What You Need To Know Before Getting Laser Treatment

Lasers, over the several decades that they have been used in medical treatments, have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to reverse changes to the skin caused by sun damage.  They can effectively treat skin conditions including dark pigmented spots, broken blood vessels, and a crêpey and irregular texture.

Using the concentrated beams of various wavelengths of light which is laser, we at Maine Laser Skin Care can do many things to your skin.  We can:

  • collapse broken vessels so they can be reabsorbed by your body
  • cause age spots to exfoliate and lighten
  • stimulate and tighten collagen to improve skin texture

While we use different laser wavelengths for various purposes, there are a number of commonalities that you should know before having a laser procedure.  Knowing these three simple pieces of information will make your treatment experience and your post-treatment recovery easier.

1.)  Lasers do not have to hurt to be effective.  With the majority of laser treatments, we here at Maine Laser Skin Care will numb the area to be treated with a topical numbing cream that will lessen and often eliminate any discomfort from the procedure, similar to the effects of Novacaine.

Most people after the first treatment will say, “That was not too bad!”  Usually every treatment thereafter is also comfortable.

2.)  There can be some downtime.  Following most laser treatments, there will be some redness produced by the heat of the laser that may persist for up to several hours.  We try to reduce this inflammation by applying cold gels to the skin before the procedure, a chilled tip to the laser itself, and a cold compress applied after.

Age spots may be darker for three to four days before gradually lightening.  In each case, we will discuss the likelihood and length of any downtime prior to treatment.  In most cases, makeup can be applied the next day without problems.

3.)  After laser treatments, you have to be careful about sun exposure.  Laser energy is a form of light energy, like sunlight.  Similarly, you don’t want to get too much of either, or of a combination of these energies, together on the skin.

When treatments are done, you have to remain very careful about sun exposure, especially in the summer.  I recommend applying a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen combined with wearing hats and utilizing other sun-protective measures (e.g. sitting in the shade, using an umbrella).  If sun avoidance is not practiced, you could burn or worsen skin pigmentation, thereby undoing the benefits of the treatment you just received.

4.) After laser treatments, maintenance is important.  As I frequently say to patients here at Maine Laser Skin Care, we can figuratively turn back the clock with some of our treatments.  However, we cannot stop the clock of aging and its effects on the skin.

Obviously, daily sun protection with sunscreen is important.  Early treatment of any other signs of aging or skin disease that arise is also crucial.

In the specific case of rosacea, we can improve and even eliminate the embarrassing redness, but we are not curing you of the cause, which is still unknown.  So, when more blood vessels appear on the face, they need to be treated again.

Hopefully, these pointers will give you more of an idea of what you will encounter in the course of laser treatments in our Augusta or Scarborough offices.  The technology of laser skin procedures is remarkable and continues to improve.

At Maine Laser Skin Care, one of foremost centers for aesthetic medicine in Maine, we pride ourselves on bringing the latest proven strategies to “beautify Maine one face at a time.”  Call us at (207) 873-2158 (Augusta) or (207) 303-0125 (Scarborough) to schedule your next free consultation and see how we can help you achieve your skin care goals.

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