How Do Lasers Actually Work?

Cosmetic lasers have changed the way we treat wrinkles, fine lines, and other skin imperfections. They have also been incorporated into body contouring techniques to help break up fat, including some liposuction methods. Particularly at our practice in Louisville, laser hair removal remains one of the most common procedures we perform. Many people are aware of the procedure, but don’t know exactly how it works.

The word “laser” stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser light is different than other types of light, like a flashlight. Lasers contain one specific wavelength of light, or one color of light. Laser light is very concentrated and travels in one specific direction, allowing it to target a very focused area. There are many different types of lasers, each using different types of lasing material, with both ablative and non-ablative lasers used for cosmetic procedures.

Ablative lasers are used to treat/remove the surface of the skin and non-ablative lasers address the underlying layers of the skin without damaging the top layer. Further, there are many different types of wavelengths of lasers, allowing professionals to treat a variety of skin conditions including:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Pigmented lesions
  • Skin tightening
  • Tattoo removal
  • Hair removal
  • Acne and acne scars

What is your experience with cosmetic lasers? How have they helped improve your skin?

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