When you are considering laser treatment, it is important for you, your clinician and your body to be on the same wavelength, so to speak. That is because lasers use specific light wavelengths to perform certain skincare functions. Understanding how wavelengths relate to your laser treatment is essential if you want to choose the right method of laser skincare.
Some Laser Wavelengths Are Stronger Than Others
The first thing to know about laser light wavelengths is that some are stronger than others. Each emits a certain amount of heat as well. As a result, some lasers are designed for surface treatment, while others are better at deep tissue penetration. Although there are some that can technically perform both functions as well, depending on how they are used.
In general, ablative lasers are the strongest and most effective at performing quick surface treatments. Ablative lasers vaporize skin cells, but only the skin cells that are targeted. Typically, those are dead or already damaged sells. That is why laser aesthetic equipment of that sort is often used to perform laser skin peels.
The Equally Useful Non-Ablative Lasers
Ablative lasers are designed to remove damaged skin and sometimes other debris. Non-ablative lasers serve the differing purpose of simply treating the skin. The non-ablative laser can do that by causing slight damage to the skin cells in a controlled way. Such treatment helps to encourage the body to start the process of repairing itself. One of the biggest benefits of a non-ablative laser in that respect is it helps to maximize collagen production and productivity within your body.
Pulsed Laser Treatments Versus Standard Laser Treatments
Another differentiation you must understand is how standard laser treatment compares to pulsed laser treatment. Laser pulses are often capable of providing a high degree of treatment accuracy with less downtime then you may have after certain traditional laser procedures.
Laser pulse treatments, especially those done with CO2 laser devices, are quite effective. In fact, by having such a treatment, you may reduce your recovery time by up to a few days compared to the recovery time after a comparable non-pulsed treatment. If you have concerns about missing too much work for cosmetic skin treatment, that is a major bonus.
Old CO2 Laser Technology Versus New
If you do choose to have a CO2 laser treatment, be aware the technology has advanced significantly in recent years. In the early days of CO2 laser treatments, there was much less customization available. Today, pulsed treatment options provide shorter downtime and fewer risks. Other types of customization, such as the ability to use multiple handpieces, also helps to streamline the process. With such technology, your clinician can use the exact tool necessary to treat your skin.
Ablative Erbium Laser Treatment for Your Skin
Another choice you have for skin treatment is an ablative erbium laser procedure. The wavelengths used by erbium lasers are similar to those of CO2 lasers in the respect that they target the water molecules in your body. However, erbium lasers do not penetrate into your skin as easily as CO2 lasers. Therefore, more heat is necessary and recovery time can be longer after treatment.
Long-Term Laser Treatment Results May Vary
No matter which laser treatment you choose, your long term results are not totally predictable. No two patients or processes are alike. However, there are some things you can infer based on past known results from certain treatments. For example, erbium lasers tend to provide temporary results.
CO2 lasers, on the other hand, are designed to assist you on long-term bases. They can actually strengthen your skin so it looks better, even a few years down the line. Even with such knowledge, you must understand your skin type, thickness, and particular complaints will always impact the short and long-term results of any laser treatment.