Unwanted hair on the face and body is one of the commonest problems and can be a question of distress for men and women, both. Waxing, shaving or tweezing, etc. are some of the types of treatments that can help in removing unwanted hair on a temporary basis. However, if you are not happy with these, it may be worth to consider the option of laser hair removal.
When can you think of considering laser hair removal?
Excessive hair growth can be classified into the following two conditions:
Hirsutism – In this condition, there occurs excessive growth of hair in women, but in a male pattern – such as the moustache, beard or in lower abdominal area. The excessive hair growth may be due to hormonal imbalance, tumors or heredity.
Hypertrichosis – This condition is characterized by excessive growth of hair on body in a normal or abnormal pattern. The cause of which may be malnutrition, hormone imbalance, metabolic problems or tumours, medications.
Preparing for a laser hair removal:
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure which requires training and skill to perform and has probable side-effects. Before deciding on to getting laser hair removal, you must check the credentials of the Dermato-surgeon who is going to perform the procedure, carefully.
Six weeks before the procedure, you ought to restrict waxing, plucking, and electrolysis. This is because, the laser aims at the roots of the hair, which are temporarily removed by plucking or waxing.
Exposure to sun should be strictly avoided six weeks per and post the treatment. Laser hair removal may become less effective if you get exposed to sun and it may make the complications post treatment more likely.
How does the Laser technology work?
Lasers effectively treat bigger areas of unwanted hair with minimal discomfort to the patient and lesser complications as compared to other methods of hair reduction.
More lasers are furnished with a cooling device that helps to reduce discomfort and protects the topmost layer of skin from getting overheated and probable changes in pigmentation.
Types of Lasers used:
1) Lasers such as the Ruby, alexandrite, diode and intense pulsed light are used for hair removal treatments.
2) Generally lasers work best with light skin and dark haired individuals, since the light emitted is not well absorbed by dark pigments in the surrounding skin. However, laser devices with longer wavelengths, viz. Nd:YAG lasers, treat darker skin complexions.
Awful-looking scars and stretch marks, or striae, have been a cause of worry for men and women for decades. Scars and stretch marks are generally thought to be disfiguring, unsightly and unacceptable by many individuals.
Scars are formed when multiple layers of skin are injured. They are a part of body’s healing process. The injury may be the result of surgery, burn, accident, etc.
Laser Treatment for Scar Removal
The exact reason for stretch marks is not yet known. However, it is said that these are formed due to breakage of collagen and elastic fibres. The main causes responsible for stretch marks are pregnancy, weight change, and body building. The area’s that are most likely to get affected are – abdomen, thighs, groin, breasts, or buttocks. At first, stretch marks appear red. As healing occurs, these turn white. Stretch marks are manageable with laser treatment when they are red.
Following are the non-surgical treatment options for Scars:
o Use of over-the-counter or prescription gels, lotions, ointments
Fractional CO2 laser therapy or Photo-rejuvenation therapy: It is an Ablative Skin Resurfacing Rejuvenation Treatment. The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser strategy directs quick, concentrated pulsating beams of light at the skin, which causes to get rid of skin layer by layer. This popular treatment is additionally known as lasabrasion, laser peel, or laser vaporization. Laser resurfacing is a method utilized during laser surgery wherein the molecular bonds inside the epidermis are disassociated by laser. This managed harm to the epidermis (epidermis damage) stimulates the skin repair cells, which in turn create collagen (the fundamental building block of epidermis). Additionally, the trivial levels of epidermis are peeled down using the CO2 laser & more recent layers of skin are revealed.
9. LASER TREATMENT FOR BIRTHMARKS:
Birthmarks are a benign irregularity on the skin that are present at the time of birth or appear shortly after birth, generally in the first month. They are caused as a result of overgrowth of melanocytes, fat, smooth muscle, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, blood vessels. They can appear anywhere on the skin.
