The term LASER stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The medical laser is a strong and very intense ray of light that is used to cut, burn or destroy unwanted tissue and cells. The laser can be very finely focused so that it works on only that part of the body that requires the laser treatment, leaving adjoining areas unaffected. The use of lasers has resulted in a revolution in a wide range of medical treatments and procedures.
The laser light does not pose any health risk to the patient. Not only can it replace traditional surgical and other treatment protocols, but the recovery time for laser treatments is also usually more rapid than with other forms of treatment. There are many types of lasers, each designed for a specific medical purpose. Besides being very versatile in treating a wide range of skin conditions, lasers therapy can be combined, if required, with other treatment options. Lasers also have the advantage that they can be used on all types of skin. Among the many skin conditions that lasers can treat are:
- Uneven pigmentation
- Red and brown spots
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- Skin laxity
- Spider veins
- Hair removal
Laser Skin LighteningDark skin is a common problem for both men and women. Both genetics and environmental factors influence the development of dark skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives colour to the skin, eyes and hair. When it is overproduced in some parts of the skin, dark patches result.
Laser skin lightening works by using the concentrated beam of light to remove the layers of dark skin. The laser creates heat under the skin surface that is absorbed and then destroys the dark spots or areas, leaving the skin lighter and refreshed. Laser skin lightening has several advantages over other treatments because it is:
- Does not take much time to complete a sitting
- Done as an outpatient procedure
- Can be combined, if required, with other procedures
Several sitting may be required, depending on the extent of the dark spots or patches and the amount of pigmentation involved.
Not everyone is a candidate for laser skin whitening. Your doctor will examine you and based on the results, will decide on the best course of treatment.
Laser Hair Removal
Unwanted hair is a problem faced by both men and women. While not something that affects health, it can be a cause for discomfort and social embarrassment. This can result in damaging professional or social interactions and being a stumbling block for personal relationships. In the past shaving, tweezing and waxing were the only ways to deal with unwanted hair. The results were often painful, incomplete and short-lived. Laser hair removal is an effective way to deal with the problem without the limitations of traditional methods. The benefits of laser hair removal include:
- Precise focusing on the patches of unwanted hair while not affecting the surrounding areas.
- Lasers act fast. Each pulse of light lasts for only a millisecond but that is long enough to destroy a large volume of hair roots.
- The delicate parts of the body can be easily and safely treated
- The results are typically permanent. The number of treatments required to achieve permanent removal will vary, but on an average it is 3 to 7 sittings.
The treatment is an outpatient one so there is no stay at the hospital after treatment is completed. If there is any discomfort after the treatment, you will be given creams or lotions to ease any short-term discomfort you may feel.
Laser hair removal has seen a huge surge in popularity across the world because of the speed, convenience, safety and excellent results it produces.
Removal of Tattoos
Tattoo removal is another very popular and effective use of medical lasers. Because tattoos are created by the insertion of permanent ink under the skin surface, in the past removing them was a surgical procedure that was slow, painful, often incomplete and often resulted in unpleasant side effects. The recovery time from the procedure was also long. The use of lasers has dramatically changed this.
The high-intensity beam of light that is a laser is focused under the skin where the tattoo is. The powerful light breaks up the pigments that create the colours. Each colour responds to s specific laser frequency, so the larger the number of colours in a tattoo, the more time and settings that will be required to achieve complete removal. Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths so that is the easiest colour to remove.
The process will begin with a visit to the doctor who will examine you and the tattoo to determine your suitability for laser treatment. The number of sittings required will depend on the size of the tattoo and the number of colours it has. The tattoo should become progressively lighter after each treatment. The treatment is an outpatient one so there is no hospital stay involved. There is also little or no discomfort from the treatment and if there should be any you will be prescribed creams or ointments to soothe the skin.