Having been involved with the development of lasers continually since 1978 in San Diego, I have seen this field explode and remain amazed at the ongoing development of new devices that give us even more capability to treat a variety of conditions safely and effectively.
The primary advantage of a laser treatment is that it provides the opportunity to precisely target a structure in the skin, while sparing the tissue surrounding the target. For example, when lasers are used in treating red blood vessels (common on the nose, cheeks and chin), a precise wavelength is chosen that is preferentially absorbed by the red blood cells, and not the tissue surrounding them. When the laser energy is absorbed by the red blood cells, heat is created that basically cauterizes the blood vessel from the inside. By controlling the laser settings we can make that energy confirmed to the blood vessel and not the affecting them tissue of the surface of the skin or the tissue around the blood vessels. This results in a very effective treatment to eliminate unwanted blood vessels with minimal downtime.
So in the same manner, brown and black spots can be selectively targeted whether they are on the surface of the skin or underneath the surface. Tattoos of virtually any color can be targeted selectively as well.
Lasers have also been used extensively to rejuvenate aged or sun damaged skin resulting in tightening of skin, improvement in the wrinkle lines, texture and color of the skin. This is commonly done with what is called “fractional” lasers. These lasers deliver their energy in tiny spots about the diameter of a hair. We can control the number of spots, how deep they go, and how intensely the laser spots react with the skin. The first laser with this incredible technology are marketed under the brand name “Fraxel,” but today there are many competitors- some roughly equivalent, some less effective, but in my personal opinion none superior! To learn more about Fraxel laser technology, visit bcm.edu
Using this technology we can customize treatment so that there is very minimal downtime using a series of treatments or maximal improvement in a single session with downtime for healing.
We usually combine several lasers in one session. This is necessary because of the precision of each laser. Trying to make one laser do all the work results in much more non-specific tissue damage because you then lose the precise targeting that is so valuable. That is the reason we have so many lasers in our practice, 45 to be exact, unlike any other practice in San Diego and Southern California!
Next, learn about How Laser Treatment can Help Reduce Facial Veins.