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Add Laser Treatments to Your List of Fall Favorites

When you hear the word “fall” you might picture pumpkins, sweaters, or football – but probably not lasers!

“Once the summer sun has faded a bit, fall can be a great time for laser and energy-based treatments,” says Jaqueline Calkin, MD of Calkin & Boudreaux Dermatology Associates, part of the Golden State Dermatology Network. “After summer is over, most people know they won’t be outdoors as much, so it’s a good time to schedule laser treatments.” In order for laser treatments to work best, the skin should have no tan left form summer’s outdoor activities – even if you’ve been doing your best with sunscreen and shade. After a laser treatment skin is more vulnerable to sun damage for up to three months.

What can lasers do for you? The list of benefits is long and getting longer.

“We’re continually making progress with lasers and energy-based devices,” says Dr. Calkin. “We can achieve better results without as much downtime or risk. Lasers can also remove pre-cancerous lesions, unwanted hair, and tattoos, and rejuvenate aging skin – they’re quite versatile as a category of medical technology.”

You’ll also want to undergo laser therapy when your calendar is open. Some treatments require multiple visits, and some may leave you a little swollen or with redder skin than usual. Pick a time of year when you have availability, both for visits to the clinic as well as some rest and social downtime.


The Many Benefits of Lasers

Lasers can do everything from treating birthmarks and redness to reducing wrinkles and firming the skin. The first step is to talk with a board-certified dermatologist and see what’s best for your specific concern and your skin, as well as any other health conditions.

Here’s a quick overview to give you an idea of the range of therapies available:

Concern

Laser Options

Procedure Notes

Excess hair

Laser Hair Removal. This kind of laser is one you’re probably most familiar with. It’s best not to be tan for this treatment, too, although the kind of laser Golden State Dermatology uses is highly effective, even on darker skin.

·       30 minutes/session

·       Multiple sessions

·       Minor side effects

·       No downtime

Redness, dilated capillaries, uneven skin tone

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL FotoFacial) treatment delivers gentle pulses of light to reduce facial redness, uneven skin tone, and irregular, mottled pigmentation, as well as shrinking dilated capillaries.

·       30 minutes/session

·       Multiple sessions at 3–4-week intervals

·       Minor side effects

·       Modest downtime

 

Wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, pigmentation, tattoo removal

PicoSure is a different kind of laser that doesn’t rely just on heat. It delivers energy in trillionths of a second to shatter the particles that make up the pigment – without harming the nearby tissue. It also converts laser energy into gentle pressure that activates the skin cells to create new collagen and elastin.

·       10 minutes/session

·       Number of sessions depends on what is being treated (lesions, tattoos, redness, etc.)

·       Recovery time and side effects also depends on the health issue being addressed

Wrinkles, sun damage

The Fraxel Dual laser fits into the category of superficial Thulium laser treatments. It delivers a series of microscopic laser beams to the skin to stimulate new collagen formation. It’s a versatile technology that can work for many different skin types and on any part of the body.

·       30 minutes/session

·       2-3 sessions

·       Minimal downtime

·       Minimal side effects

Aging skin concerns

Clear + Brilliant laser skin treatments are considered “intelligent” lasers, meaning the tool has a built-in capability to pinpoint where energy is needed (where aging has had the strongest effect) to stimulate collagen production.

·       30 minutes/session

·       No downtime

·       Minimal peeling

·       Number of treatments varies

“We have multiple options across California within our Golden State Dermatology Network,” says Dr. Calkin. “Lasers are powerful tools that can deliver significant results, but as with any medical procedure, you’ll want an in-depth consultation to find the best option for you, your goals, and your lifestyle.”

Along with that pumpkin spice latte, consider adding laser treatments to your fall routine, and look forward to healthier skin!

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