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How do facial laser treatments affect tissue?

Will laser treatment on my face leave any visible hint that I had laser treatment done? I'm scared it will leave some brighter regions on my face that would show I had some work done. Would there be any such skin lightening or darkening or any other effect? If so, how long would it take for it to fade?


Doctors Answers (5)

If your laser treatment is done correctly, you should not have any visible marks. Each laser treatment should be adjusted, based on your skin type, to prevent any permanent damage to your skin.

This is a broad question and the answer varies according to what type of laser procedure you have. To remove spider veins, there will be some temporary redness. To remove pigmented areas such as sunspots, you may have these spots become darker until they flake or are absorbed by your body. For diffuse redness and fine wrinkle, laser genesis leaves redness for a short time. Similarly for pulsed light for texture, redness, pore size etc. Then there are ablative treatments which actually remove damaged surface skin and tighten collagen which have a longer downtime and you will definitively know something had been done (from days to weeks). A consultation with an experienced practice is essential.

With darker skin colors, it is easier to see even minor color variations that can occur naturally with sun exposure and can occur if the choice of laser, laser settings, and technique are not well matched to the skin type. For fair skin individuals with sun spots, freckles and irregular pigmentation, then laser treatments can greatly improve the uniformity of skin color with a natural resulting appearance. Photo-facial type treatments using a laser-like xenon flash lamp will essentially have no down time and do not peel the skin. Photo-facials are excellent for color correction when there is too much red or brown color variation on the face. Expect laser peels to be uncomfortable, have approximately a week of down time (dependent on skin type and laser settings) but will help with skin tightening, resurfacing and smoothing the skin as well as improvement in color variation. The skin will initially look red and may darken as you shed pigment prior to the peel. After the skin peels, the redness usually fades fairly quickly, mostly in the first week or two, although in a small minority of patients, prolonged redness can occur. Prolonged redness can be treated if it is a problem at 3-4 weeks after the procedure. The results of all cosmetic treatments need to have both a natural and improved appearance. Patients with moderate pigmentation who have Asian, Hispanic, or Mediterranean heritage need to have greater care taken in their treatment with lower laser settings used, as their darker skin will adsorb laser energy more easily but can be treated safely and effectively.

Lasers can hyper (darken) or hypo (lighten) pigment areas. This can be permanent.

Everyone is different, skin types are different. Usually you can obtain satisfactory results that improve your overall look. Once you have been evaluated, these questions may be better answered.

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