The MÖ Aesthetic Clinic

Laser Treatments for Men

Laser Treatments for Men

As with many other areas of aestheic skincare, there has been a steady increase in the last decade in the number of men undergoing laser treatments. Attitudes have changed and men now feel comfortable about taking advantage of the latest developments in laser technology, and why not? Lasers are effective for unwanted hair; thread veins and rosacea; skin rejuvenation and collagen stimulation; acne scars; and pigmentation such as sun damage, age spots and freckles.

In general, laser treatments provide faster results than topical or oral treatments, and depending upon the procedure there is minimum downtime. These factors are particularly appealing to men, who are generally less risk tolerant than women and who want fast, masculinizing treatments with natural results.

Laser treatments are highly versatile and virtually pain-free. Among other things, they can remove hair from toes to buttocks and from earlobes to backs and pretty much anywhere in between. Depending on the treatment needed it can take sometimes take several sessions, and a good aesthetician can advise you during the initial consultancy.

Hair Removal

For most unwanted hair situations, the laser can remove it. Hair removal is the most popular treatment for men, many of whom are throwing out the razor and trimmer and saying a permanent goodbye to all that fuzz and regular sessions of plucking, shaving and even waxing.

Excessive hair growth, can be caused by high levels of testosterone, age, genetics or ethnicity. Whilst on the one hand, some forms of excessive hair can seem masculine, the downside can be an unsightly appearance or being self-concious; especially with problems such as hair on the back and shoulders.

Men tend to have highly pigmented, thicker hair in contrast to women, and laser treatments for excess body hair is a good solution. The most popular treatments are on the back, chest, upper arms, posterior hairline and lower beardline.

Due to the thicker, darkly pigmented hairs in men they may need more treatments than women. For this reason the laser settings may need to be adjusted and topical anesthetic is available for any highly sensitive areas, to ensure a pain free experience.

Rosacea

Men have a higher density of facial blood vessels than women, and they often seek treatment for spider veins and redness of the skin (erythema). Pulsed dye laser is best to target both large and small facial blood vessels and flushing erythema. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lasers involve less downtime and can treat brown spots as well, and are therefore a more popular choice for men.

If you have skin of color or tanned skin, IPL must be used with caution because of the risks of scarring and hyperpigmentation. When using the IPL in the beard or mustache area there is a possibility that the laser will temporarily stunt hair growth or temporarily cause hair to grow in patches.

Pigmentation

Men can be affected by pigmentation lesions such as freckles, liver spots and sun spots usually on the face, neck, arms and hands. These are often associated with skin ageing and sun damage caused by over exposure to the sun or sun-beds without suitable skin protection, however other causes include an underlying medical condition and hereditary predisposition.

From the age of around 40 the skin is less able to regenerate from sun exposure and age spots start to appear.  Generally these age spots pose no health risk, however they can be unsightly and create a patchy, less youthful appearance. Freckling and age spots are successfully lightened or removed with either Laser or Intense Pulse Light (IPL).

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) skin rejuvenation and pigment removal treatment is a relatively quick and easy procedure.  Age spots and freckles can be lightened or removed in as little as one to three treatment sessions. The light targets areas of excess pigment safely breaking down the excess melanin. The sun spots or freckles darken in the first few days after treatment and then the excess melanin sheds naturally away.

Red Vein Removal

Facial thread veins or broken red veins (telangiectasia) are small unsightly superficial red, purple or blue veins that occur around the nose and across the cheeks and chin.  These broken veins occur when the vein dilates and become larger so they are visible through the transparency of the skin.  Although facial veins / spider veins are quite common they can cause some distress and embarrassment for those who have them.

Facial veins may be hereditary or as a result of a variety of factors including damage from sun exposure, wind and the extremes of temperature.  The over use of steroid creams and certain auto immune conditions may also induce thread veins.  Often the exact cause is unknown and may just be part of the natural ageing process or as a part of a skin condition called rosacea.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) or laser can also treat birthmarks such as port wine stains and vascular scarring.

