When creams aren’t enough
Good quality creams combined with an appropriate skincare routine make your skin radiant, smooth, strong and healthy. It can even help prevent ageing. This is pretty impressive, however, in my experience, this still isn’t enough for most women and men! If you really want to make those wrinkles, sagging skin, unattractive veins, scars or pigmentation spots disappear , then you will need to bring out the heavier guns. Lots of people presume that very expensive treatments are necessary, but fortunately this isn’t usually the case. One of my favourite treatments is the laser treatment for couperose. The capillaries are erased with the help of an effective laser and one of the great thing about it is that you look absolutely fine straight after the treatment. As I receive lots of questions about laser treatments , I have asked Annelijn van Ierland (between you and me; one of the best Skin Therapists in Holland…:-)!) to write a piece on this subject for me. If I’ve roused your interest, then have a look at her own blog.
Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology
Over to Annelijn
How a laser can help improve skin
I felt honoured when Jetske asked me to write a piece for her blog about skin rejuvenation and laser treatment possibilities.
The last few years has seen much development in the field of medical cosmetic treatments, particularly non surgical treatments. As a skin therapist, I focus on skin rejuvenating treatments which require little , or rather, no recovery time. These are laser, light and radiofrequency treatments and peels.
Types of lasers
Lasers use a specific wavelength of light and target a particular component in the skin. So there are lasers targeting pigment to reduce hair growth or eliminate pigmentation spots. There are also lasers which target haemoglobin, water or collagen production in the skin.
The Nd: YAG laser (1064nm) is a good option for improving the skin’s condition. This laser penetrates deeply into the skin and can, in a safe and controlled way, stimulate the production of collagen which gives the skin more elasticity. This process takes place in the dermis, which lies beneath the epidermis (the uppermost skin layer ). Treatment using this laser will not damage the epidermis and is suitable for all skin types.
People showing the first signs of ageing have clearly noticeable results after this treatment, but it is also suitable for keeping skin in good condition and for preventing ageing. The Nd: YAG laser can improve the structure and tone of the skin, but cannot remove deep wrinkles or lines (abstract).
More intensive lasers are the Erbium:YAG and the CO2 laser which are absorbed by water in the skin. These lasers are used for, among other things, reducing wrinkles and acne scarring. Nowadays, fractional lasers are used. The laser is divided up into very tiny laser lights which allow the healthy skin in between to remain intact. This has made the recovery time faster and the risk of side effects much lower.
Veins and hair
Visible veins on the face is one of the most common reasons for treatment using lasers. Lasers with a wavelength of 532 nm (KTP laser) or 1064 nm (Nd YAG laser) have a high absorption capacity targeted on haemoglobin. The laser light is absorbed by the blood within the blood vessels and there it is converted into heat thereby causing damage to the blood vessel. The blood vessel is further broken down by the body which then disposes of it.
There are many different devices on the market for reducing unwanted hair growth; the Alexandrite laser with a wavelength of 755 nm, the diode laser (800nm), the Nd:YAG laser (1064nm) and light devices with a wavelength of 590-1200 nm. Hair removal using laser or light is based on selective photothermolysis. The pigment, which should be present in sufficient quantities in the hair follicle, absorbs heat and causes the hair follicle to become detached.
The light or IPL device is another instrument used for various conditions. In contrast to lasers, IPL systems work with light bulbs which emit light ranging from visible to infrared (500-1300 nanometres). With the help of special filters, the light emitted from the light bulb can be used for such purposes as hair removal, treating pigmentation spots and diminishing veins/ general redness of the skin. This is less specific than lasers which have the very precise laser light.