Yesterday I had a great question from a reader. She asked about laser skin treatments. Being a makeup artist in the Vancouver T.V. and film industry, I know of a lot of actors who have had this treatment done and most were happy with the results. Since I have neither gone through the procedure nor seen it being performed on anyone else, I wanted to make sure I knew more about it. I looked in to the different types of laser treatments, and I have gathered some information for you guys on the most common and least invasive type of laser scar treatment.
The most common laser scar treatment seems to be microdermabrasion. This works as an anti-aging procedure and can be offered as a treatment for acne scars, hyperpigmentation, texturally rough skin, striae, and photodamaged skin. Microdermabration is usually performed on the face, but is also used on the neck, back, arms, elbows, chest, knees and hands. Although you can see the benefits after one treatment, it is said that it works best when you do a series of peels.
What is this treatment recommended for?
Dull or sun damaged skin
Texturally rough skin
Blotchy or uneven skin tones and textures
When deciding if having this done is right for you, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. Lets look at some of the advantages of Microdermabrasion. When compared to other laser or surgical treatments, it is rather inexpensive and there is much less recovery time. As well there are fewer side effects than chemical peels and anesthetics aren’t required. It is said that is it safe for those of all skin tones. The best part of all is, it’s a quick procedure.
Now lets look at some of the disadvantages. There can be slight discomfort after the procedure, where you may feel tingling or tightness of the skin. Many times microdermabrasion will not work on deep wrinkles or pigment problems, which can be frustrating and a waste of money. Often you will have to go for several treatments before you see any results, especially with darker pigment areas. Even though the recovery time is quicker than other laser and surgical procedures, you still may experience some redness for up to a few days, and it’s recommended to stay out of the sun for a week. Finally, like anything else there are some risks and side effects to the procedure. The most common side effect of laser scar removal is hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, both can be caused by sun exposure. Infection or allergic reactions to the procedure are also possible, but can be treated medically.
What does the procedure entail?
Procedures of microdermabrasion are also commonly referred to as “sand blasting”, a process that uses a high-pressure stream of aluminum oxide crystals to superficially peel the upper layer of the skin.
All your makeup must be removed and then you skin is washed with a special cleanser. The treatment is said to take about 30 minutes. As I said the skin has a slight redness which most commonly lasts a few hours to a day. You are allowed to wear makeup after the procedure, but personally I wouldn’t recommend that. Microdermabrasion is not recommended for people who have severe acne, advanced aging, sunburns, extensive hyperpigmentation, skin disorders, or sensitive skin.
If you are thinking about getting this procedure done I think it’s best if you talk more about this with your dermatologist. I know many of you do not have a dermatologist that you know and or trust. I have been to a dermatologist here in Vancouver that I would definitely recommend. Dr Richard Thomas had great bedside manner and takes the time to explain. He is located at 888 W 8th in Vancouver. You will need a referral from your family doctor before you can see any dermatologist.
I have a friend who is going in to have a laser skin treatment done this week. I will be giving her a list of before and after questions about the procedure. If you have any questions you would like to add to the list please click “comments” above to leave your questions.