There seems to be an appeal to using lasers for treatment. Are outcomes always better with lasers?
Dr. Kenkel Answers:
This is a great question and as a patient one has to understand that there is a lot of marketing surrounding the use of lasers for treatments. Physicians and Industry recognize that “laser” is a buzz word and is perceived as a “better” treatment by many patients. That is not always the case! One needs to do their homework to make sure a laser gives you the best chance for success.
Lasers are chosen based on the target tissue (chromophore – target color for the laser). Each laser has an ideal target and we make our decision on what type of laser based on this. What are the targets for a plastic surgery practice?
1 – RED– these lasers target blood vessels in our tissues and can be used to treat everything from blood vessels in the skin to rosacea
2 – PIGMENT – these lasers search for the darker color in our skin. They are used to treat sun damage, tattoos, some pigmented lesions and hair removal
3 – WATER – this is a broad category an really focuses on skin resurfacing and skin tightening procedures.
There is some overlapping of these targets so parameters need to be chosen to fit your individual needs.
It is important to make sure your physician is seeing you and determining what type of treatment is best for your scenario. They are ultimately responsible for your care and it is always best to see them first. Not everything needs a laser treatment and some things are better treated with other agents.
Check out before and after photos of laser treatments here!