Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fractional Laser and Aged Skin

photoagedskinToday, the availability of fractional lasers has been a major boost towards the treatment of photo aged skin. Several lasers have been developed in the last decade which are now showing great promise in reversing many skin disorders.

Unlike the previous lasers, fractional lasers have one common theme. They are selective in their effects and cause very little harm or damage to the surrounding normal skin. Even though there are several fractional lasers available, they all essentially perform in a similar manner and produce excellent results.

fractionallasersLasers which penetrate the skin less are usually less painfully compared to lasers which penetrate deeper into the skin. However, deeper penetrating lasers also have a longer lasting cosmetic effect.

None of the fractional lasers have a permanent effect. All can cause temporary reversal of the fine lines and wrinkles.

Fractional lasers can be used to treat the following skin conditions:

- reversal of fine lines and wrinkles
- remove pigmented or skin discolorations
- reduce melasma (skin changes seen during pregnancy)
- reduce pore size
- reduce or improve the texture of scars
- smoothen out traumatic scars
- reduce signs of photo aging

All fractional lasers work in a similar way. The lasers generate a beam of energy which penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. The heat produced results in destruction of old pigmented cells and stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastic. The collagen then adds to tissue support, fills up hollowed spaces and retains moisture. The end result is a skin which appears smooth, fresh and much younger looking.

The currently available fractional laser devices include

- Fraxel®,
- ActiveFXTM
- Lux 1540TM
- AffirmTM,
- ProFractionalTM

Most individuals need 4-6 sessions to get the optimal cosmetic benefit. Individuals who have deeper scars and wrinkles may need a few more sessions. The fractional lasers have minimal downtime and the side effects are mild. The most common side effects after the fractional laser treatment for aged skin include

- mild redness
- swelling
- bruising

These side effects are transient and usually disappear within 2-4 days. One can conceal the skin side effects with mascara or make up.

fractionallaserskinresurfacing Because there are many people who perform fractional laser skin resurfacing to reverse the signs of aging, it is essential to choose your therapist well. The lure of money has numerous non health care professionals performing laser treatments all over the country. While complications are rare, they do occur and may be irreversible. So in the end, buyer beware. Before you go and get the signs of nature reversed it is important to read about the procedure, know what you want and have an estimate of what your budget is. Looking young does not come cheap- especially when it comes to lasers.

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