Laser skin resurfacing is considered a wonderful anti-aging treatment because it rejuvenates the skin and also treats a range of skin conditions. It is an effective procedure for skin issues caused by time, and also clears and refreshes the complexion. But, does laser resurfacing work for all skin types?
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing improves the tone and texture of the skin, by eliminating the damaged upper skin layers. Removing these layers provides several benefits. It improves the appearance of acne scars, reduces hyperpigmentation, eliminates photoaging and softens wrinkles and fine lines.
There are numerous technologies that now exist for laser skin resurfacing. These include ablative and non-ablative lasers. The ablative lasers often produce very dramatic results, but they have a much longer downtime because they are more aggressive and remove the entire upper layer of the skin. Non-ablative lasers are gentler and result in far less downtime.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers have been the standard for laser skin resurfacing for many years. However, the first CO2 lasers were very aggressive and produced undesirable side effects, such as scarring and severe redness. The downtime was also lengthy.
Since then, newer CO2 lasers have been developed that use fractional technology. These lasers only treat a portion of the skin at one time, and this is done by creating microscopic holes in the skin. However, the surrounding skin is left untouched, and because of this, healing takes place at a much faster rate.
It is important to be aware of the fact that the likelihood of side-effects increases when more aggressive lasers are used. These side-effects may include hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), as well as hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin).
How Laser Skin Resurfacing Works
The laser energy penetrates down to the deep layers of the skin. Depending on the type of laser used, it will either vaporize the entire upper layer, or treat selected areas of skin.
The laser’s thermal energy triggers collagen production, resulting in the creation of new skin that is tighter and clearer. The newer skin has fewer wrinkles and smaller pores, so it looks refreshed and more youthful.
Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Work for All Skin Types
The success of laser skin resurfacing treatment depends on the technology that is used because not all lasers work for all skin types. Therefore, clients should be sure to discuss the type of laser that will be used, when having a discussion with their doctor regarding laser skin resurfacing.
Using lasers to treat people with darker skin tones has traditionally been very difficult. While laser skin resurfacing is generally safe for lighter skin tones, there have been cases of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation occurring after laser treatment on people with darker skin.
If the wrong laser is used, or if the setting on the laser is incorrect, it can result in pigmentation problems. There may also be instances in which pre-treating the skin may be necessary, in order to avoid any adverse effects.
Laser Options for Ethnic and Darker Skin Tones
Despite these issues, there are technologies that can be used to perform skin resurfacing on darker skin, including fractional lasers. Fractional lasers usually work well on all skin types, and the technology is safe and effective. These lasers are especially favorable for conditions such as acne scarring, as they selectively target superficial skin problems. Fractional laser skin resurfacing is also ideal for fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
Fractional lasers tighten and lift the skin, as the laser triggers an immune response in the skin, which boosts collagen production. This prompts skin renewal, and makes the skin plumper and tighter.
Individuals with darker skin tones should seek expert advice from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon regarding the best type of laser for their skin type.
Laser Skin Resurfacing in Northern California
If you live in northern California, and would like to learn more about laser skin resurfacing treatment, contact Dr. Rudy Coscia. Dr. Coscia will conduct a detailed consultation with you to review your skin issues, and then tailor a laser treatment to suit your skin type. Call (916) 929-1833 for our office in Sacramento, CA, or (916) 773-5559 for the Roseville, CA practice.