What are lasers?
Lasers are devices that deliver highly-focused light energy to objects such as skin. Their targets are different wavelengths of light. In other words, they target COLORS. One laser will not treat all types of skin problems. In fact, lasers that treat brown birthmarks may not be appropriate for red ones.
What can lasers treat?
Lasers have revolutionized our approach to skin care and given us the ability to improve our results greatly in the field of plastic surgery. Whether you are looking to eliminate blemishes or birthmarks, lasers may be an excellent option with good control of results and minimum downtime. They are also fantastic for resurfacing wrinkled or damaged skin and can be combined with other plastic surgical procedures, such as a facelift, to take your results to the next level. Dark or red scars following a traumatic incident or surgery can sometimes be lightened and faded with lasers.
It is important to know that several treatments may be required when using lasers, between 4 and 8 weeks apart. This is highly dependent on the area being treated, size of the blemish or birthmark, and depth of the problem within the layers of the skin. Also, there are a number of instructions to follow both before and after laser treatment in order to get the best results. The color of your skin (or, Fitzpatrick classification) will need to be taken into consideration when selecting a type of laser to use. This is due to the fact that some lasers may absorb heavily in darker skin and cause damage to the melanin-producing cells, leaving a white patch or bad scar.
What are the risks and complications of laser treatment?
There are limitations and risks involved with all medical procedures, even with the use of lasers. Many people think that lasers can eliminate virtually all types of skin blemishes, which is simply NOT true. Lasers are a powerful technology and can penetrate skin safely up to 4 millimeters. That means that if a blemish goes deeper, then there’s real risk of damaging skin and creating a bad scar or pigmentation problems. Changes in the surrounding skin color may also occur. Although these are usually temporary, in some cases, they may persist and need further treatment. Sun exposure soon after a laser treatment can lead to permanent darkening of the treated skin. It is very important to follow all pre- and post-laser instructions to ensure that you get the best possible results.
Dr. Panossian performs a thorough evaluation of all patients and will go over all options for laser application, if indicated. He is an expert in the treatment of classic (ie, brown) and vascular birthmarks and operates a full array of lasers in the treatment of various skin conditions. Schedule a consultation today to see if lasers are the right choice for you.