In the past few decades, the use of lasers has revolutionized industries throughout the economy, including medical science and research. Likewise, many of today's cosmetic procedures are faster, more effective and easier on patients than in the past due to advancements in laser technology. Laser applications in cosmetic surgery include minimally-invasive procedures proven to safely eliminate unwanted hair, resurface facial skin and remove unsightly spider veins.
Lasers in Cosmetic Surgery
Laser is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," a class of instruments that use light energy. Lasers work by creating and amplifying a narrow, concentrated beam of light of a specific wavelength to create energy. This energy can be strong enough to cut through steel or mild enough to be safely used on human skin.
The first laser was constructed in 1960 based on theoretical concepts developed by Albert Einstein. In the decades since, lasers have transformed industries from consumer electronics and information technology to science and medicine. Today, lasers are in everyday use all around us, including in barcode scanners, laser pointers, printers, CD and DVD players, metal-working tools and laser light shows.
Lasers in the world of cosmetic surgery allow many skin procedures to be performed more quickly and precisely with an easier recovery than ever before. Medical lasers are used to remove unwanted hair, resurface the skin, treat spider veins, whiten teeth and correct vision problems (LASIK eye surgery). Ongoing innovations in medical laser technology are driven by the need to produce superior cosmetic results while continuing to maximize patient comfort and safety.
Laser Hair Removal
The presence of excess hair on different areas of the body can be caused by genetics, hormones, medications or other medical reasons. Laser Hair Removal is a safe, effective and long-lasting solution for people who grow weary of shaving, tweezing, waxing, creams and other temporary and sometimes painful hair removal methods. Lasers can quickly eliminate unwanted hair from the chin, upper lip, bikini line, legs, arms and almost any other part of the face or body with precise results.
During Laser Hair Removal, concentrated pulses of laser light are focused on each hair follicle. The laser generates enough heat to damage the follicle and inhibit the growth of hair. Three or more treatments spaced a month or two apart may be needed because Laser Hair Removal is only successful on hairs in the growing stage of the hair growth cycle — hairs in the resting and transitional stages must enter the growing stage before they can be treated.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Lasers are used to resurface facial skin faster and with more precise depth control than traditional methods of skin resurfacing. Laser Skin Resurfacing or a "Laser Peel" is performed to address wrinkles and lines on the face, skin damaged by sun exposure, age spots, acne scars and other skin conditions. The majority of Laser Skin Resurfacing patients successfully realize a smoother complexion and younger-looking skin, usually with just one treatment.
During Laser Skin Resurfacing, the pulsing laser light penetrates the skin at the depth determined by your doctor and vaporizes the damaged skin cells. The treated skin peels in about 1 week to reveal new, fresh skin with a more youthful tone and texture. Patients who undergo any type of skin resurfacing must carefully keep their skin moisturized and protected from the sun after treatment.
Laser Spider Vein Therapy
More than 50% of women may experience spider veins on the face, legs, thighs and elsewhere on the body. These unsightly red, blue and purple lines that appear in various patterns on the skin's surface can cause physical symptoms as well as detract from your appearance. Laser vein therapy is gentle, safe and proven to permanently remove spider veins from the face and body, giving the skin a healthier and more youthful look.
During Laser Spider Vein Therapy, pulses of light from the laser are directed along the length of each vein. The heat energy generated by the laser coagulates the blood trapped within the spider veins, which causes them to shrink and be naturally absorbed by the body. A single laser treatment is enough to meet the cosmetic goals of most patients, but some may need multiple laser treatments for best results in eliminating troublesome spider veins.