Have you heard of laser treatment? Laser treatment might sound like a foreign concept, something you mostly see in foreign movies. The idea of laser treatment has not gained that much ground in Nigeria. However, most of the world has gotten to and past this level.
So, what exactly does laser treatment offer? All thanks to technological advancements, laser treatment involves the use of light beams focused on the body to treat problem areas. There are great benefits offered by this method of treatment. The procedure can improve vision, remove tumours and growths, reduce scarring, manage pain, stop hair loss and remove unwanted hairs.
The most common use of laser treatment is for aesthetics such as scar reduction, wrinkles, fine lines, removal of tattoos, skin rejuvenation, eyesight correction and so on. For context sake, we will be talking more about Laser with respect to skincare in this article
You need to consult with your doctor or dermatologist before opting for laser therapy. The reduction of scars is an outpatient procedure and involves repeated moves of the laser wand over the affected area. The method may not be suitable for you if you have skin that is sensitive to light.
How Does laser therapy work?
As mentioned earlier, laser treatment involves the use of light beams focused on a particular area on your skin. For scar treatment, you should note that it does not make a scar disappear completely. Instead, they make scars less visible. Your doctor will let you know if you are a suitable candidate for this kind of therapy. Yes, not everyone can get laser treatment.
This process simply involves moving the laser wand over the affected area multiple times. The beams will remove the outer layer of the damaged skin’s surface, making the scar less visible. These lasers also stimulate the production of new skin cells and target blood vessels to reduce redness. Your doctor will inform you on the best type of laser treatment during your consultation session.
There are a variety of options which include:
1. Fractioned laser resurfacing
Dark pigmented cells are removed when a laser penetrates a deep layer of the skin’s surface. Your scars appear less noticeable because the process also stimulates collagen production and skin cell renewal.
2. Non-ablative laser resurfacing
If you want to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles or depressed scars, then this method of treatment might be prescribed for you. Non-ablative laser therapy uses the Cutera Genesis to stimulate the production of collagen while avoiding the outer layer of the skin. The accelerated collagen growth improves skin tone, fine wrinkles and acne scarring.
The downtime and recovery are minimal because the process does not involve the removal of skin. A series of treatments for this procedure validates results.
3. Ablative or laser resurfacing.
Get rid of warts, wrinkles, and scars with this treatment. The process involves the removal of the outer layer of the skin. Skin cells damaged at the surface level are removed. The different types of lasers used depends on the depth of your scar. A carbon dioxide laser may be used for deep scars, while an erbium laser is needed for injuries on the surface.
The duration and amount of treatment required to reduce and scars depend on the nature of your injury and other health factors. Generally, a session can span from 5 to 45 minutes, and multiple treatments may be required.
Post Laser Therapy
Just as the number of treatments varies, so does the recovery period. It may take between 3 to 10 days for your skin to recover fully. Aftercare instructions will be given to you by your doctor or dermatologist after the procedure. Some of these instructions may include:
- Apply cold press or a damp cloth to reduce redness and swelling
- Do not put on makeup and specific products for a few days after the facial procedure.
- Avoid going out directly under the sun for a few weeks.
- Apply moisturiser to the area daily
- Take over-the-counter pain medication if needed.
How Much Does It Cost To Do A Laser Procedure?
Since laser treatments are not so popular in this part of the world, the number of registered and accredited clinics may be limited. The price of the procedure may be determined by:
- Number of scars
- Size of scars
- Type of procedure– hair removal, tattoo removal, acne treatment, etc.
- The amount of treatment needed.
The procedure cost from as low as 5000 – 30,000 naira. It is crucial to seek a second opinion before embarking on this path. Compare prices and the kinds of treatments offered. According to the University of Michigan’s Department of Dermatology, a scar removal procedure may cost between $200 and $3,400.
Risks and Side Effects Of Laser Procedure
Due to the heat and light required to treat the damaged skin, you may experience some side effects such as:
Some of the mild side effects should clear off within a few days. Medications to prevent bacterial infection and to reduce pain are prescribed after the procedure. Depending on the method, you may not feel anything or experience any side effects. If you notice any inconsistency in your healing process, do not hesitate to see your doctor.
Finding a competent and credible laser treatment centre may be your next challenge. Because this method is not the most sort after, the number of registered centres with professionals is limited. When patronising any centre consider certain things, ask to see certification and license if possible. Also, if a laser centre promises to treat you immediately without any preparation or previous tests, you should walk away.
Laser therapy is an effective method for treating various aesthetic issues. However, bear in mind that results may vary based on the problem unique to you. Whether you decide to try this method out or not, your safety and wellbeing should come first.