Pigmented: The sub-types include
o Mole (congenital melanocytic nevus) – It may appear as light brown in individuals having fair skin, and almost black in dark-skinned people. These may be irregular in shape, flat or elevated and lumpy in feel and appearance.
o Cafe au lait spot – These appear in form of macules and are oval in shape and milk coffee or light brown in colour. If an individual has four or more such spots on their body, it may indicate to be a case of neurofibromatosis.
o Mongolian spot – It is a benign congenital flat birthmark which is blue in colour and generally commonly seen in East Asians and Turks.
Vascular: The sub-types include
o Stork bite – It is also known as “angel’s kiss” or “salmon patch”, appears as a tanned or pink, irregularly shaped, flat mark on the back of the neck, knee, eyelids, forehead or the upper lip. Almost 50% of the babies have this birthmark.
o Strawberry hemangioma – It is a benign growth (tumor or swelling) of endothelial cells and most common during infancy. It generally occurs during the first few weeks of life and subsides by the age of 10 years.
o Port-wine stain (Nevus flammeus) – At times, mistaken for strawberry marks occur at birth and are pale pink to deep wine red in colour. These are caused by absence or deficiency in the nerve supply to blood vessels and are irregular in appearance. With time, they may become thickened and develop small bumps, and do not fad with age. Often times, port wine stains may have social or emotional consequences.
Majority of the birthmarks do not require treatment as they are harmless. The pigmented ones can resolve on their own over a period of time. However, vascular ones may need removal or reduction for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons.
Following are the non-surgical treatment options available:
Corticosteroid injections – taken orally or inserted directly into the mark.
Interferon alfa-12 – Used when the corticosteroid injections fail to show any result.
Laser treatment – Port wine stains are treated after using pulsed-dye laser. Generally, laser treatment is commenced in infancy when the stains and blood vessels are tiny. Marks that appear on the neck and head response best to laser treatment. Special opaque make-up can also conceal port-wine stains.
Laser Treatment for Port wine stain removal
10. LASER TREATMENT FOR PSORIASIS & VITILIGO:
Psoriasis is a chronic (long term) skin condition that causes rapid growth of skin cells, resulting in formation of white, silvery, or red, thick patches on the skin. Psoriasis can be treated with a combination of Psoralen and Phototherapy (PUVA), narrow band UVB, antimetabolites like methotrexate, retinoids like acitretin, and the latest biologicals.
Eximer Laser is one of the latest treatment options for treating Psoriasis. It delivers a single wavelength of light which targets specific immune cells and arrests the inflammatory cascade leading to rapid skin improvement. It can be used for localised types of psoriasis where the number of patches on the skin are limited. Results are visible in as early as 10 sessions and it can be combined with medical treatment simultaneously. Though it is expensive, it is not messy like many other treatments, free of side effects and rapid.
Vitiligo is a skin condition which results in loss of skin colour in patches, which is because of non-functional melanocytes. Eximer Laser is the latest and one of the best choices when small area is involved and can give desired outcomes. Multiple sessions of treatment are needed to obtain the desired outcomes depending on the size of the patch. It can also be combined with other medications to achieve faster results.
In summary, everybody wishes to look young and fresh. In today’s busy lifestyle, as a result of undue work stress, habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, etc., people have started looking elder than their actual age. All these factors are affecting the skin to a great extent, in a negative way. As a result of which almost everyone is resorting to cosmetic skin treatments in an attempt to look young and fresh. But the bottom-line is that, before choosing a cosmetic treatment it is extremely important to consult appropriate Cosmetic Dermato-surgeon who is skilled in that particular field. It is the matter of your skin, after all.
Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a top/ Best dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Laser Skin Expert Doctor, currently based in Mumbai, India. She has won many awards as the Best Dermatologist in India, Top 10 Skin Doctor in India, etc. She specializes in all skin diseases & conditions and given her training as a dermato-surgeon, provides non surgical liposuction surgery, laser lipo & lipoplasty etc for weight reduction & cellulite reduction. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is trained at the iconic National Skin Centre, Singapore and completed her Fellowship in Cosmetic Dermatology & Lasers at the world renowned Stanford University, USA.
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