The Laser Skin Tightening Procedure
Laser skin tightening is an FDA approved method for the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. While laser skin tightening results may not be as dramatic as those of a face lift, patients enjoy moderate results with no downtime. An added benefit of laser skin tightening is that it is safe and effective for restoring a more firm, youthful appearance to skin all over the body. Read on to learn more about the benefits of laser skin tightening treatment.
How Does Laser Skin Tightening Work?
Laser skin tightening uses infrared and radioactive energy to heat the lower levels of the skin, known as the dermis. The heat causes the soft tissues of the dermis to coagulate, which lends a more plump and youthful appearance to the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. While the deeper layers of the skin are heated, the outer layer of skin, or the epidermis, is simultaneously cooled, ensuring that the skin is not burned and that the patient remains comfortable for the duration of his or her laser skin tightening treatment.
Skin tightening treatment also encourages the growth of new collagen in the treated areas and promotes the absorption of more collagen from surrounding, untreated areas. With the regeneration of natural collagen, laser skin tightening patients immediately begin to notice smoother, softer skin and a more youthful appearance. The effects continue to improve over the next few months following laser skin tightening treatment, as the skin’s natural stores of collagen are gradually replenished.
What to Expect During a Laser Skin Tightening Session
Before a skin tightening treatment session, it is important for a patient to remove all make-up, oils, sunscreens, and any other substances that may be on the skin. Then, the laser skin tightening practitioner will apply a topical anesthetic cream to the area to be treated and supply the patient with protective eyewear. Because of the non-ablative nature of laser skin tightening treatment, no further anesthetic should be needed, though patients who have a particularly low tolerance for discomfort may wish to take an over-the-counter pain medication prior to treatment.
Laser skin tightening takes place in the office of a cosmetic dermatologist or other highly trained skincare professional. During a laser skin tightening treatment session, the practitioner uses a handpiece to apply brief pulses of laser energy to the skin. A continuous burst of cool air from the laser will ensure the patients’ comfort. Most laser skin tightening systems require the practitioner to go over the treatment area three times for optimal results. Sessions normally last from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the size and location of the area to be treated.
After a laser skin tightening treatment, patients are able to return immediately to work or other regular activities. Side effects are minimal, and may include a warm sensation to the skin, redness, or minor swelling. Side effects of a skin tightening treatment usually resolve themselves naturally within a few hours.
Is Skin Tightening Treatment Painful?
Laser skin tightening treatment should not be painful. Before treatment, the practitioner will smooth an anesthetic cream over the area to be affected in order to minimize the risk of any discomfort for the patient. Most patients who undergo skin tightening treatment experience only minor discomfort in the form of a heating sensation. This is usually eased by the regular cooling blasts of air produced by the laser skin tightening handpiece, which increases patient comfort and prevents the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, from burning. It is also fairly common for patients to experience a mild stinging sensation from the laser, which is most commonly compared to the sensation of a rubber band being snapped against the skin. Any discomfort encountered by patients during a laser skin tightening session should resolve itself within minutes of the treatment session, though patients may feel some warmth in the treated skin for up to 48 hours after treatment.
Locate a Physician in Your Area
Many patients are excited to learn that laser skin tightening treatment could help them take years off their appearance, and the procedure requires no downtime. If you have questions about laser skin tightening and would like to find out if you can achieve more toned, firm, and youthful looking skin with a skin tightening treatment, use the DocShop directory to locate a cosmetic dermatologist near you.