Some superficial skin concerns are too severe for aesthetic facials such as microneedling and chemical peels to correct, even after several treatments. If you have moderate to severe skin concerns, or you want to perfect the overall appearance of your skin, then laser treatments may be ideal. When you work with Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA, you can rest assured that the right laser skin rejuvenation treatment can transform your appearance.
How Long Does Laser Skin Rejuvenation Last?
Once you have achieved optimal results after a series of laser treatments, these results can typically last for several years. For both ablative and non-ablative laser treatments, these results can last for so long because powerful lasers can stimulate cellular activity from deep within the subdermal layers of the skin. Laser treatments are known to be among the longest-lasting aesthetic treatments.
How Effective Are Laser Treatments?
Laser treatments are extremely effective in addressing a variety of skin concerns. Some laser systems, such as the Harmony XL Pro, are FDA-approved to treat over 65 skin concerns. The reason people put so much trust in laser skin rejuvenation is that these treatments are fast and reliable.
One reason why laser skin rejuvenation treatments are so effective is that laser energy can penetrate the deepest layers of the skin. Laser energy can affect skin cells in the epidermal layer as deep as 3 mm in depth. To compare, even the most powerful microneedling treatments will only penetrate the skin about 2 mm.
How Can You Maintain Results?
One of the easiest things you can do to maintain your results for as long as possible is to schedule regular touch-up appointments. For most laser systems, a touch-up appointment once every one to two years can maintain high cellular activity that will keep your skin looking healthy, youthful, and radiant. These maintenance appointments can prolong your results indefinitely.
Aside from touch-up appointments, another thing you can do to maintain your results is to follow a consistent skincare routine. Once you find skincare products that work with your skin type to produce your preferred anti-aging or healthy-skin results, it’s important to keep up with this routine. Effective products can slow down the aging process, keep hyperpigmentation at bay, and enhance the overall healthy appearance of your skin.
Why Is Sunscreen So Essential?
Sunscreen is an essential component to maintaining your results for as long as possible. This is because when the skin is exposed to direct UVA and UVB rays, this can stimulate negative cellular activity that can cause skin cells and collagen within the skin to break down prematurely. This is why dermatologists and other skin experts say that sunlight is responsible for the vast majority of age-related skin concerns.
Sunscreen is also important for your skin, even if you are not trying to slow down or prevent the visible signs of aging. If you have an inflammatory skin condition such as acne, it’s best to wear sunscreen consistently to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. For many people, hyperpigmentation from acne occurs when inflamed skin is exposed to unprotected sunlight.
What Type of Sunscreen Should You Use?
When you are selecting the sunscreen you will use to protect your skin, it’s important to pick a product that is appropriate for your skin type and skin tone. Both mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens can offer broad spectrum protection from all forms of UV rays in the sunlight.
However, mineral sunscreens are designed to sit on top of your skin, while chemical sunscreens are designed to penetrate the upper layers of the skin like other skincare products. For this reason, people who have very sensitive skin or certain skin conditions may not respond favorably to chemical sunscreens. Likewise, mineral sunscreens tend to create a white cast on the skin, which may be undesirable to people who have medium to dark complexions.
How Do Laser Treatments Work?
Laser treatments work in two different ways. Some laser treatments work by creating microchannels or small injuries on the skin that stimulate the body’s rejuvenation response. Other laser systems work by using a combination of light and thermal energy from the laser to stimulate collagen production from within the deepest layers of the skin. All types of laser systems can be used to increase collagen production, elastin production, and cellular turnover.
Ablative vs Non-Ablative
The choice between an ablative or non-ablative laser treatment will ultimately depend on your skin type, skin tone, and skin concerns. In general, ablative laser skin rejuvenation treatments are reserved for patients who have moderate to severe skin concerns that require total resurfacing to rejuvenate their appearance. Non-ablative laser treatments, on the other hand, are most appropriate for people who have sensitive skin or moderate skin concerns that respond very well to laser treatment.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Regardless of the type of laser being used, it’s common to require at least three to five consistent treatments to achieve optimal results. In general, your treatment appointments will be scheduled about one to two months apart to give the skin adequate time to heal, turnover new skin cells, and stimulate collagen growth. If you need additional treatments to achieve your optimal results, we will let you know as we monitor your skin condition throughout your treatment.
What Should You Do Before Treatment?
Before any laser treatment, it’s crucial to avoid direct contact with the sun or any other activity that can cause potential skin irritation. You cannot use this treatment when your skin has been recently exposed to self-tanning products or tanning beds, which is why it’s recommended to avoid these activities and wear sunscreen for at least two weeks before your appointment.
You may also be directed to stop the use of certain topical skincare products that accelerate cellular renewal. These products can include salicylic acid and retinol, along with other chemical exfoliants that may be in your everyday skincare routine. You should avoid these products for at least one week before treatment.
What Should You Do After Treatment?
After your treatment, you will need to protect your skin by avoiding direct exposure to sunlight for at least two to four weeks. If you are using an ablative laser treatment, you will generally need to avoid direct contact with the sun for longer. You should always wear skin-friendly sunscreen outside after your treatment to avoid developing hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure.
After your treatment, you will also want to comfort your skin with gentle skincare products. Be sure to use products that are dye-free, alcohol-free, and fragrance-free for at least one to two weeks. Hydrating the skin with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe vera is also highly recommended to strengthen your skin barrier. You should not expose your skin to chlorine or hot water for several days.
How Long Is the Recovery Process?
The length of your recovery time after your laser treatment will depend on the specific laser skin rejuvenation system being used to address your superficial skin concerns. Many laser treatments have an initial recovery period of seven to 14 days. Be sure to follow all of your after-care instructions throughout your recovery process, so your results can develop optimally.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Good candidates for laser treatments are people who have relatively healthy skin. This means that on the day of your treatment, you should not have a sunburn or any active skin condition, such as a rosacea flare-up, eczema, or psoriasis. Women who are pregnant and people who have certain medical conditions may not be eligible for this treatment.
Is There a Best Age for This Treatment?
You can use laser systems to rejuvenate your skin at virtually any age. Because superficial skin concerns can develop throughout the lifetime, it’s common for younger people to use this treatment to address acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, while older people may use this treatment to correct sun damage and visible signs of aging.
Get the Beautiful Skin of Your Dreams With Laser Treatments
If you want to enjoy beautiful skin with long-lasting results, you may want to consider laser therapy for your skin rejuvenation needs. Laser treatments can produce results that last for several years. These treatments are typically ideal for most people, including those who may have complicated skin concerns. If you think laser treatments could be a good match for your aesthetic concerns, contact Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA to schedule an appointment today.