BeautyAesthetic treatments to remove skin blemishes

Aesthetic treatments to remove skin blemishes

The dark spots on the skin can end up becoming an extremely unsightly problem, especially when formed into very visible areas of the body, such as might be the case of the face, as also do grouped together as becoming much more obvious.

In this sense, although it is true that there is a wide variety of useful natural remedies to prepare different remedies at home to try to eliminate them or, at least, reduce them by lightening the skin in a totally natural way, sometimes it may not be enough.

Thus, opting for some of the effective ways to remove dark spots on the skin can end up becoming an excellent option, like many of the aesthetic treatments that most dermatologists and beauty specialists use today. On this occasion we are going to talk to you about the different options that exist, discovering their main qualities, how they are applied, what they consist of and, above all, when to choose one option over the other. Do you dare to discover them with us?

Do you know why dark spots form on the skin?

Although sun damage is considered one of the main factors that more or less decisively influences the formation of dark spots on the skin, the reality is that we are faced with a combination of different elements that, mixed together, can make us tend to be more prone than other people.

For example, it is known that both Caucasians and Asians tend to be genetically more likely to have dark spots on their skin. At the same time, Caucasians are also more likely to develop more wrinkles as they age.

When genetics greatly influences the formation of wrinkles, it means that the person has a greater amount of melanin, which, as you may know, consists of a pigment naturally present in the skin, which is, ultimately, what provides the tone of the skin. the same.

Thus, when a certain inflammation or damage occurs, triggered by something as small as a pimple (acne), by exposure to ultraviolet rays without proper protection, or hormonal changes associated with age, or pregnancy, the measure is produced in excess as part of the skin’s defense mechanism. So, as the pigment -melanin- clumps together,  hyperpigmentation arises, ultimately resulting in the appearance of dark spots on the skin.

As we have already told you in previous moments, it is true that to get rid of dark spots it is necessary to follow a rigorous skin care routine, using certain specific products that act by cleaning, exfoliating and, finally, clarifying it.

But it is something enormously difficult to achieve, which means that, sometimes, especially when the proper treatment is not applied, ending them can end up being very complicated.

Especially if we take into account that many of the topical products commonly used for skin care, and especially for this purpose, only work on the epidermal layers, which are the upper layers of the skin, and the melanin can be grouped, however, in the different layers of the skin. So it may happen that, in the end, that particular product does not reach the layer where the melanin is found in large quantities, so it will not act directly on the dark spot.

Luckily, dermatologists have a few different options when it comes to figuring out whether a dark spot is on the surface, or a little deeper. A useful option, which we can even follow at home, is to look at the definition of the dark spot, or spot. For example, if the edge of the blemish is clearly defined, it could be an indication that it is in the epidermal layers of the skin. However, when the edges appear slightly blurred, it could be a sign that the blemish has actually started to occur in the deeper layers of the skin. When this is the case, the most common is that they are spots with a much lighter color, not being so dark.

There is a wide variety of aesthetic treatments that, correctly adapted, can be very useful in helping to lighten or fade excess pigmentation.

Chemical peel: what it is, what it is for and why it can be useful

Chemical exfoliation consists of an aesthetic and beauty treatment that can help in a very positive way when it comes to improving the appearance of the skin. It can be done on the skin of the face, neck or hands, and can be used for a wide variety of skin problems, as well as helping to reduce age spots, freckles or dark spots (melasma) that They are usually formed as a consequence of hormonal changes directly related to pregnancy, or to the consumption of contraceptive pills:

  • Treat wrinkles and fine lines of expression caused both by premature aging and by the action of ultraviolet rays (or, what is the same, sun damage).
  • Improve the appearance of minor scars, especially those caused by severe acne breakouts.
  • Treat certain types of acne.
  • Reduce the fine lines that appear especially around the mouth and under the eyes.

All in all, chemical peels are especially useful for improving the overall appearance of skin, and since sun damage is often a common cause of dark spots, it’s clear that affected areas of skin can improve dramatically after what is known as chemical peel.

But who can undergo a chemical peel? It is generally recommended especially for those with fair skin and light hair, as the risk of uneven skin tone is much lower compared to those with darker skin.

Not all skin problems can be treated with chemical peels either. For example, the most severe bumps and wrinkles usually respond very well to this type of treatment, so in these cases the most appropriate thing is to attend to the recommendation of the dermatologist, who will probably opt for other more advisable aesthetic treatments, such as a face lift, laser resurfacing, or soft tissue fat or collagen filling.

How is a chemical peel done?

As it is an outpatient procedure, and quite simple, it is very common for the dermatologist to carry it out in the consultation without the need to carry out any type of special action.  But it is necessary to follow a series of steps before applying the product used for chemical peeling.

