Acne and Unwanted Hair
There are few things more distressing for most people than visible skin imperfections or blemishes, such as acne or unwanted hair, which can destroy confidence and lead to social isolation. Until fairly recently, it has been difficult to access effective acne scar removal, or body treatments for other conditions that could provide a complete or permanent solution. However, in the last couple of decades, laser technology has become available for an increasingly wide range of skin conditions, and has revolutionized the outlook for thousands of sufferers.
Laser Skin Treatments
Lasers work by emitting intense beams of light on only a single wavelength or color, each targeting a single type of body tissue. The beam is converted into heat, which destroys or inactivates cells in that tissue type, without seriously affecting cells in surrounding areas. Because different skin problems involve different pigmentations, a specific type of laser wavelength, or light color, is required for treating each specific skin problem.
Laser treatments are basically grouped into two main types: ablative, which vaporize the top layers of targeted skin, and non-ablative, which target deeper layers without the top layer being affected. Within these, there are many different types of laser, depending on which pigments are treated. Among the most commonly used types are CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). Erbium YAG and Nd: YAG.
Acne Scar Removal
One of the largest groups of people who benefit from laser treatments are former acne sufferers, who are often left with deep scarring that seems almost impossible to remove. For some acne scar removal treatments, the CO2 laser type, an ablative laser, is used, especially for deeper scarring. However, more recently, considerable success has been achieved with Erbium YAG and Nd: YAG. The energy from these is more easily absorbed than that from CO2 lasers, which means their vaporizing action is exceptionally precise, with pain and side effects being greatly reduced.
Laser Hair Removal
For laser hair removal, the lasers target the dark colors, or melanin, in the hair follicles or roots. For this reason, the Nd: YAG laser is effective here too, especially for those with darker skin types. For those with lighter skin, other types of laser, such as diode or Alexandrite, are often used.
Before the advent of laser technology, the outlook for acne scar sufferers and those with other skin issues could often seem quite depressing, because virtually all treatment procedures left permanent marks, as well as being quite painful. Laser treatments have changed all that. They help to make the skin tighter and smoother, and provide a more even tone and texture. The technology is progressing all the time, and not everyone is a suitable candidate, but most patients enjoy expert treatment, and can look forward to a brighter and more confident future.