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Our skin goes through a lot. In addition to enduring all the chaos from environmental factors, it also reflects what is going on inside of our bodies as well. Skin will start to show its wear over time, especially on our faces – but the good news is that the visibility of these signs can be mitigated thanks to various laser skin rejuvenation treatments.
What is Laser Skin Rejuvenation?
Lasers are precise. They act by cutting, sealing, or gently vaporizing tissue such as skin and blood vessels. The light emitted from these lasers is absorbed by water or dark pigments (eg: melanin and hemoglobin in the blood), and is then converted into heat. This process precisely removes skin layer by layer, and stimulates the production of new collagen in targeted areas.
What Are Lasers Good For?
Laser Skin Resurfacing is able to treat a myriad of skin conditions without requiring surgery. Because no surgery is required, the downtime is minimal and the process is much more cost efficient. The procedure works by having a laser shoot a beam of light on targeted areas of the skin, which in turn can significantly diminish and reverse the effects of aging and damage that our skin has endured.
Some of the most common uses for lasers are to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. They can also greatly improve the appearance of acne and acne scars. Lasers can improve loss of skin tone, and can also restore complexion due to conditions such as sun damage and scars. It is very common for patients to receive laser treatments after other surgical cosmetic procedures as well, such as a facelift.
At the Dermatology Institute of Southern California, we’ve got lasers for almost every condition you can think of:
Who’s a Candidate?
The good news is that because there are so many variations and conditions, almost anyone is a candidate for laser treatments. Prior to your treatment, you will meet with Dr. Behroozan to discuss your concerns and goals to determine candidacy and develop the best treatment plan to address your personal needs.
With that said, there are some factors to keep in mind. Some concerns patients should be aware of that may affect your candidacy for a particular laser treatment are:
- Active acne breakouts
- Certain medication or over-the-counter meds such as isotretinoin during previous year
- Autoimmune disease/weak immune system
- Certain medical conditions such as diabetes
- Tendency to form scars
- Very dark skin
For patients with one or more of the concerns listed above, we also offer a variety of light-based treatments that are similar in purpose, procedure, and results.
It is important to note that having realistic expectations is vital. Laser treatments will not allow a 60-year old patient to look like they are 22 years old. At your consultation, Dr. Behroozan will assist you in determining what the realistic outcomes are that you can expect.
Which Laser is Right for Me?
As you may have discovered, there is no shortage in the variety of lasers that are available. It can be overwhelming for many patients to decide which one laser to opt with out of the many that exist. The reason for having many different options in lasers is because not all lasers can treat all patients or all skin concerns.
It is important to focus on what your goals are, and not get caught up in the brand names that are always being thrown at you. What condition is it that you want to address and what are the end results that you are envisioning for yourself?
Rather than trying to decide if you are a candidate for a certain laser, try to view it as which laser is a candidate for you?
Who Performs a Treatment is What Matters
Even with the variety of laser options that are available to you, it is the person performing the treatment that matters most. Limitations do exist, and having an experienced professional behind the laser who understands the proper techniques – such as Dr. Behroozan – ensures that you will have the best chance of obtaining your envisioned result with the laser of choice. Dr. Behroozan is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and fellowship trained in Dermatologic Surgery, which makes him an expert in laser surgery.
What Lasers are Available?
At the Dermatology Institute of Southern California, we are proud to offer lasers that provide only the best results for our patients. Some of our most popular laser treatments include:
- Clear + Brilliant
- Fraxel Dual
- QuadraLASE (CO2)
- VBeam Perfecta
- Photodynamic Phototherapy
It is important to note that not all lasers are completely down-time free. Recovery time varies based on the laser being used, as well as your personal health and healing rate that is unique to you. Lasers can thus be divided into two categories – ablative and non-ablative.
As a general guideline, most non-ablative lasers have little to no downtime. Most laser treatments can often heal within one day to a week. There is not much heavy peeling or crusting; however, because of the nature of these lasers, multiple series of treatments are often required to reach the desired result. When the entire series has been completed however, results are long lasting.
