Melissa Hu, MD
BOARD CERTIFIED FACIAL PLASTIC SURGEON
It's natural to take steps to look your best
Laser / Light Therapy
Lasers have a broad range of use depending on the type of laser used. The three broad uses of lasers on the face include: resurfacing, treatment of pigmentation, and hair removal.
Resurfacing: In the traditional sense, laser resurfacing involves removing the top layers of the skin to reveal a fresher, more supple, less damaged layer of skin. The two types of lasers used for resurfacing are CO2 and erbium. Depending on the depth of penetration, laser resurfacing can treat moderate to deep wrinkles, pigmented spots or skin blemishes, acne scars, and textural irregularities. If you have active acne, a darker skin complexion, or autoimmune disorders, you may not be the best candidate for laser resurfacing. Recovery generally involves swelling, redness, possible peeling and may take 1 to 2 weeks. It is important to tell your doctor if you use or have used acutain, tretinoin, aspirin, vitamin supplements, smoke or have a history of cold sores so that appropriate measures are taken before and after laser therapy to reduce your risks of complications.
Pigmentation: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is technically not a laser, but is often considered in the same category as lasers as it can treat many of the same disorders. IPL delivers high-powered, intense light to treat fine lines and moderate wrinkles, skin pigmentation, sun damaged skin, small veins, rosacea, melasma, and acne. In some situations, IPL can even be used for hair removal.
Hair Removal: Lasers with specific wavelengths that are absorbed by the melanin of hair follicles are used for hair removal. Because hair growth involves cycles of growth and dormancy, several sessions are needed to achieve complete hair removal, typically 6 to 8. You may experience 2 to 3 days of sensitivity, itching, swelling, or redness of the skin.