Here, another piece that you should read if you’re thinking of getting yourself a cosmetic laser treatment. With different lasers created for very specific needs, it can be daunting to choose which treatment is right for your skin, especially if you have at least three skin woes to start! So put your panic at ease and read on these terms to you equipped.
Back to the basic, the first thing to understand the big gun (we’re talking about laser here, a short acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is the most basic equipment, works by emitting high energy light at certain wavelength (depending on the purpose) with even certain colours. And the light emitted can be a straight beam or pulsed.
If your doctor examines your skin and starts saying photo ageing, not to worry as it’s not a new damaged you inflicted, as it’s the same meaning as sun damage. It’s a term to describe the after effects of your skin (namely, ageing signs) due to UV rays.
One of the popular laser treatments for few years, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is not really a laser but a light-based skin treatment which also works in similar way a laser would. IPL works by emitting short bursts of intense light (with different pulse length is used for certain conditions such as long pulse or Q-switched) to selectively kill cells, hair roots, and broken capillaries to trigger skin healing mechanism. Example of a pulsed laser is Vbeam,
As opposite of IPL, continuous wave laser treatment is simply a laser beam emitting rays of light constantly, though the treatment is not frequently used as other laser technology produces the same result with less downtime unlike a continuous wave laser would.
Ablative laser treatment is the first kind of laser used in skin resurfacing (that is, revealing the youthful skin underneath – call it an upgraded version of chemical peels) while its twin sister, the non-ablative penetrates deeper into the skin for certain skin conditions that don’t require you to break the outmost layer (simply put, they stay intact). Examples of ablative laser are argon, carbon dioxide gases, and erbium while a non-ablative example is Fraxel.
Fractional beam is simply the opposite of your average laser treatment – instead of emitting one single shot; you’ll have a split of hundreds of smaller and narrow beams, penetrating your skin more spread-like for a maximum benefit with minimum downtime.
The first equipment to use this method is Fraxel and it’s wise to remember, nearly all solid beam lasers can be fractioned, with a little bit of adjustment. If you see a term ‘pixel laser’ it means that machine laser beam that can be fractionated.
Trust me, these terms can give you a head start to know what kind of laser treatment your skin needs and to help you narrow down the choices available out there.