Laser skin resurfacing, commonly called a laser peel, removes the outer, often damaged layer of skin for a smoother, younger look. Laser resurfacing can reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven pigmentation and superficial scarring, usually on the face. A carbon dioxide (CO 2) laser beam of intense, precisely-focused light vaporizes the surface skin and reveals the undamaged layer beneath. Procedure time varies depending on the size and severity of the area being treated and whether it is combined with other procedures such as a browlift or eyelid surgery for even more dramatic results.
Excessive hair growth may arise from puberty, pregnancy, menopause, heredity, medication, diseases or many other causes. Whether for hygienic or cosmetic reasons, the patient who is tired of temporary, often painful methods of removing unwanted hair – from depilatories, epilators and shavers to waxing and electrolysis – may welcome laser and intense pulsed light therapy with relief.
Lasers produce highly focused, intense beams of light that are absorbed by dark pigments in the hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface and converted to heat, destroying the follicles and preventing hair growth for up to two years. Multiple treatments are required for complete hair removal because the follicle must be “active” at the time of treatment and not all follicles are active at the same time. Treatments are needle-free and anesthesia-free, with most patients feeling nothing more than a slight sting like the snap of a rubber band.
Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular nevi, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:
- Larger than six millimeters.
- Itches or bleeds.
- Rapidly changes in color, size or shape.
- Has multiple colors.
- Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.
Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient’s skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.
Many adults suffer from spider veins (small, superficial, often red or purple vessels visibly spreading like a web beneath the skin). These veins are not only unattractive, they can also be detrimental to your vascular health. The non-invasive VascuLight system provides swift and painless treatment for these unsightly veins, with dramatic and long-lasing results.
During treatment for spider (surface) veins, light energy – not a laser – is similarly absorbed and converted to heat, destroying the blood vessels which then disappear. Because of the nature of the VascuLight technology, none of the surrounding tissue is harmed. Results are visible right away, but multiple treatments over several months are usually required for full effect. Normal activities may be resumed immediately.
Many people have second thoughts about their tattoos. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with your decision forever. Highly precise lasers can lighten or remove your tattoo by focusing or pulsing light on the ink particles, which then convert the energy to heat and break up into tiny pieces that are absorbed harmlessly by the body. All this can be accomplished without damaging the surrounding tissue. Results can generally be seen within a few weeks, although larger and darker tattoos may require more treatments than smaller, lighter ones. Occasionally treated skin will look whiter (paler) than the skin around it, but this is usually temporary and fades in the months following treatment.