The MÖ Aesthetic Clinic

Laser Treatments

Laser Treatments

In the last decade, both the technology and the results of laser treatments have improved tremendously making lasers one of the most valuable assets in the skincare sector. As a result, the number of persons visiting laser aestheticians is increasing, 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 providing fast treatments with natural results. Furthermore, patients can put their makeup on right after the procedure and go back to work.

Given the variety in the ever increasing field of laser medicine, it is more difficult to ascertain as to which particular device is right for you. Laser treatments are highly versatile and virtually pain-free. Depending on the treatment needed it can take sometimes take several sessions, and a good aesthetician can advise you during the initial consultancy.

A laser is a focused beam of light of only one color that can destroy pigment or tissue on the skin while sparing the skin around it. It is therefore ideal for blemished, scars and unwanted hair.

Given the amount of procedures and types of lasers on the market, it is important to ask a lot of questions about your particular needs. These questions should cover the training of the person who will administer the treatment; how many patients they have treated with the same problem; and the risks and / or complications involved. Ultimately, one does need to trust the aesthetician and the initial choice is therefore of the utmost importance.

Hair Removal

Both laser hair removal and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal offer a long-term solution to unwanted or excess hair for both men and women and is suitable for most areas of the face and body. The treatments destroy the hair root so that it can never re-grow giving permanent reduction of unwanted hair. It is non invasive, safe and without pain and inconvenience of waxing or electrolysis.

Unwanted hair is at best an inconvenience and can be a nuisance to get rid of. For so many it is socially unacceptable and embarrassing, resulting in loss of self confidence and self esteem. Both sexes can be affected and are often at a loss to know how to deal with the problem or where to get the most appropriate treatment from the right practitioner and establishment. Temporary methods such as waxing, depilatory creams, shaving, threading and epilators all have their drawbacks and need to be repeated on a regular basis.

You may wonder about the difference between the use of laser and IPL for hair removal. A laser produces a concentrated beam of light with precise and focused energy in the region of 755-1064nm which offers more powerful  and accurate results. This exact wavelength effectively treats the hair follicles, ensuring the best possible results on both dark and fair skin.

IPL is slightly less effective due to the hundreds of wavelengths in each pulse giving a more diffused and less powerful (650nm) result. IPL is more suited to fairer skin types however produces more heat on the skin. It has a slightly slower effect on reducing the growth of the hair.

Laser pulses are short, and target multiple hairs with each pulse, that, combined with the latest technology, achieves a more comfortable, virtually painless, result without the use of messy cold gel, often necessary with IPL.

A course of laser or IPL treatments is usually required at 4-8 weekly intervals to follow the hair growth cycle.

Rosacea

Clients 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.

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

Many people 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.

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 Marianne Olavesen-Stabb

Norwegian-born Marianne Olavesen-Stabb has been a product designer, trainer and consultant to the international health, wellbeing and beauty Industry for 21 years.

She is the Founder and President of Scandinavian Skincare Systems and was also one of the finalists in Cosmopolitan’s 'Women of Achievement Awards' for her achievements in Health & Wellbeing.

marianne@scandinavianskincaresystems.com

 

 

Other Blog Features

Why Consider Dermal Fillers

How to get that Christmas Glow 

Doctor Fish & Psoriasis

Aphrodisiacs

Detox