partial face treatment takes about 45 minutes. A full-face session occupies two hours.
For the 10 days preceding treatment, discontinue medications and supplements that affect clotting, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, anticoagulants, and Vitamin E.
Tell Dr. Solomon if you’re subject to herpes fever blisters since the laser can trigger outbreaks. To prevent them, the doctor can prescribe antiviral medication.
Skin healing occurs over seven to 14 days, depending on treatment depth. Initially, swelling and redness are present for two to four days, eased by cold packs. After one week, oil-free makeup can be applied. Peeling occurs about a week after laser, and the skin looks pink for three to six weeks.
Downtime varies by treatment. If you work, plan to take the remainder of the day off. For a superficial skin condition, schedule at least three days off. For an in-depth treatment, you’ll need at least one week before going out in public.
When outdoors, wear a broad-spectrum sunblock against UVA and UVB rays, with SPF 30 or more. By using sunscreen and avoiding direct sun, you can sustain good results for several years.
Light-based treatments yield fabulous outcomes! Laser removes unattractive hair and skin imperfections. IPL replaces blotchy skin with a glowing complexion.
At Solomon Cosmetic Center, these are just a few of the services available. Led by George Solomon, M.D., our practice offers numerous aesthetic enhancements, including the popular liposuction, fat transfers, tummy tucks, facelifts, facial fillers, and wrinkle inhibitors.
Located in Palm Harbor, Florida, we serve residents in greater Tampa, including the cities of Clearwater, Largo, Dunedin, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Elfers, and Holiday. Your consultation with Dr. Solomon is free. To schedule your appointment, call us at 727-777-6501.
After receiving care at our practice, we expect you’ll be saying “Wow,” too!
Note – The information offered here cannot replace professional medical advice. To fulfill your aesthetic wish list, contact Solomon Cosmetic Center.
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