Understanding Lasers

Understanding Lasers | RefinedMD, Los Gatos + San Jose

Understanding Lasers

With so many lasers available (RefinedMD has over 20!), it can be tough to figure out which one is best for you. That’s why we offer complimentary consultations on all cosmetic treatments including laser skin resurfacing. It’s important not to get overwhelmed with the so-called “brand” names of lasers. Sometimes certain brands of lasers are trending on social media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those are the best—or what you need to achieve the results you want.

It’s always a good idea to work with an expert from the start, but if you do want to do some preliminary research then take some time to look into wavelengths or different types (laser vs. light-based treatments for example), or the limitations and capabilities of the technologies. Many of today’s lasers can also be customized for different treatments and experiences, and an expert can manipulate wavelengths just for you.

Preparing for Your Consultation For Laser Skin Care

A consultation is a must before laser treatment, and it’s wise to arrive with a list of questions. Overall, the more dramatic the results you are after, the more aggressive the treatment needed and consequently the longer the recovery period. There are many lasers with virtually no recovery period, but the results are subtle. For instance, if you’re always on the go but want to brighten up your skin, an IPL treatment might be right for you. If you’re looking to seriously tackle signs of aging or an ample patch of hyperpigmentation, you may need to go with an ablative laser.

We are happy to answer all your questions, but recommend choosing the top 3 – 5 skin concerns you have to start the conversation. It might be that a combination of laser technologies is necessary, or it might be recommended that you combine laser therapy with other treatments.

Lasers for Those with More Melanin

If you have brown skin, you can still get laser skin rejuvenation. That didn’t used to be the case, but today’s technologies have advanced so that everyone is a good match for these treatments. Skin tones and colors are divided into six categories with 1 being the fairest and 6 having the most melanin. Depending on your category, certain lasers might work well with your skin or should be avoided.

Why can’t those with darker skin tones get treated with every laser? There’s a higher chance of hyperpigmentation with some technologies. Sometimes using the wrong laser can actually worsen one of the skin issues that the client wants to treat! Those with skin tones in categories 4 – 6 should only be treated with certain lasers and exclusively in a dermatological clinic. Erbium lasers are often a great choice for those with more melanin, as are radiofrequency (RF) technologies that are often categorized as “lasers” but are actually RF-based.

Lasers and Acne

Can you treat acne with lasers? Not really. Lasers are fantastic for treating acne scarring or hyperpigmentation from past breakouts, but real lasers should not be used on active acne. Instead, an option like blue or blue-red light can be helpful. You can also use some technologies, like IPL, on those with active acne sites without exacerbating the current breakout. IPL and other light-based therapies can minimize inflammation and scarring, but don’t do anything for common acne lesions like whiteheads, cysts, or nodules.

If you do have active acne, know that it’s a medical condition and that treatment is available. It’s a good idea to be seen by both a dermatologist for your medical skin concerns and the cosmetic team to begin treatments for lingering signs of acne.

Maintenance for Maximum Results

The results from lasers take time whether you’re interested in a more aggressive approach or you want to use lasers for maintenance and prevention. However, if you really want to make the most of your results, this will require daily at-home care and a customized skin care regimen. Avoid behaviors that will damage your skin, such as going into the sun unprotected or skimping on your skin care routine. We can help you create a routine that involves in-office and at-home treatments that is feasible and fits with your goals and lifestyle.

To learn more about lasers or schedule your complimentary consultation, get in touch today. Contact RefinedMD via the online chat or call the office at (408) 688-2082.