Ablative lasers on the other hand are a bit more aggressive, and can require a 2-3 week healing process before the new skin completely heals (depending on the depth of treatment). Various stages of redness and crusting should be expected, and the skin can remain pink for an additional 2-4 weeks. Due to the increased power on ablative lasers, many choose this due to only a single laser session being required for many patients.
What’s the Difference?
The intensity of the light emitted from the laser can vary as well as the pulse rate. Being variable means that it is adjusted to match your skin and your needs exactly. The longer a laser’s wavelength is, the deeper it penetrates. Swifter pulse widths are better suited for smaller targets.
Having more than one laser means that we are better suited to finding the best match for your skin, texture, and condition, rather than trying to force one laser to work for something it may not be properly built for. This ensures the best possible results.
Ablative lasers such as the QuadraLASE CO2 laser removes the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and heats up the lower layer (dermis) to shrink collagen. Once this area heals, new skin then forms that is smooth and tighter, allowing a rejuvenated appearance. These procedures generally take between 30 minutes to 2 hours for a single treatment. These types of lasers help treat deep facial wrinkles & fine lines, heavy sun damage, and age spots.
Nonablative lasers such as the Fraxel Dual, Clear + Brilliant and VBeam Perfecta keep the outer layer of skin intact. Instead, they stimulate collagen growth by targeting water molecules in the dermis. This process triggers the body into entering a healing phase to tighten underlying skin. These lasers are less invasive. Results include an improved skin tone and brightness. Each treatment takes between 15 minutes to 90 minutes, and requires a series of multiple treatments scheduled over a few weeks/months. These lasers are intended to treat textural and pigmentation conditions such as redness & broken capillaries, but can also assist with cosmetic concerns such as hair removal, non-surgical fat reduction, and leg vein reduction.
Why come to Dr. Behroozan for Laser Treatments?
Who performs a laser treatment is just as important as the selected laser being used. Maximum results will only be achieved by someone who has the training, qualifications, as well as experience treating your skin type and condition.
Poorly trained handlers can not only be ineffective with results, but dangerous as well. Remember, lasers have been used to cut through thick sheets of metal! Because the light needs to be strong enough to penetrate the skin, this means that burns and scarring are possible, and are unfortunately a common occurrence when handlers do not have the necessary experience. Permanent nerve damage is also another potential complication that can arise with inexperience and improper use. One setting does not fit all when it comes to lasers, and the lasers will need readjusting specific to each individual patient to ensure that the light is strong enough to do the treatment while still being safe for the patient.
In addition, certain medications and conditions can also have an effect on performance and results. Medical spas and estheticians at other facilities may not have had the experience and training to foresee any potential conflicts ahead of time. Dr. Behroozan has experience with these matters, and will go through your medical history with you to determine proper precautions. Lasers need to be used appropriately by a board-certified physician to ensure that you are being treated safely at all times. Dr. Behroozan will always place patient safety as the number one priority.
What About Lasers You Don’t Have?
At the Dermatology Institute of Southern California, we have a plentiful range of lasers available to treat different conditions and skin types. However, as technology continues to improve, new lasers are always being marketed and promoted.
As tempting as it may be to opt for the latest name being advertised, remember that a new laser has not had the benefit of time. Being brand new means less patients compared to the already established laser treatments that people have been receiving for many years. This means that new issues are still being encountered and are not as well documented yet. Additionally, the providers performing the new treatment are all new to it as well. Even though they may be experienced with other lasers, a new laser requires new training and new experience with its results and side effects. Remember – no laser is universal, and this goes for providers as well!
Dr. Behroozan offers laser treatments that are well regarded within the industry, and have firmly established their reputation for performance and results. The lasers he provides have treated thousands of patients over the years, and have extensive research and documentation available to you. When it comes to something as potent as a laser, would you want to risk your health and well-being with a totally new device over a safe, proven, and effective treatment from a licensed and experienced physician?