Laser To Treat Wrinkles

There are numerous treatments for wrinkles but none is either permanent of satisfactory. Now we have laser. Laser has suddenly become touted as a panacea for treating skin disorders, but it also has a number of limitations.

Laser resurfacing is currently being used to treat the following skin lesions such as:

- Fine to moderate facial wrinkles

- Liver of sun spots

- Aging spots

- Sun damaged skin

- Acne scars

- Uneven skin texture

There are no rigid preparations prior to the laser resurfacing but there are some precautions one should take:

One should avoid sun tanning at least 4-6 weeks prior to the procedure.

If one is taking blood thinners, this should be discussed with the doctor to determine the best time to stop the drug

The night before the procedure, the face should be cleansed and no make-up must be applied

Laser resurfacing is done in the physician's office and is an outpatient procedure. The sites to be treated are predetermined and marked. The laser beam is fired at the skin site for a few seconds. The laser generates heat energy which destroys the superficial skin cells and also stimulates the synthesis of new collagen in the deeper tissues.

The laser beam generates an intense beam of light energy (laser) which destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis). At the same time the laser heats the underlying skin (dermis). Over time this will stimulate the growth of new collagen fibers. As the wound heals, new skin forms that is smoother and tighter.

The major advantage of laser resurfacing of the skin is that the technique is more controlled and can be localized to particular areas of the face. The laser allows precise application of the heat energy around the sensitive areas of the face like the nose, eyes and lips.

Minor laser resurfacing can be done in a matter of minutes. The laser is not completely pain free and some individuals may require the application of a topical anesthetic. For extensive skin resurfacing, general anesthesia may be required. Larger surface areas of the skin may require anywhere from 45-120 minutes.

After the laser resurfacing, the side effects are dependent on the extent and duration of the procedure. The most common side effects include:

- a pink or sunburn skin

- facial swelling which is generally mild

- pain of mild intensity and easily controlled with pain medications

- itching

- rough texture of the skin

- redness of the skin

These complications usually subside in a matter of hours and most disappear within the first 24-48 hours after the procedure.

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