With today’s advances in cosmetic technology, you have more control over your appearance than ever before. One of the most buzzed-about treatments is laser therapy, and for good reason. It is a safe, versatile way to address a variety of skin concerns, and it produces dramatic results that last for years. At Adoro Medical Spa in Severna Park, MD, we offer laser treatments using Halo lasers and CO2 lasers.
What Is Laser Therapy?
Laser treatments utilize light technology to resurface your skin, gently removing layers of cells that are dead or damaged. The process stimulates your natural healing mechanism, resulting in the growth of newer, healthier skin. Your new skin will be smoother, brighter, and more evenly textured. Any fine lines, wrinkles, or acne scars will be visibly reduced.
Conditions It Treats
Laser treatments produce smoother, more radiant skin, which can eliminate or improve:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Dull skin
- Sagging skin
- Sun spots
- Age spots
- Large pores
- Acne scars
- Other scars
How It Works
To understand how laser therapy works, it is important to know about the role of collagen. Collagen is a protein that your skin produces naturally. It is responsible for the structure of your skin, its texture, and its elasticity. It is also responsible for helping your skin heal when damage is inflicted.
When we are young, our bodies produce great quantities of collagen. After age 20, we lose collagen at a rate of 1% every year. When a young person makes a facial expression, the collagen in his or her body allows the skin to return to its original position. In older people, facial expressions gradually lead to fine lines and wrinkles because the skin retains the creases it makes.
Laser therapy removes the layer of skin that has been creased with lines and/or scarred by acne. It also gives your skin a huge boost in collagen, which your body produces as part of its healing process. These two factors result in skin that is fresh and rejuvenated.
The two main types of laser treatments are ablative resurfacing and non-ablative resurfacing. Ablative resurfacing involves a carbon dioxide laser that penetrates deeply into the skin tissue and removes the damaged elements. Non-ablative resurfacing utilizes infrared technology to stimulate the production of collagen.
Two of the most effective types of lasers are CO2 lasers and Halo lasers. These lasers are medical-grade, FDA approved pieces of equipment that are specially intended for use in cosmetic treatments.
CO2 lasers use short pulses of light to resurface your skin. Their high energy beams offer a high degree of precision and control, producing excellent results with minimal downtime.
Halo lasers utilize a hybrid technology that combines both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths. The result is a treatment that targets your skin concerns on multiple levels without causing damage to the surrounding tissue.
After a laser treatment, you will see some results immediately. The full benefits develop over the course of a few weeks. When used for scarring, laser therapy can significantly reverse the damage to your skin. The typical rejuvenating effect it has on patients is to make them look 10-15 years younger. With proper skincare, (including SPF usage, a good diet, cleansers, and moisturizers) you can expect the results to last for years.
Laser Treatments for Facial Rejuvenation
What Are the Most Common Signs of Aging?
Everyone’s skin changes and looks older over time. Symptoms manifest differently from patient to patient. Loss of elasticity, dull skin, sagging skin, brown spots, crow’s feet, “11” lines, parenthesis, brow lines, and other fine lines/wrinkles are all part of the aging process. Fortunately, laser treatments can dramatically improve all of these issues.
Why Does Our Skin Look Aged Over Time?
As we have already discussed, our skin ages naturally as a result of collagen loss. There are a host of other factors that can accelerate this process and lead to premature aging.
Sun exposure is the worst offender. When UV rays penetrate our skin, they attack our ability to produce collagen, doing damage to our cells. For this reason, most dermatologists recommend using an SPF every day and limiting sun exposure. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy spending time outside, this is easier said than done.
Environmental factors such as pollutants and toxins in the atmosphere can be harsh on your skin. The quality of the air where you live and work, therefore, plays a role in how you age.
Part of the natural stress response is to produce cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that triggers a fight-or-fight response when we are in a dangerous situation. It activates our reflexes and prepares us to handle difficult situations. In terms of survival, cortisol can be extremely useful.
In day to day life, however, we sometimes produce too much cortisol in response to everyday triggers, such as problems that come up at work. Producing cortisol on an ongoing basis inhibits our ability to produce collagen, which, in turn, ages our skin.
Lack of Sleep
During sleep, our bodies repair themselves. For our skin, this means producing collagen and undoing the day’s exposure to the sun, the environment, and other elements. When we do not get enough sleep, our skin does not have enough time to regenerate itself. Over time, sleep deprivation can become visible in the form of fine lines and wrinkles.
