Laser Your Way To Perfect Skin
Health Today Malaysia|July 2019

Can you believe that zapping your skin with laser beams can vaporize some of your deepest insecurities? This technology has come a long way in the aesthetic industry. Laser therapy for the skin can be used to resurface acne scars, remove freckles and tattoos, lessen wrinkles and more.

Hannah May-lee Wong

HOW DOES IT WORK?

There are different types of lasers out there. Each laser machine emits lasers at a specific wavelength. By tweaking the wavelength of the laser, we can treat different skin conditions. We use carefully chosen wavelengths, pulse durations, and energy strength to target an area and minimize injury to the surrounding healthy skin. Generally, lasers can be used to improve acne scars, reduce pigmentation, wrinkles, blood capillaries, remove tattoos and rejuvenate the skin.

Laser machines work by emitting light of a single wavelength that is absorbed by target chromophores. In the beauty industry, lasers target chromophores (target cells) such as tattoo pigments, melanin, hemoglobin, and water. What happens is that certain light waves would target broken capillaries and vessels, while others target dark spots and pigments. When light energy is absorbed by these targets, the vessels or pigments would break down and get swept away by white blood cells or macrophages in the body. In other words, after being zapped by lasers, these imperfections will disappear or fade.

Some lasers are used for rejuvenation. In these cases, the energy from the laser is absorbed deep within the skin and creates a “controlled injury”. This process would stimulate the inner layers of the skin to produce more collagen. As a result, fine lines would appear less visible and the skin would look firmer.

However, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment. The intensity of each laser therapy depends on what the patient hopes to target, skin type, the age of the skin and the gender of the patient. For example, the skin of a 60-year-old gentleman would be thicker and rougher compared to that of a 20-year-old lady. Hence, the settings of the machine used during each treatment need to be carefully tuned by the doctor to achieve the best possible results.

With more technological innovation, newer machines now provide faster results, are safer for use and have less risk of complications.

WHAT ARE ABLATIVE AND NON-ABLATIVE LASERS?

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