Laser skin resurfacing treatments seem to be buzzier than ever these days, with innovative new procedures promising to reduce the signs of aging with just a few zaps. But which laser is right for you, and does laser skin tightening work? We tapped Lauren Abramowitz, Board Certified PA-C, Founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions to give us a crash course on lasers, laser types, and the cost of laser skin resurfacing.
Who is a candidate for laser treatments?
Today there is a laser, light device, ultrasound therapy and infrared therapy that can treat almost anybody. It’s important to know that not all lasers are created equal and not all laser and light devices address all skin concerns.
More from InStyle
What problems can laser treatments correct?
Laser treatments address just about every complexion and aging concerns of the skin. Laser treatments can address a variety of skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, acne scars, acne rosacea, broken capillaries, collagen production, stretch marks, fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, cellulite, tattoo removal and excess fat.
What types of lasers are out there and which ones do what?
Our body has the amazing ability to utilize different wavelength or colors of light to re-energize aging cells and to heal various skin conditions. There are several types of lasers used in skin laser therapy. The wavelength, peaks of the laser light, pulse durations and how the target skin tissue absorbs this, determine the clinical applications of the laser types. Lasers can be divided into ablative versus non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers remove the outer layers and tissue and superficially wound the skin whereas non-ablative lasers or “non-wounding” lasers treat the tissue beneath the skin without removal of tissue. There are a plethora of devices (ablative and non-ablative) on the market that you can choose from.
How do you know what laser is right for you?
It can be overwhelming and confusing to know what laser is right for you. Don’t get caught up on brand names, rather focus on your skin goals. In order for laser and light therapy to be beneficial, you must be the right candidate for that specific device. The laser must be strong enough to penetrate the skin, then it must be absorbed by the cells in the body. Not all of my patients are good candidates for every procedure I offer. Consult your board certified skin practitioner or dermatologist based on their experience, training, and qualification to help guide you through your laser journey.
How often are the treatments recommended?
Depending on what skin condition we are treating there are different recommendations on how often to get treated. Every laser and light device requires a different amount of sessions. Ablative/aggressive lasers may require one treatment whereas less aggressive lasers may require 3-5 treatments.
Do different lasers have different recovery times?
Yes. Recovery varies, depending on the type of procedure employed. Ablative lasers tend to have more downtime than non-ablative lasers. There are some non-ablative lasers that have zero recovery time whereas ablative lasers require a minimum of 5-7 days of downtime.
What’s the latest technology in lasers that has come to the market that you are excited about?
I am super excited about Plasma Skin Resurfacing, Cold Helium Plasma with Radiofrequency as well as Plasma Fibroblast technology.
What do you think is the future of lasers?
We are aiming to create the next generation of lasers that can revolutionize facial rejuvenation, giving an alternative to facelifts as well as upper and lower eyelid surgery.