Laser Wrinkle Removal Guide
If you are starting to develop wrinkles, as we all do when we get older, you may have considered some options to minimise them. There are a number of treatments available including using anti-wrinkle products containing retinol and other ingredients. One treatment that is gaining in popularity is laser wrinkle removal although it is not something to be undertaken lightly as it can take up to a month for the skin to heal and the effects are not permanent. It needs to be done by an experienced professional who will be able to minimise side effects which may include some redness and irritation.
Ablative ot Non-Ablative Laser Wrinkle Removal
All lasers work on the same principal. Light is absorbed by the skin cells that contain chromophores (color) where the energy from the light is converted into heat energy which damages the cells. The technique most often used for laser wrinkle removal is an ablative technique called laser resurfacing and can be performed with either a CO2, pulse dye or an erbium laser.
Ablative resurfacing removes the top layer of the skin resulting in a healthy, smoother skin as it can remove wrinkles, age spots and discoloration. It can also stimulate the production of collagen which supports the skin and help to prevent sagging. In non-ablative laser treatments the underlying structures of the skin are stimulated to allow regrowth of damaged collagen which will then help to support the skin better and thus reduce the wrinkles. Ablative laser resurfacing has a recovery period, up to thirty days, that is longer than non-ablative and the procedure can result in some side effects such as redness and irritation. Non-ablative has no recovery period but does not produce such a dramatic difference as the ablative techniques.
Types of Lasers Used for Wrinkle Removal
Erbium lasers are less invasive than the CO2 lasers and are thought to be safer although not as effective as the erbium lasers. Another type of laser, the Intense Pulse Light laser is a new introduction to this area that is proving popular and effective. It has much less side effects than the other types of lasers and no long recovery time. They can also be used for a range of treatments including removing dark areas, scars, tattoos, port wine stains and rosacea damage. Pulsed light lasers differ from the other lasers as they can deliver light of many wavelengths instead of just one wavelength. They can be adjusted by the operator to suit the treatments needed and the individual's requirements. It is a non-ablative technique and has very little down time.
Not everyone is able to be treated by pulsed light lasers as they are not recommended if you have very dark skin or are heavily tanned. Some people are prone to changes in the pigmentation of the skin after treatment by this type of laser. You will be asked to undergo a test to see if you are suitable for the procedure where several small areas are treated by the laser to see the result. Side effects may include some redness or blistering although this is rare.
Non Surgical Wrinkle Removal Methods
If laser wrinkle removal is not for you then you can try some gentler methods. They won't work as instantly as laser removal but used regularly wrinkle creams can remove fine lines and shallow wrinkles effectively. Over the Counter Retinol
Products are popular as retinol has been shown to be effective in removing wrinkles and lines and retinol products are one of the bestselling anti-aging creams available.
Laser wrinkle removal is an effective way to help keep your skin looking younger and smoother but it is temporary, lasting between one and three years, and will not be effective on very deep wrinkles.
- Flickr: Brother O'Mara's Photostream
Image by Brother O'Mara
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