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To laser or not to laser? When you’re considering skin resurfacing as the best way to treat the signs of aging, acne scarring, and sun damage, it’s not always easy to decide between laser or non-laser treatments. Dr. Richard Blanchar, medical director at Bayview General Medicine & Aesthetics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, answers your questions about laser and non-laser skin resurfacing options so you can make the most informed decision selecting the treatment that’s best for you.
The reasons you’re considering laser or non-laser skin resurfacing treatments are important. They can make a big difference in which treatment will be most effective in helping you achieve the results you desire. Skin resurfacing treatments can help reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. They can also diminish acne scarring, sun spots, and areas of irregular pigmentation on your face, hands, arms, chest, or just about any area of your body.
Laser treatments are either ablative (removing the surface layers of skin) or non-ablative.
CO2 lasers are typically ablative and are often used to treat deeper skin flaws, warts, and wrinkles. Ablative laser treatments often require some downtime and a longer recovery period since the laser removes the outer layers of your skin.
After an ablative laser treatment, your skin is often red and peeling, as if you have a sunburn. Once the treated area heals, you’ll see improved texture, tone, and diminished wrinkles.
Fractional lasers may be ablative or non-ablative, depending on the type, and they treat very specific areas of your skin, so there’s less damage and downtime. These types of lasers are often used to treat age-related blemishes and to stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin to make your skin firmer and more youthful in its appearance.
Erbium lasers may be ablative or non-ablative and they foster collagen production. Erbium lasers are effective for treating fine lines and wrinkles, as well as age spots and skin laxity.
IPL therapy uses light energy and a special lens to send pulses of energy below the surface of your skin. IPL is different from traditional laser therapies because it uses light and pressure instead of heat to stimulate collagen and elastin growth. IPL treats sun damage, rosacea, acne, skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation without damaging or burning the surrounding tissue. As a result, there is little to no downtime, just more beautiful skin.
Dr. Blanchar offers state-of-the-art, non-ablative laser and IPL treatment options at his office, so you get all the benefits of fractional laser treatments or IPL therapies without the inconvenience of heat-damaged skin or a lengthy recovery period.
Again, it depends on your skin conditions, desired outcome, and personal preference when it comes to choosing laser or non-laser treatment options.
Some non-laser treatments, such as chemical peels, remove damaged outer layers of skin, revealing younger, healthier skin below. As with ablative laser treatments, there is some recovery time while your skin heals after a chemical peel. Chemical peels use various acids and serums that work to erase fine lines, wrinkles, the redness of rosacea, acne blemishes, age spots, and scars.
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion treatments are yet other non-laser options for correcting skin surface irregularities such as scarring and other discolorations. Dermabrasion is ablative and microdermabrasion is non-ablative, so the recovery time varies depending on the extent of your treatment.
Dermal fillers and botulinum toxins are non-laser, skin-resurfacing options. You can choose a combination fillers and botulinum toxins to improve the contour of your skin, diminish deeper lines and wrinkles, and relax the muscles that cause wrinkles to form. For some, these non-laser options are ideal, while others consult with Dr. Blanchar to select the perfect combination of laser and non-laser treatments to achieve the most dramatic and long-lasting results.
If you’re still unsure about which treatments are right for you, make an appointment with Dr. Blanchar so he can examine your skin carefully and recommend the options that will work best for your specific concerns. Ideally, whether you choose laser or non-laser treatment options, the goal is to achieve an optimal outcome with minimal downtime, so you can look and feel like the best version of yourself.
If you live in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas, call or use the online booking tool to schedule the next available appointment with Dr. Blanchar.
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