Coastal living in Florida has many rewards — the beaches, the sunshine, the ocean, and countless ways you can enjoy being outside. But constant exposure to sun, saltwater, and sand can cause your skin to age faster than it should.
Dr. Richard Blanchar, medical director of Bayview General Medicine & Aesthetics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, provides state-of-the-art laser and non-laser skin resurfacing procedures so you can look your best at any age and still enjoy the beach life. He explains the benefits of laser vs. non-laser skin resurfacing to help you understand which treatments are best for your skin concerns.
Freckles and sun spots
Laser and light therapy
If you’ve noticed more freckles and spots appearing as a result of outdoor living, intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy may be a good option for making those dark spots disappear. Not technically a laser, IPL therapy converts light energy into pressure to go beneath the surface of your skin.
It’s highly effective at treating areas of darker pigmentation like freckles and sun spots. And a major benefit of IPL treatments is that the light only targets dark spots, leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
Intense pulsed light is a non-ablative therapy, meaning it doesn’t remove the surface layers of your skin, so it takes less time for your skin to heal after a treatment. In most cases, your sun spots and freckles become noticeably lighter after a series of IPL treatments. Based on your skin, Dr. Blanchar advises how many treatments you’ll need for maximum benefit.
After examining your skin carefully, Dr. Blachar may recommend a chemical peel instead of laser or light therapy. A particularly effective tool for addressing sun spots, freckles, and hyperpigmented skin is Glytone Enerpeel®.
This peel contains active ingredients, including glycolic acid, that are available only through a physician. Glycolic acid is a proven non-laser method of removing dead skin cells and brightening skin so spots fade.
Fine lines and wrinkles
Laser and light therapy
If you have fine lines and wrinkles as a result of aging and sun exposure (or both), fractional laser treatments may be a good option. Dr. Blanchar and his team use the Icon™ 1540XF fractional laser to deliver the benefits of non-ablative skin resurfacing.
This FDA-approved laser treatment uses intense pulsed light instead of heat to stimulate collagen and elastin production below the surface of your skin. Because IPL uses light instead of heat, there’s no risk of damaging delicate tissue, so downtime and recovery are minimal.
If you’re still testing the waters on the best way to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and you want to start more conservatively than with laser or IPL treatments, consider a professional facial. In one 30-minute appointment, the HydraFacial® gently exfoliates your skin and nourishes your face with intense moisturizers, peptides, and antioxidants. The results are non-irritating and immediately effective.
After a HydraFacial, you’ll notice your skin is visibly refined, softer and more supple, with an even, radiant tone. Dr. Blanchar often recommends getting this good-for-you, no downtime, non-laser treatment option about once a month to achieve optimal anti-aging results. As with all other procedures, he creates a customized plan so you get the firmer, younger, healthier skin you desire.
Multiple skin conditions, including acne and rosacea
If you want to solve multiple skin conditions at once, ablative lasers are an option, but the trade-off is harsh side effects and a longer recovery period. Ablative laser treatments remove the top layers of skin, along with acne scars, warts, wrinkles, and more severe skin flaws.
After the laser treatment, it feels like your skin has been badly sunburned, and it can take up to four weeks for your skin to heal completely. But after you heal, you can notice a significant difference in the appearance of dark spots, scars, and deep wrinkles.
Ablative laser treatments also stimulate the layers of skin underneath the surface to produce new collagen. As your skin heals from the treatment and the new collagen grows, you are left with smoother, firmer skin and visibly fewer lines and wrinkles.
It’s difficult to know whether you should choose laser therapy or a non-laser treatment for your skin concerns. Before you make a decision, Dr. Blanchar closely examines your skin and presents your options so you can make an educated decision about the treatment you receive and the results it can deliver.
Call the Fort Lauderdale office for an appointment, or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation. And be sure to wear sunscreen while you make the most of coastal living.