Laser and light treatments for skin have progressed vastly over the last few decades. Patients now have multiple treatment options that can help them with a wide range of skin-related problems, including scars and tattoos, unwanted hair, psoriasis, acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, or melasma.
Laser Hair Removal (LHR)
Removal of body hair using laser treatment is one of the most common uses of Laser therapy these days. Laser Hair Removal or LHR uses pulses of laser light to destroy targeted hair follicles so that over time, hair regrowth will be less and the regrown hair will be lighter and finer. LHR can be used to remove unwanted hair from any part of the body, including face, leg, chin, back, arm, underarm, bikini line, and other areas. Since the laser light can be targeted very precisely, it is designed to impact only the hair follicles and leave the surrounding skin undamaged. LHR is a process that involves more than merely zapping the hair. It is a medical procedure that should be performed by trained and experienced professionals who will inform you about the effect of the procedure and any risks involved in your specific case.
What to Expect with LHR
Multiple sessions are generally required to remove unwanted hair from the treated areas. Depending on the area to be treated, the procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. You will be advised on the length of the procedure during your consultation with the skincare specialist. After treatment, it is possible that your skin feels tender and has redness in the treated area(s). For best results, do not expose the treated area to direct sunlight, and it is essential to use sunscreen when you step outdoors.
LHR generally works well for dark hair but does not work for gray or blond hair. This procedure is excellent for men and women who experience irritation from shaving and waxing or those who would just like silky smooth skin.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Intense Pulsed Light or IPL is a type of treatment used to treat brown spots, melasma, broken capillaries, and sunspots on skin. It can also be used to remove unwanted hair from the body. IPL is similar to LHR in procedure. However, the type of light used for treatment differs between laser and IPL. While laser uses light in a single wavelength to destroy hair follicles, IPL uses broad-spectrum light in multiple wavelengths. IPL is similar to a photo flash. IPL tends to be different on the skin since it penetrates the top layer of the skin without affecting it and impacts only the second layer of skin. Pigment cells absorb the light emitted by the IPL device and convert it to heat, which then clears up the spots and unwanted pigments on the skin. IPL works best for pale to light brown skin.
What to Expect with IPL
Once the skincare specialist has assessed the area to be treated, a cooling gel is applied to the skin before treatment begins. You will need to wear protective dark glasses for your eyes during the procedure. The treatment can take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the area to be treated. Multiple treatments may be required to get desired results.
After treatment, the skin may feel sensitive, and you may see some redness and/or swelling around the treated area. This generally subsides in a few hours. Compared to other cosmetic treatments, recovery after IPL treatment is generally quite fast.
Narrow-Band Ultraviolet B (UVB) Light Therapy
At the Warmuth Institute, patients with psoriasis are treated using a special narrow-band ultraviolet B light (UVB light) at 311 nanometers. This type of treatment is also called phototherapy. Research has shown that the narrow-band range of UV light is the most beneficial component of natural sunlight. Additionally, limiting the light spectrum in this way reduces the risk of side effects. Narrow-band UVB light has a short wavelength, which only reaches the top layer of skin. It is effective for psoriasis treatment because it reduces inflammation and slows down the production of skin cells, thus reducing plaque formation caused by psoriasis.
What to Expect with Narrow-Band UVB Light Therapy
Before treatment length and intensity are determined, your skincare specialist will make an assessment of the condition of your skin, any other skin conditions (like skin cancer) that you might have had, and any medications you might be taking that make your skin sensitive to light.
UVB light treatment is generally spread over multiple sessions. Each session is generally very short - a few seconds or minutes long - and the amount of UVB light the patient is exposed to is carefully monitored. Depending on the area of the body to be treated, phototherapy may be done on your entire body or on specific parts of the body - hand, scalp, etc. The treatment may last a few months with multiple sessions per week and you should begin to see improvements after 2 to 4 weeks.
People with known photosensitivity issues should ideally avoid this form of light therapy.
Pixel Resurfacing Laser
Pixel resurfacing laser or fractionated erbium ablative laser is used in cosmetic dermatology for facial rejuvenation and treating dermatological disorders. It can be used to treat skin with sun damage, fine lines, resistant pigmentation, acne scars, roughened textures, and enlarged pores. Pixel resurfacing is typically used as an anti-aging procedure to treat areas of the face, neck, chest, arms, and hands. It is considered a very successful method to even out the skin tone by lightening scars and softening wrinkles.
