Cosmetic Lasers: An Overview

The word ‘laser’ conjures up very strong emotions in many of my patients: ranging from pure elation to extreme aversion. This comes from a lack of understanding of the very concept of laser, not to mention the fact that many have strong misconceptions about lasers.

Quite a few think they are a cure-all, while others tell stories of someone who was sidelined for weeks to nurse scarring from a laser blast.

What is LASER?

The truth is, Lasers are not at all that magical. They are, simply, machines which emit light.

The difference is that unlike conventional light sources, lasers emit intensely bright light of a fixed wavelength, which is in phase. (Think of a scenario where 3 children are on swings in a playground. If all of them are moving in tandem, they are in phase. If they way they move bears no relation to each other, they are out of phase).

By using different materials, the wavelength of the light emitted can be controlled. You have heard terms like Ruby Laser, Nd:Yag Laser, etc. These refer to the laser medium which is housed in the laser machine. They are the ones which determine the wavelength of the emitted light.

Now why is the wavelength important?

Different lasers target different skin component

Our skin has different components and each of these components absorb light in different ways with different wavelengths. By using different lasers and the appropriate settings, different structures in the skin can be targeted and selectively destroyed. One can target the melanin (pigmented component), the haemoglobin (in blood vessels), the hair follicles, or the water in the skin with different lasers.

With this simple yet important principle, lasers have become an important tool in cosmetic dermatology. Pigment Lasers target pigment in the skin to break down the melanin and lighten pigmentation. Similarly, vein removal lasers target the hemoglobin in the blood, to cause the veins to coagulate and be removed from the skin. Rejuvenation lasers target the water and collagen in the mid layer of the skin – the dermis – to induce new collagen formation.

It is important to remember, however, that lasers are not a cure all. Many a time, alternative treatment methods may actually be superior to lasers. You should consult your doctor for more information.

Common cosmetic uses for lasers today include:

Treatment of small blood vessels on the surface, such as spider veins

Treatment of birthmarks associated with abnormal blood vessel formation (e.g. port wine stains)

Treatment of pigmentation

Treatment of acne

Removal of tattoos

Hair reduction

Skin resurfacing for wrinkles, scars, and rejuvenation

Post treatment downtime

The downtime associated with each laser is also different. This can range from none (just mild redness of skin) with non-ablative lasers, to 4 weeks with ablative laser resurfacing. Scabbing and pinpoint bleeding of the skin sometimes occur with some laser treatments, and these usually resolve very soon after (less than a week). Newer fractional lasers, commonly used for treating acne scars, are in between – the downtime usually ranges from 1 to 2 weeks.

Treating Aging With Botox and Dysport

A very popular minimally-invasive treatment for facial wrinkles is the use of injectable neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport. Of course most people familiar with wrinkle treatments are knowledgeable about using these products around the eyes and forehead for softening wrinkles, but most people are unaware of some other places on the face and neck that are used with great success.

Before we go too far, it is important to note that these medicines (Botox and/or Dysport) work on “dynamic wrinkles” or those wrinkles that are present or made more apparent by muscle movement. They are not as effective in treating “static wrinkles” or those wrinkles present at rest with no movement, meaning if your wrinkle is not at least partially caused by overaggressive muscle movement, Botox and Dysport are likely not the best options for you.

Neck Bands – As we get older, a muscle in the neck known as the platysma muscle relaxes and becomes redundant. This can result in the sagging we see in a person’s neck as they age. By precisely paralyzing parts of this muscle, you can achieve a more youthful neck contour in as little as one treatment.

Corners of the Mouth – One sign of aging occurs around mouth, specifically the sagging we get around the corners of our lips. This usually happens without warning one day and gives a person a slightly tired and frowned appearance. Neuromodulators are injected into one of the muscles (the depressor anguli oris) that are used in frowning. By subtly paralyzing this muscle, the down-turned corners will often come up again – restoring a more rejuvenating appearance to the aging peri-oral area.

Bunny Lines – Have you ever noticed those horizontal lines that some people have over their nose? These lines are the result of an over active nasalis muscle, and are called “Bunny Lines” (after the motion a person might make to wiggle their nose like a bunny rabbit). In some people, this muscle is so active when they smile that it can cause deep wrinkles to develop over the bridge of their nose. The good news is that the injectable neuromodulators can help with those as well by decreasing this muscles ability to contract and cause those deep wrinkles on facial animation.

Chest Wrinkles – A benefit for the neuromodulators is for treating aging chest syndrome. While the neuromodulators do not change the problem related to the skin (hyperpigmentation, freckling, etc.), they have been shown to improve the appearance of the furrows caused by over-aggressive platysma muscle contraction.

Residual Facial Nerve Paralysis or Paresis – People inexplicable develop sudden facial nerve paralysis or paresis (weakness) on one side or, even, on both sides of their face; this is a conditioned known as Bell’s palsy. Fortunately, this paralysis or weakness is only temporary with most people achieving a full recovery in a few weeks to months. However, for a few unlucky people that facial nerve paralysis or weakness can be permanent. The result of this can be a significantly asymmetric face that is made even worse when that person tries to smile or communicate. Botox and/or Dysport can help by paralyzing some of the more overactive muscles on one or both sides of the face, resulting in a more balanced appearance of that person’s face at both rest and animation.

Why Mole Removal Is Sometimes Necessary

Once you notice a mole starts to change in size, color, and surface, plus causes you some itchiness or they bleed, it’s a big possibility that it is cancerous and you need mole removal surgery. It will be great if you visit a surgeon immediately so the mole can be removed in its early stage; thus avoiding further health problems. Moles are actually common thing seen on most humans, especially in face for they are clustered skin cells that grow in the body. Most of them are typically harmless and does not seek any medical treatment. But aside from causing health and skin disorders, these huge moles, especially those on the face, can also affect someone’s confidence; thus a cosmetic procedure is needed to instantly take them out from the skin.