Consuming too much of certain things and not enough of others can take its toll on our skin. Alcohol, caffeine, and smoking all accelerate the aging process. Meanwhile, if you do not get enough vitamins and minerals, your cells will not have the ability to regenerate effectively.
How Can Laser Treatments Help?
Some factors that determine the appearance of our skin are in our control. Others are not. Laser treatments are best used and maintained with good lifestyle choices. We recommend taking the following initiatives yourself:
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing stress with meditation and activities you enjoy
- Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Refraining from smoking
- Using alcohol and caffeine in moderation, if at all
- Wearing an SPF everyday
- Cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating your skin regularly
For most of us, good lifestyle choices can help our skin look great, but they might not achieve the full results we desire. Factors that you cannot manage on your own include your genetics (the natural rate at which you age), your history of sun exposure, and the quality of the environment where you live. Here’s where laser treatments come in.
A laser treatment can reset the clock by removing skin that has already been affected by sun exposure and the environment. It can give you a fresh start, giving you the appearance of going back 10 or 15 years in the natural aging process. It produces more dramatic effects than at-home treatments and good choices alone can yield, and you will enjoy the results for years to come.
Laser Treatments for Acne Scars
What Causes Acne Scars?
If you had a long, hard-fought battle with acne, you probably know all about the struggle. Acne, blackheads, and whiteheads all occur when our pores become clogged. Dead skin cells, debris, and excess oil can cause breakouts. Often, hormonal factors trigger our sebaceous glands to overproduce oil, leading to eruptions. The presence of P. acnes bacteria can result in a particularly stubborn case of acne.
Acne scars occur when our skin cannot heal itself properly. If a blemish is so severe that the affected pore ruptures, causing damage to the surrounding tissue, our bodies must heal the rupture by producing collagen. Unfortunately, while the skin eventually heals, it does not always do so with an even tone, thereby yielding a scar.
What Are the Different Types of Acne Scars?
There are two main types of acne scars: atrophic and raised. Atrophic scars present themselves as little divots in your face. They occur when your body did not produce enough collagen to heal the affected pores at the same level as the rest of your skin. By contrast, raised scars occur when too much collagen came into the picture. Fortunately, laser treatments can reduce the appearance of both atrophic and raised scars.
How Can Laser Treatments Help?
Laser treatments can significantly lessen the visibility of your acne scars by removing the scarred tissue. When new skin grows back to replace it, your skin will have a more even tone and texture. Sometimes, depending on the severity of your scarring, multiple sessions can produce cumulative results. Finally, you will be able to enjoy the clearer skin you worked hard to achieve when you got rid of your acne!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
Laser treatments are generally very fast. Depending on your goals, a typical treatment can take around one hour.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
If you would like to improve the appearance of your skin by reducing the signs of aging and/or acne scars, laser treatments are a good option for you. However, if you have active acne, you might want to wait until it clears for your laser resurfacing.
Why Are Laser Treatments More Effective Than At-Home Remedies?
While numerous creams and serums are available to address skin concerns, they are often just glorified moisturizers. The ones that work usually yield subtle results and can take weeks to be effective. Laser treatments have immediate results. They can penetrate the deep layers of your skin, where over-the-counter products fall short.
How Long Is the Recovery Period?
The CO2 lasers and the Halo lasers were developed to target specific areas of your skin without doing damage to the rest of your tissue. They are generally more gentle than other measures such as chemical peels and dermabrasion. Usually, you can expect to return to work and normal activities within a few days. Your skin will be fully regenerated after just 3 to 10 days.
What If I’m Not Sure If a Laser Treatment Is Right for Me?
The best way to find out if a laser treatment can be effective in addressing your unique concerns is to schedule a consultation. Our dermatologists will examine your skin, ask you what results you would like to achieve, and match you with the most effective treatment.
Blast the Signs of Aging Into the Past With Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is an excellent option for those of us who want to achieve, smoother, brighter, clearer, more youthful skin. By utilizing the most advanced cosmetic light technology, these treatments can deliver results that have never been possible before, allowing you to take control of your appearance and truly look your best.
Contact Adoro Medical Spa in Severna Park, MD to learn more about our laser services. We are happy to provide expert care for your skin.