If you're like most people, you prefer to put your best foot forward when it comes to your appearance. Fortunately, today's consumers have numerous options concerning making the most of their natural good looks. Thanks to modern technology, laser treatments are available that address a variety of cosmetic issues. Following are just four of the many ways that you can improve your appearance with the help of a doctor who is experienced in laser technology.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing helps reduce the appearance of acne scars and other discolorations as well as minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. This is a relatively painless process that is performed on an outpatient basis -- however, your physician may choose to use a local or general anesthesia to minimize discomfort, depending on whether or not you're having a full-face treatment or just spot treatments in problem areas. This technique removes several layers of skin using short laser pulses and can take from 45 minutes to two hours. After the treatment is over, your doctor will apply bandages to the treated area, which you will be required to leave in place for 24 hours.
Aftercare includes regular cleanings of the affected area as well as application of petroleum jelly to ensure that scabs don't form on the skin. Healing generally takes between 10-to-21 days.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser technology can also be used to brighten your smile. Although this is generally the most expensive way to whiten teeth, it provides dramatic results in a very short period of time, making it a good choice for those who want to give their appearance a quick upgrade. For instance, if you're going to be doing some serious job searching soon and are worried that your dingy, yellow teeth may be an obstacle, laser teeth whitening may be for you.
Laser teeth whitening treatment will take about an hour in your dentist's office. You should keep in mind that this procedure is not for everyone and that your dentist will need to perform a thorough exam in order to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for laser teeth whitening.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser technology is also used to remove unwanted hair from the face, legs, underarms, bikini line, and anywhere else where hair is not desired. It's usually used on coarse, dark hairs and generally takes from between three to seven individual sessions before permanent hair loss occurs.
Those who are planning on having this procedure performed should refrain from waxing, shaving, plucking, or otherwise removing the hair for at least six weeks before laser hair removal is scheduled. You should also plan to stay out of the sun as much as possible for six weeks leading up to the procedure and six weeks after it is performed.
The aftereffects of laser hair removal are minimal in most people. At most, the affected area will look and feel as if you've received a moderate sunburn. Your doctor may suggest applying cool compresses or using a moisturizing lotion designed to help reduce swelling and pain. After a day or so, however, your skin should be back to normal.
Laser Treatment for Acne
Those with persistent acne that has failed to respond to conventional treatment often get results from laser treatment for acne. This procedure takes about an hour and a half from start to finish, and you'll probably experience some redness and swelling that may last for several days after the treatment. Your doctor should perform a patch test prior to treating your entire face to ensure that the treatment won't produce harmful results.