Laser skin lightening (or whitening) is a medical procedure in which concentrated beams of short pulsed light are cast upon the targeted areas of skin to remove unwanted, irregular, and damaged skin. The process stimulates the new growth of fresh skin cells which ultimately leads to lighter skin tones. The procedure takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
This laser skin treatment is widely used to treat skin conditions such as wrinkles, acne scars and hyperpigmentation problems such as uneven skin tones (due to overproduction of melanin), melasma, chloasma, liver spots and age spots and also the discolouration issues.
History of Laser Skin Lightening
The laser skin whitening procedure was started in early 1980s with the inception of the carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers which were used for the first time to deliver many light beams into the skin. With the number of harmful side effects arising from this procedure, the methodology was modified.
A new range of erbium lasers and (CO2) lasers were used with the ability to deliver very short and “quick-pulse “ of light energy to the skin and in a very controlled manner. For more information on Facial Rejuvination check Industrynewswire
Types of Lasers Used
There are three types of laser skin procedures:
1) Ablative Laser Resurfacing
The one that we mentioned earlier (the new range of lasers that delivers short-pulsed light energy to the skin) is known as ablative laser resurfacing. It is considered to be the most effective procedure. In this procedure, the top most layers of the skin and a part of the sub layers underneath are removed by vaporizing the affected tissue. This is a one-time treatment. Being the most effective also has its side effects. This procedure has significant complication risks and a prolonged recovery time of 2 – 3 weeks. Hence, it is recommended that you see an experienced laser surgeon who can guide you depending on your skin requirements. Ablative lasers include;
A. Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser:
This is laser which use a gas based mixture to vaporize the targeted skin; to promote collagen and elastin tissue production. As new tissue is formed, hyperpigmented skin, wrinkles and fine lines are reduced giving rise to a youthful and lighter skin.
B. Erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser:
The procedure uses Erbium doped solid-state laser to induce controlled scarring of the skin. As the skin heals, new cells are formed reducing dark pigmentation and damaged skin.
2) Non-ablative Laser Resurfacing
The next type of laser skin whitening is the non-ablative laser resurfacing procedures. Here, non-ablative lasers penetrate through the skin without damaging the top surface of the skin. The lasers curdle the affected skin tissue, while the outermost layer is kept intact, aiding faster recovery and healing. The downtime is minimal, but as opposed to ablative laser resurfacing, several treatments may be required in this case. Nonablative laser skin resurfacing include treatments such as Fraxel RE: store and Fraxel RE: pair.
3) Fractional Skin Resurfacing
The third type is the fractional skin resurfacing. This procedure utilizes the combination of non-ablative and ablative techniques which leads to a more efficient result, at the same time minimizing risk and aiding a faster recovery time. In this treatment, micro-beams of energy are directed to areas of affected tissues, all the way from the upper most layer through to the epidermis (underlying layers of the skin) below.
Both the non-ablative laser resurfacing and fractional resurfacing procedures are not as efficient as ablative laser resurfacing, but they still stimulate the body to replace affected tissues with new tissues, leading to the radiant and younger-looking skin.
4) IPL Laser Skin Resurfacing
The intense pulsed light or IPL laser is yet another laser used in skin resurfacing. The distinction from the other traditional forms of laser is that it uses multiple wavelengths of light to treat the skin. It has the added advantage of allowing the surgeon to alternate the laser’s wavelengths; thus it can be used on different skin types to treat different skin layers.
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