Initially, it is essential to cleanse the skin thoroughly, to remove any cosmetic products that may be on the skin (makeup), as well as accumulated dirt, which includes not only dead cells, but also fat or sebum and environmental pollution itself.

Then, once the skin has been thoroughly cleaned, the most common thing is to use an acid with exfoliating qualities, such as:

  • Glycolic Acid.It consists of an acid typically derived from sugar cane, which belongs to the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) family. It is a very common ingredient in many beauty products, since thanks to the fact that it is a very small molecule, it has the ability to penetrate the skin quite easily. Its main function, precisely, is to exfoliate the skin in depth, helping dead cells literally “peel off” each other. For this reason, by helping the natural renewal of the skin, it is not only excellent when it comes to reducing dark spots, but it can also help reduce acne, by reducing the presence of dead cells that end up clogging the pores and, in addition, it is enormously useful in reducing the appearance of old scars, and preventing premature aging.
  • Salicylic acid. It consists of a beta-hydroxy acid widely known for its qualities to reduce acne breakouts, by helping to exfoliate the skin, keeping the pores clean. Specifically, this acid is able to penetrate the skin and act by dissolving dead cells that usually clog pores. Of course, it is necessary to wait a few weeks to see a much more complete result or effect. Although we can also find it in many beauty products, the truth is that when it is applied as a chemical agent in chemical exfoliation, it is used in much higher concentrations. And, indeed, it is useful not only in reducing dark spots associated with age, but melasma, acne scars and acne itself.
  • Lactic acid. As we can imagine, it consists of an acid that we find naturally in dairy products, especially yogurt and whey, and is produced naturally by bacteria. It is also known under the name of lactate, and consists of an alpha-hydroxy acid commonly used in many skin care products, as well as in more professional treatments (such as chemical peels). It works by exfoliating the skin, helping the old, dull cells present on the surface of the skin to shed better, by dissolving the bonds that hold them together.  Therefore, it accelerates cell turnover and ultimately stimulates cell renewal, making it ideal for improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and above all, for lightening dark spots.
  • Carbolic acid. It consists of a phenol that becomes possibly one of the most deeply and intensely acting ingredients when used with a chemical peel, since it penetrates the skin more deeply. For this reason, it is mainly used in the treatment of dark spots, acne scars and thick wrinkles. It becomes, therefore, a very useful option for skin that is severely damaged by the sun. It is even often used in the treatment of precancerous skin tumors, particularly when they appear on the face.
  • trichloroacetic acid. Also known as TCA, it consists of an organic acid, derived mainly from acetic acid, which can help treat a wide variety of skin problems, from dark spots to large pores, through discoloration, loose skin, acne and acne scars. They can be of superficial, medium or deep resistance, although in most cases, the chemical peels carried out with this acid are usually of medium resistance, so that they should always be applied by a dermatologist or ultimately by a professional. certified in skin care. It is therefore useful for removing dead skin cells, revealing the newer, smoother layers of skin below.

All these acids act by creating a wound, totally and absolutely controlled by the dermatologist, which helps the skin to heal later, leaving, in the end, that new skin to take its place.

For this reason, it is common for most people who undergo a chemical peel to feel a burning sensation during its performance, which lasts between 5 to 10 minutes. Then a throbbing sensation follows. You may need some pain medication after a deeper peel. On the other hand, cold compresses on the skin can help relieve discomfort.

Depending on the type of chemical peel that the professional has carried out, the most common is that a reaction similar to that which occurs with sunburn occurs. That is, exfoliation generally involves the appearance of redness, followed by peeling, which usually ends between 3 to 7 days later.

In the event that the peel is medium, or deep, other symptoms may arise such as swelling and blisters, which may break to form scabs, turn brown and fall off after 7 to 14 days. Of course, while light peels can be repeated at intervals of one to four weeks, until the desired result is achieved, deeper peels can be repeated in six to 12 months, whenever necessary.

Complicati#ons that may arise

Some skin types may be more likely to develop a change in skin color after a chemical peel, which may be temporary or permanent. Certain family history, a subsequent pregnancy or taking birth control pills can influence this.

Some scars can also appear on the face, although they can be treated with excellent results. On the other hand, it is known that, in case of a history of herpes outbreaks, there would be a low risk that the cold sore could be reactivated. Therefore, when in doubt, it is best to consult a dermatologist first.

Important recommendation: It is essential to avoid the sun after a chemical peel, at least for several months, since the skin, at first, will tend to be much more fragile.

Microdermabrasion

It is quite likely that you have already heard about microdermabrasion, one of the most revolutionary aesthetic treatments of recent times. And that, in fact, has gained in popularity in recent years.

