Which lasers are right for me?
We all have wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, old scars from acne, or texture of the skin we want to correct. You think a laser treatment is right for me. YOU ARE RIGHT! Lasers are an amazing tool for anti-aging.
But it can be tricky to determine which technology is right for you. Good thing I am a laser expert and have 10 plus years of experience to guide you though the process. ????
What is a Laser?
If we get science-y for a minute the term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. To put it in more simple terms a laser is a source of high energy light that is transmitted into the skin.
To put it in even more simple terms it is bootcamp for your skin. Lasers use energy to create collegan and elastin. Technology has advanced and there any many different types of lasers on the market. Most lasers fall into 2 groups: ablative and non-ablative. If you are confused already, keep reading I promise it gets better.
An ablative laser is used to remove the outer layers of skin, so that your body can heal and create “new” skin. These lasers go deep into the skin for the most benefits. This means that they are a tad uncomfortable and may have a longer healing/recovery time. This also mean you will get the most bang for your buck in the sense that you typically only need 1 session and results are long lasting.
The most common type of ablative laser is the CO2 laser. CO2 lasers are the mac daddy of all lasers on the market. They have the highest intensity and are the most used for deeper wrinkles and texture to the skin.
This laser is not to be used by a novice. You want to make sure that you have a true medical professional with training specific for laser administering your treatment. Oh, and if you are thinking about trying an at home laser to get clinical results, the answer is NO.
Ablative CO2 lasers are done in the office. Side effects include swelling, dryness, scabbing, and redness. Depending on the type of laser used and the depth, the skin can take a few months for all the redness to subside. This is not a treatment that you can hide for the hubs or significant other and you may need a few days away from the office. The best news is that the results can last for years… like up to 5 years. The cost for these treatments’ ranges from $2500-$3500 depending on your area.
At Millefiori we are utilizing the CO2RE laser from Candela. This treatment can be customized for different results. Most common concerns treated are deep wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, texture, and overall discoloration.
Non-ablative lasers are the baby version of the ablative laser above. They still give great results, but they do not remove any skin in the process. This is a great treatment is you are looking for less downtime but are okay with doing multiple sessions.
Overall, there are fewer side effects and typically need a series of 3-6 treatments to see improvement in the skin. Even though there are visible results, some would say this type of laser is less effective than the ablative laser.
The treatment process with non-ablative lasers is very easy and done quickly in the office. Treatments are completed in less than 30 mins and can even be squeezed in on a lunch break. The skin is typically pink like a sunburn afterwards for a few hours to a few days. Since these treatments are less invasive, they typically cost less and can range $600-$1000 per session.
Non-ablative laser treatments will require more maintenance. After your initial series you will continue with touch up laser treatments and regular skincare with an esthetician to maintain your results. Benefits can still be lasting at 1-2 years.
Non-ablative laser or “lunch-time” lasers are great at addressing pigment, finer lines, overall clarity of the skin, and giving a refreshed glow to the face. At Millefiori use the Picosure Focus Laser treatment from Cynosure. This laser gives the amazing benefits to the skin with as little as 4 hours of downtime and redness.
So long story short, which laser is for you?
As you can see with the different technologies above there is no clear winner. Each patient has different needs and different expectations. Both treatments are a win in my book, and I love using both on a daily basis here at Millefiori. Seeing a medical professional with experience in laser is the first step to accessing your skin and developing a treatment plan.