I have personally experienced the effectiveness of the Red Vein Removal treatment as I had a tiny red vein removed from the side of my nose. It took circa 5 minutes in preparation and one zap of the laser. Despite expecting a small sting, I did not feel a thing and the area is now completely clear!

Skin Rejuvenation

Another fast growing segment of the aesthetic market at this time is arguably Skin Rejuvenation, which offers a solution for all the visible signs of ageing.

Intense Pulsed Light offers a breakthrough treatment and quickly improves tired, ageing, blotchy and dull skin; stimulates collagen production; and gives the skin a smoother, firmer, fresher texture. Small lines and wrinkles are plumped out, thus improving the skin tone, texture and appearance. This is particularly effective when combined with other clinic treatments such as chemical peels.

There are a number of causes of premature ageing which include sun damage (loss of collagen lines, uneven pigmentation & broken veins); extremes of temperature (including wind burn); incorrect or lack of skin care; and smoking.

Acne Scars

Scarring is a permanent condition because you can never bring the skin back to what it was before the scar was there. Lasers tackle wrinkles and scarring by destroying the upper few layers of the skin, removing the indents of the scars. The skin's natural healing process thereafter leads to a smoothing of the overall appearance and feel of the skin. Laser resurfacing of facial skin to reduce post- acne scarring is an established technique requiring the skills of an experienced laser aesthetician.  

Laser treatments work on scars and discoloration on a deep level increasing skin cell turnover. CO2 and Fraxel lasers remove the top layer of skin like a deep exfoliation, exposing a fresh, clear layer of skin below. Most scars will fade after one or two treatments.

Acne

Some IPL treatment can help to reduce the number and severity of active lesions, lessening the inflammation and frequency of break-outs, however much research is still being done to analyse the effects of lasers in the treatment of acne. Laser treatment for scar removal has in some cases led to the side-effect of clearing up acne in the area where the laser was targeted. The lasers, which use yellow light to take out the skin layers, are thought to work against acne itself in a different way, by destroying the bacteria that infects it.

The most common places for outbreaks of acne are those in which oil production is most heavily concentrated, such as the face, shoulders, back and chest. Within this bacteria is a chemical sensitive to oxygen, and it is thought that the laser therapy works by destroying this key compound. The chemical does not like oxygen and dies when it comes into contact with it. The laser is believed to be effective because it generates oxygen at the point where it comes into contact with the skin.

This process once fully developed would clear patients with mild to moderate acne with one zap, and one treatment may last a few months. This would be a big advantage over any other form of treatment as it would keep clear acne for a period of time after just one treatment.

In addition to the wavelengths used in IPL & laser, a ’cold’ light source (Photodynamic Therapy or ’PDT’) can also help to kill the bacteria that cause acne, thereby reducing infection and inflammation of the sebaceous glands. PDT can also be used on chosen acupuncture-points to help balance the hormones that play a significant role at occurrence of the disease.

It is also of significance to watch one’s diet and avoid the use of cosmetics that can block sebaceous glands. To further boost effectiveness, it is recommended to have a full detox treatment of the colon and lymph system prior to a Laser, IPL or PDT acne treatment.

Consultation Process

It is essential that you attend a clinic with qualified personnel who are highly trained in laser treatment techniques. Prior to all of the above procedures, you should be asked to undergo a consultation where details about your medical history are obtained in order to confirm suitability. Before proceeding you will be asked to sign a consent form and undergo a test patch.

 

 

By Paul Olavesen-Stabb

Paul Olavesen-Stabb has spent most of his adult life learning about skincare and trying the treatments and products available to men.

In addition to being a film producer, Paul is also a strategic business advisor to his family business Scandinavian Skincare Systems. He has for the past 21 years been involved in all aspects of skincare.

paul@scandinavianskincaresystems.com

 

 

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