Laser skin lightening is a procedure that uses high-energy light to remove irregular, damaged skin cells and stimulate the growth of new skin cells; thus, giving you a lighter and younger looking skin. It is commonly done in a clinic by a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Laser skin lightening can be used to effectively treat various skin problems, such melasma, wrinkles, age spots, acne marks, uneven tone, and dark spots. It is also known as laser peel or laser skin resurfacing.
Laser skin lightening comes in two main categories: the ablative and non-ablative lasers. Both of these treatments can give you effective results if done correctly; however, these treatments are significantly different in terms of complexity, approach, and recovery.
Ablative Laser Skin Lightening
Ablative laser treatment is a more invasive procedure that generally uses a traditional carbon dioxide laser or chemical peel to remove the outer skin layer.
This procedure is more intense; thus require the use of anesthesia or sedatives to relieve potential discomfort. Recovery time is also longer – usually takes a week and can extend up to a month. After the procedure, you may also be required to take medications and apply special ointments to manage swelling and avoid infections. These treatments will be mostly prescribed by your surgeon.
For patients with mild to moderate skin darkening problems, the ablative laser treatment may be their best option. Significant improvements can generally be seen after a single treatment.
There are two common types of lasers that are used in ablative laser skin lightening, and these are:
A. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser.
This method uses light beams that are either pulsed or scattered. This precisely eliminates the deep layers of older skin with minimal damage to stimulate the growth of healthy skin underneath. The CO2 laser is commonly used for the treatment of wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, saggy skin, birthmarks, and warts. Common side effects are scarring and redness.
B. Erbium Laser.
This method is a milder and less invasive option compared to CO2 laser. It also uses light beams that precisely remove damaged skin, but unlike CO2 laser that is able to penetrate deeply, the erbium laser only targets the outer layer. This type of laser causes fewer side effects and recovery time is usually faster than CO2 laser treatment. Erbium laser is great for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and sun damage.For more details on Facial Rejuvenation visit Emikolo
Non-Ablative Skin Lightening
Non-ablative laser lightening is a non-invasive procedure that uses specialized heat to penetrate the skin and treat it. Unlike with ablative laser treatment, which removes the top layer of the skin completely, this lightening treatment only targets the lower layers of skin, triggering the growth of new collagen.
Since it doesn’t damage the surface of your skin, recovery time is much quicker.
Usually, you can get back to your normal life after a day or two. Also, the use of special creams and ointments are usually not necessary. But depending on your skin type, your doctor may also prescribe creams and medication to prevent infection and other side effects from occurring. Since this procedure is less aggressive, more treatments are needed to see significant results.
Common non-ablative laser procedures are as follows:
A. Nd: YAG Laser.
This method uses a special type of crystal, known as neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum, to produce a wavelength of high energy light, which is then used to target and destroy dead skin cells. This laser is able to penetrate the skin deeply without damaging the skin’s surface. It also stimulates the growth of new cells and essential nutrients, which are vital for having younger and healthier skin. However, this procedure is known to have a lower success rate with common side effects, including redness, swelling, bruising, and changes in skin pigmentation.
B. Pulsed-Dye Laser.
PDL utilizes a high-intensity light that can be used to treat different skin problems, such as scars, keloids, psoriasis, warts, and melasma. This light is converted into heat, targeting the blood vessels that are causing the redness and darkening of the skin. Side effects are usually minimal, which may include bruising and itching.
Laser skin lightening, both ablative and non-ablative, may take 30-45 minutes to complete, depending on the size of the skin that needs to be treated. For severe cases, the treatment may take up to 2 hours.
Ablative laser procedures are typically painful so anesthesia is given before the beginning of treatment. For more extensive treatment, you will be sedated. Non-ablative laser procedures usually don’t require anesthesia. But if necessary, your surgeon will apply anesthetic agents or cooling ointments to make the procedure more comfortable.
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