As technology advances in the medical field, health care staff can use many treatments to assist their patients with their medical needs. You must understand the breakdown of cosmetic lasers used in a dermatology office to understand the benefits that dermatologists provide.
What Does a Dermatologist Do?
If someone experiences specific conditions that a primary care physician cannot diagnose or treat, the physician may refer the patient to a dermatologist.
A dermatologist specializes in skin, hair, and nail conditions. They can provide laser therapy, chemical peels, cosmetic injections, and more to treat specific concerns.
Dermatologists may treat the patient’s exam like any medical exam by performing a full-body check to determine the trouble areas. It’s important to note that these specialists are trained and certified to complete the laser treatments that many of their patients require.
How Do Cosmetic Lasers Work?
Cosmetic laser treatment may sound a bit abrasive, but this form of treatment can temporarily cure many conditions. Although laser treatment isn’t the first option that dermatologists may turn to, they find that lasers can offer a strong, promising remedy for many skin-related concerns.
In fact, the dermatologist will need to perform a complete analysis of the troubled area before offering the patient this option. However, there are key differences between the two main types of cosmetic lasers.
Non-Ablative vs. Ablative
Non-ablative laser treatment improves the cosmetic appearance of the skin. This type of laser is a great treatment option for patients looking to reduce wrinkles and minor scars or boost collagen production.
Collagen is the structural protein in the body that encourages the building blocks of the body’s tissue. Older patients may take advantage of this type of procedure, as collagen decreases with age.
In ablative laser treatment, the laser penetrates the outer layer of the skin tissue to heat the underlying tissue to destroy and rid the body of abnormal tissue. Dermatologists generally utilize this laser to treat many skin conditions.
Types of Lasers
While the type of laser that a dermatologist uses depends on what they aim to treat, they can choose from a few different options.
However, not every cosmetic laser is the same; thus, dermatologists must treat each type of laser differently. Patients enter a dermatology office for various reasons, so they should receive a treatment plan specific to their conditions.
This type of laser holds the remarkable ability to pinpoint the troubled skin tissue and effectively treat it.
Though it may sound a bit harsh, the Diolite® Laser is gentle because of its precision. This laser damages unwanted skin cells while avoiding healthy ones, making it the perfect treatment option for vascular or pigmented lesions.
For example, a dermatologist may recommend the Diolite® Laser if a patient wants to get rid of the freckles on their face.
Although this isn’t a “laser” treatment, it’s still a great option for treating many skin issues that patients see today.
ClearLight® Therapy is a light therapy that can assist in destroying bacteria within the skin tissue. For example, this treatment is great for someone hoping to clear facial acne.
Many patients consider this treatment option pain-free. However, a dermatologist may recommend certain hygiene tips or over-the-counter medication before resorting to this treatment.
Pulsed Laser Systems
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is one of the most popular cosmetic lasers that dermatologists use in their offices.
This type of laser can heat harmful cells by sending out several wavelengths of pulsating light. Pulsed laser systems can improve cosmetic concerns such as sunspots, spider veins, and hyperpigmentation.
What Conditions Lasers Can Treat
Although patients visit a dermatology office for many different skin concerns, dermatologists can address a few general concerns.
Keep in mind that laser treatment is a “quick” remedy for unwanted skin conditions. But the patient may need to undergo more than one session to achieve their desired results for even the most common cosmetic concerns.
Besides being a part of aging, exposure to UV (ultraviolet) light can cause wrinkles. UV light increases the speed at which natural aging occurs in the human body. This light breaks down the body’s connective tissues, such as collagen, and causes the skin the crease. Smoking also decreases the production of collagen, introducing more wrinkles to the skin.
Patients can naturally prevent the appearance of wrinkles by wearing sunscreen whenever they go outdoors—even on a cloudy day.
If a patient wants to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, laser treatment in a dermatology office may be the best option for them.
Acne can occur anywhere on the skin, including the face, back, and arms. The severity of this skin condition may rely on the patient’s genes, hormone balance, and diet.
Acne appears when the pores acquire bacteria and dead skin cells that get trapped underneath the skin. There are various types of acne, like whiteheads, blackheads, and more. Acne isn’t just for teenagers; anyone can develop acne at any age.
A patient suffering from acne may benefit from a laser treatment due to its ability to remove excess bacteria and oil from the clogged pores.
Many patients have grown wary of shaving their unwanted hair and now turn to laser treatment to semi-permanently or permanently remove their hair.
A dermatologist can help their patient with unwanted hair removal by utilizing lasers to damage the hair follicles in the skin, delaying or stopping future hair growth.
Following Safety Procedures
To properly administer laser treatment, the dermatologist must adhere to the correct safety procedures. This can include wearing PPE, such as a face mask, gloves, aprons, and eye protection.
Due to the high levels of light and radiation that may appear during a laser procedure, a dermatologist must utilize the correct eyewear that efficiently protects their eyes.
The dermatologist must also inform their staff not to enter the exam room to avoid indirect contact with the laser.
Additionally, to correctly utilize cosmetic laser equipment, the dermatologist must understand the risks and regulations involved in each procedure.
All medical professionals working with skin conditions must understand the breakdown of cosmetic lasers used in a dermatology office. There are many benefits of laser treatments; with the advancement of technology, we may see a cure for many more health conditions in the future.