The fractionated ablative laser breaks up its laser beam into a grid of tiny beams that create microscopic injuries to the epidermis (top layer of skin) to remove surface skin damage. It treats photo-aging, fine lines, poor texture, and acne scarring. The ablative laser is sometimes called a wounding laser that removes the thin outer layer of skin and heats the underlying skin, stimulating new collagen fibers. Therefore, ‘’resurfacing” the skin. Additionally, since only a “fraction” of the skin is treated at one time, healing is more rapid, and downtime is less. You will see healthier, firmer, smoother skin with minimal downtime.
What to Expect with Pixel Resurfacing Laser
Our skincare specialist will ask you for your medical history during your consulting appointment and confirm that you are a candidate for pixel resurfacing. The procedure is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or those with connective tissue disease, autoimmune disorders, pacemakers, or prone to keloids. Topical anesthesia is not generally used for pixel resurfacing, and recovery time is also minimal. Like other treatments, exposure to direct sunlight and sunscreen protection is advised after pixel resurfacing.
While some patients may see visible results with just a single session of pixel resurfacing, most patients need a few sessions to see optimal results.
The treated area appears smoother and tighter up to 6 months following the treatment as the skin heals and regrows.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Americans are fond of tattoos. More than 30% of Americans have at least one tattoo. And while the majority claim to be happy with their tattoo, there may be many reasons why a tattoo no longer fits your body or lifestyle. However, there’s no reason for concern because tattoo removal processes have advanced in recent times and laser treatments that efficiently and quickly break down the ink particles in tattoos are now the norm.
High-intensity laser beams are passed in short pulses to the second layer of skin where the tattoo pigment resides. The laser beam is absorbed by the pigment colors in the tattoo (without impacting the skin) to break down the ink into smaller cells. The ink is then broken down over time by the white blood cells within your body and flushed out of your system through the liver. Since black ink absorbs all laser wavelengths, it is the easiest to remove. Tattoos with different colors will need laser beams at different wavelengths to remove them.
What to Expect with Laser Tattoo Removal
The first step in getting a tattoo removed is to get a consultation with our skincare specialists. The size, color, age, and area of the tattoo will be evaluated, and you will be advised on the procedure you can expect for the tattoo removal process.
The number of treatments will vary depending upon the size and color of your tattoo. It is important to note that some tattoos with multiple colors may be difficult to remove entirely, even after numerous sessions. This is because some colors respond better than others to laser treatment. However, laser treatment is still the best option for tattoo removal since it selectively treats the ink in the tattoo and does not hurt the skin itself.
After-treatment care includes soothing the treated area with topical ointments and protecting the skin from direct sunlight.
Omnilux LED Light Therapy
Omnilux LED light therapy is a non-invasive and painless method for skin rejuvenation for all skin types. It uses pulses of light-emitting diodes (LED) to refresh and rejuvenate skin. Omnilux delivers a natural method of light-only skin rejuvenation, which uses the body’s biological processes to help counteract the effects of aging.
Omnilux therapy is like a facial that renews and refreshes the skin on the face and neck areas. It uses light in different wavelengths to treat different types of skin conditions. Red light and blue light are different options to improve your skin quality and appearance. Red light is used to reduce potential bruising after laser and filler procedures. Additionally, it focuses on anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. Red light therapy may also be used to treat sun-damaged skin. On the other hand, blue light can treat acne and bacteria that cause acne from mild to severe cases. It can also be used to treat precancerous lesions on the face, scalp, and neck.
What to Expect with Omnilux LED Light Therapy
The Omnilux LED light therapy is a very relaxing process. After cleansing your skin, the LED light is focused on the skin area to be treated. The equipment is designed to be flexible and can be used while lying down, sitting, or standing, as required. Lying down during the treatment is the most comfortable, of course, and it also gives you a chance to take a break from your busy day for the duration of the treatment. Many people experience brighter-looking skin immediately after treatment. Still, we recommend multiple sessions for the treatment to work wonders. There is no downtime with Omnilux therapy. After treatment, you can apply your makeup and be on your way immediately. Results from the treatment continue to enhance over the next few weeks. Usually, your skincare specialist will recommend a maintenance schedule for your skin after achieving the desired results.
Laser and Lights Treatments for Skin Rejuvenation at Warmuth
Curious about what type of skin rejuvenation program will be best for you? Call Warmuth Institute of Dermatology today at (856) 358-1500 to schedule a consultation with our skincare specialists. They will advise you on what type of laser or light-based treatment will be best to rejuvenate your skin.