One thing every person has in common is skin. As we age, our skin tends to deteriorate in various ways. It might start to show fine lines or wrinkles. It might develop sun spots or sags. Or it could even become thinner and more easily damaged.
When you start seeing signs of skin problems, your natural reaction might be to try to stop or reverse them. The question is how should you do that? Should you try clinical laser procedures? What about other clinical or at-home methods? Below is a brief comparison of several skin treatment options to help you make up your mind.
Using Lasers to Reclaim Healthier Skin
A top way to treat skin issues is with lasers. One reason is convenience. Since the average laser treatment takes less than an hour and requires little preparation or recovery, you can fit it into even the busiest schedule. Another reason for the popularity of medical lasers to treat skin problems is they are versatile. There are laser procedures for treating pigmentation (color) issues, lines, wrinkles and several other skin problems.
When selecting a laser treatment, you also have several options. For example, you can opt to treat the surface of your skin and layers close to the surface with an ablative laser. An ablative laser is quite strong and can provide quick visible results. However, it is also the type of laser with the most potential side effects, including a risk of skin infections if aftercare instructions are not followed carefully.
Non-ablative lasers or a fractional photothermolysis (FP) lasers could be more beneficial to you if you are just trying to generally revitalize your skin. A traditional non-ablative laser bypasses your outer layer of skin and instead encourages deep tissue healing that eventually causes your skin to appear healthier, in general. An FP laser is a relatively new type of laser device. It uses a different type of laser light to treat large areas of skin. It also “drills” microscopically down through many layers of skin, creating widespread healing by making your body increase its production of collagen.
When Surgically Achieving Healthier Skin is Better Than Having Laser Treatment
Laser treatment would be the only treatment anyone ever chose, if it worked all the time. However, laser procedures have several limitations. For example, they can help tighten your skin but only to a certain point. That is why lasers are predominantly used to treat moderate skin conditions. Severe skin sagging cannot be easily reversed with lasers. If your skin is sagging severely, the best way to restore it to a healthier state is to have surgery.
Other Clinical Means of Treating Your Skin
Of course, surgery and laser procedures are not the only medical solutions for skin problems, especially those that manifest themselves on the surface of your skin. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are also clinical options to consider. Both treat the surface of your skin by removing dead skin and any substances clogging your pores. Chemical peels can also treat deeper layers of skin, in some cases. The types of chemicals used influence how strong the peels are and how many skin layers they treat.
Choosing Between Lasers and Other Skin Treatments
When choosing between lasers and other skin treatments, start by having a consultation with a clinician or dermatologist. A professional can help you decide the types of skin treatments likely to work best for you. Once you have that short list, you can narrow the results further. Ultimately, you must base the decision on your skin type, budget and potential side effects of the procedures. You should also consider your short-term and long-term skin health goals.