There are two different types of moles and skin lesions namely: Nonmalignant and Cancerous lesions. These lesions are common in moles, which can come in a variety of color such as brown, tan, black or pink. They can also be either raised or flat on the skin. Once we start to age, we start to grow more moles in our body and face. The sizes of the moles get bigger and will appear to be like raised tiny brown pearls on the skin and will gradually gets larger as we get older.

The most usual kind of noncancerous skin conditions on moles are those that are pigmented flat brown or big moles. But if you are not comfortable having these skin lesions on your body or face, then you can decide to undergo a mole removal procedure. The ideal and simple means of getting rid of those unsightly moles is when they are still tiny.

Having cosmetic surgery to remove a mole or moles is commonly used these days. This surgical procedure will effectively eradicate any flat, tiny, new moles on your skin or body that you don’t wish to see anymore. A laser beam will be used by your surgeon to break apart the mole cells. The heat coming from the laser beam will be absorbed by the mole’s pigment cells, resulting for the cells to break down. Your body will then absorbed these cells on your healing course. Typically, 3 sessions will be needed to totally diminish the mole on your skin. Good news is that this cosmetic procedure is not painful at all and less scarring takes place.

Prior to undergoing any type of surgery or laser procedure to eradicate your mole, it’s best that you are aware of the process of how a mole is removed so you won’t have any regrets later on. It’s true that there are several procedures on eradicating a mole, yet it’s essential that you opt for the one you really need. A mole removal procedure can make you look neat by getting rid of those lesions and can even save you from future skin issues.

Alternatives to Liposuction – Cheaper, Quicker, Easier, and the Same Results!

If you desperately need fat reduction but can’t afford several thousands on liposuction, here’s some news.

You don’t need liposuction.

There are other methods of dissolving subcutaneous fat that are just as effective, easier on your wallet, and let you get back to work in days instead of weeks. Here is a quick look at the three most popular of these:

Lipodissolve. “Lipo” refers to fat tissue, and we all know what “dissolve” means. In Lipodissolve, a fat-dissolving chemical derived from soya oil is injected into the fat beneath the skin, mixed with vitamins and enzymes. This is a fairly quick process, taking 15 minutes to half an hour. It is also extremely precise, which makes it a great choice for touch-up or sculpting procedures.

Mesotherapy. Mesotherapy also involves injection of fat-dissolving chemicals under the skin, but this time the chemicals also include amino acids, medicinal and holistic compounds. The needles used in mesotherapy are very, very small, which minimize pain and lead to faster recovery. Mesotherapy, with different compounds, has also been used in skin treatments of different kinds. It is known to give quick results with minimal side-effects.

Thermage. This is the ideal liposuction alternative for needle-phobic people. In thermage, the fatty areas are exposed to certain frequencies of radiation, which heat up the skin and stimulate collagen production subcutaneously. Over a period of nearly six months, the treated skin continues to grow tighter, firmer and more youthful. Thermage, in fact, is the ideal procedure to tighten up loose skin as a result of excess weight loss.

While liposuction will set you back by at least two thousand dollars, procedures such as lipodissolve, thermage and mesotherapy will give the same results – especially for people who need fine sculpting – with a much less tangible dent in your wallet as well as your routine.

What’s Involved With Gynecomastia Surgery?

If you are like many men, you may only be too aware of the condition gynecomastia and if you are like many, it could well be ruining your confidence and your life. It can have damaging effects on the way a person feels or lives their lives as they are often too ashamed of the condition. An incredible fact is that about 40-60 % of men suffer from this condition and they have excess fat and tissue in one or both of their breasts.

What is involved with Gynecomastia Surgery?

The truth is that it may not be due to obesity, but it could be something that needs to be treated right away. Whatever the cause of the condition is, though, there are ways around it and one treatment available is to have surgery to remove the fat and the tissue of the breast.

The way that the tissue and fat is removed is through the use of liposuction and it will be performed under a general anaesthetic. A small incision would be made that goes around the nipple and across different points of the chest and a tube is used to suck the fatty tissue out. Also, if it is needed, glandular tissue is also removed from an incision in the nipple. The great news is that the stitches are dissolvable ones and they therefore do not need to be removed at all.

How long does it take to recover from the surgery?

Patients who receive the surgery can expect the operation to last anywhere from one to three hours. It varies with each person. The good news for most patients is that they can go home on the same day, but some patients may have to stay in longer, depending on the circumstances. You should recover within 2-3 weeks, but you need to relax until it is healed properly. This means that you should not do any vigorous activities that may aggravate it. Patients can resume exercise after about 6 weeks or so after the operation.

Can it come back if you have surgery and can you claim it on insurance?

The surgery is a good way to get rid of the excess glandular tissue and fat and can have great long-term results. However, if the man boobs were caused from being overweight, if you carry on as you did before, it could easily return.

The problem that Americans find is that this procedure is not covered by their insurance solely for the reason that it is considered as cosmetic surgery.

How will the patient feel after the surgery?

A patient will notice some bruising and swelling around the area that has been operated on, but you can wear a firm garment that should be worn for three weeks. Most of the swelling will have gone down by a few weeks, but it could take up to a couple of months to see the results of the breast reduction.

Gynecomastia surgery could well be the answer for your man boob problem when you have exhausted all natural means of ridding yourself of this condition.