Plastic surgeons are usually early adopters of new technologies that deliver better results and less downtime for their patients. Over the past few years, aesthetic lasers have exploded in popularity. You can’t pick up a woman’s magazine at the supermarket checkout without seeing an ad for a cosmetic laser procedure. The advertising claims seem too good to be true.
Is it possible to get facelift-like results with only a laser? Long answer no, short answer yes. We’re going to look at aesthetic lasers, what they can and can’t do, as well as what applications do they work best.
What Are Aesthetic Lasers?
In 1983, a scientific paper was published that claimed lasers could be used for cosmetology purposes as well as treating specific skin conditions. This kicked off a laser revolution in medical science that gave rise to a multitude of new cosmetic procedures.
Aesthetic lasers work by using light and heat to stimulate the growth of new collagen in the skin. As we age, our bodies start to lose the ability to produce collagen naturally. This results in wrinkles, fine lines, spots, and other skin conditions which are indicative of getting older. The more collagen your skin has, the fresher and younger-looking it will be.
Nowadays there are many different types and brands of lasers that are used for all sorts of cosmetic procedures. The laser manufacturers sometimes will make advertising claims that seem too good to be true, such as their laser treatments can give just as good of results as a traditional facelift would. The problem with these claims is that sometimes there is only a kernel of truth in their advertising.
What Procedures Use Aesthetic Lasers?
Lasers are good at surface treatments. They can fix spots on the face, tighten skin, treat pigment issues, and even smooth out wrinkles. Here are just some of the procedures that use aesthetic lasers:
Skin rejuvenation/resurfacing – Back in the old days, if you wanted skin rejuvenation, you had to endure a painful chemical peel. Nowadays, lasers have taken the place of dangerous, caustic chemicals. They can be used to treat acne scars, facial wrinkles, and other skin blemishes. Individual layers of surface skin are removed to reveal a brand-new layer that looks tighter and more youthful.
Hair Removal – Laser hair removal has been around for several decades now. There have been advancements in the technology which provide better results and less downtime than 20 years ago.
Pigmented lesions – Lasers can be used to remove and treat pigmented lesions. Lasers that pulsate work best for this kind of procedure. Depending on the type of lesion, the surgeon may select a different kind of laser to perform the treatment.
Tattoo removals – Lasers can also be used to remove the tattoo you got when you were 18 years old. The heat from the laser light breaks down the ink in the tattoo. Your immune system absorbs the small ink particles and breaks them down into harmless by-products.
How Effective Are Lasers?
Lasers are great at surface treatments, but they can only go skin-deep. If a person has poor quality skin (decades of age spots, deep wrinkles, and sun damage), a traditional facelift is the only way results are going to be noticed. Some non-invasive treatments have replaced surgery in younger patients who might not yet be good candidates for surgery. With most people there comes a point in their lives when lasers will simply not be able to provide the results they’re looking for.
You should always consult with a plastic surgeon who has an excellent reputation – as they’ll give you the straight truth. Some doctors and med spas will buy lasers thinking that they are a cure-all. This is where they get into trouble. They didn’t take the time to understand exactly what a laser can and can’t do. Manufacturers will also promise great results that can’t be delivered and may even go as far as paying a celebrity to post pictures on their social media account.
Aesthetic Lasers Versus Traditional Surgeries
When it comes to a patient wanting serious skin-tightening, even sub-cutaneous lasers can’t deliver the same results as a surgical procedure such as a tummy tuck or facelift. Lasers can help prolong the time before a person would need to undergo a surgical procedure to get the results they want.
As time goes by, medical science is making leaps and bounds in the fields of aesthetic lasers. There may come a day when lasers will completely replace facelifts, tummy tucks, and other cosmetic procedures. At this point, lasers can only do so much before the surgeon recommends a facelift or other surgical procedure.
Aesthetic Laser Treatment in Dallas
If you’re interested in learning more about cosmetic lasers or what they can do for you, call us or schedule an appointment. Our offices are continently located within a 15-minute drive of Dallas Love Airport, and we accept new patients from anywhere in the country.