It basically consists of a therapeutic method, which stands out mainly for being non-invasive, in which small crystals are used, or any other exfoliating surface, in order to remove the layer of dead cells located on the surface, which usually tend to accumulate on the skin.

Thus, the dermatologist applies microdermabrasion, and removes the upper layer of skin (also known as the stratum corneum), the body tends to interpret it as if it were an injury.  Therefore, it will act actively replacing the skin cells that have been lost, with new and therefore healthy cells.

The procedure usually lasts about 30 minutes when applied to the face, and the machines or devices used during the treatment can polish the skin using a stream of fine crystals, or a diamond tip. In addition, some more innovative devices are even able to suck up the skin cells that are detached from the face, thus speeding up the subsequent healing process.

As with other similar aesthetic treatments, which tend to disturb the surface of the skin, or penetrate deep into it, microdermabrasion is completely safe. Of course, it must be carried out by a dermatologist or by a professional duly certified in this type of treatment.

It is a treatment of choice when it comes to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, age spots (or any other problem related to hyperpigmentation), the presence of enlarged pores or blackheads, acne and acne scars, stretch marks, tone and uneven skin texture, melasma, sun damage and dull-looking skin complexion, and therefore dim or shiny, which undoubtedly provides an older appearance.

In any case, since it tends to be a much safer option, and slightly cheaper, it is common for many people to choose microdermabrasion over chemical peels, or laser treatment. In any case, the procedure can be a bit uncomfortable, although it is usually not painful. What’s more, it’s less bothersome than a chemical peel, but the skin may be redder and feel slightly more sensitive after the treatment is finished.

In relation to the frequency with which we should undergo a microdermabrasion facial treatment, it will depend directly on the objectives of the treatment in question. For example, most procedures performed by a professional dermatologist often have a much larger impact, while often being scheduled at 1-2 month intervals.

How Microdermabrasion Is Performed:

It is a slightly simple procedure that can be performed in the dermatologist’s office, and usually takes about an hour. In addition, it is not necessary to use anesthesia or any other anesthetic agent to perform it. In addition, it is quite possible that the specialist will recommend that you avoid sun exposure, waxing or the use of self-tanning creams for at least a week before treatment.

The specialist will tell you to sit in a reclining chair, and then, once the skin has been thoroughly cleaned instead of necessary (for example, if you come to the consultation with makeup or any other cosmetic product), he will use a portable device with which you will gently spray the particles, or sand the outer layer of skin, in the areas selected for treatment.

Finally, at the end of the treatment, it is necessary to apply a moisturizing cream and sunscreen, since the skin will tend to be much more sensitive.

However, the procedure itself will depend on the specific device that has been used in the treatment:

  • Crystal microdermabrasion. Also known by the name of crystalline microdermabrasion, it consists of using a device that emits crystals in order to gently spray fine crystals, removing the outermost layers of the skin. It is similar to diamond tip microcermabrasion, as this time also dead skin cells will be suctioned out immediately.
  • Diamond tip microdermabrasion. A device with a diamond tip is used, specially designed to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, and at the same time, it will immediately suck up the different dead cells that have been detached. Depending on the pressure applied, the depth of the abrasion can be affected. Also, how long the suction can remain on the skin will also influence the results. It is an excellent option for much more sensitive areas of the face, such as the eye area or the mouth.
  • Hydradermabrasion. It consists of a more innovative method, which involves the combination of a simultaneous dermal infusion of certain products, with exfoliation without crystals. It is a newer and more revolutionary procedure, capable of stimulating collagen production and thereby maximizing blood flow to the skin.

Main benefits of microdermabrasion

If you have skin blemishes, fine lines and clogged pores, there is no doubt that you are a good candidate to undergo a microdermabrasion treatment.

This procedure works by stimulating blood flow, which provides an improvement in the nutrition that reaches the skin cells, improving cell production, and with it both its elasticity and texture. Hence, if you have scars, it is especially helpful in reducing the appearance of acne-related scars.

In addition, it is an excellent aesthetic option in the case of melasma, especially when combined with adequate topical care and correct sun protection.

Main side effects and complications of microdermabrasion

As we have mentioned, it is very common for the skin to be reddened and slightly more sensitive. In addition, other common symptoms or side effects, such as swelling or bruising (as a result of the suctioning process during treatment), may also occur. In any case, these side effects tend to go away within a few hours after treatment.

To try to reduce them as much as possible, it is common for the dermatologist to recommend using a moisturizing cream, which is especially useful for minimizing the risk of the skin flaking and drying out. The use of sunscreen on a regular basis is also extremely important, since in the weeks after treatment, the skin will also be more sensitive to the sun.

What differences exist between a professional treatment and a dermabrasion kit that we can use at home?

Today it is possible to find different dermabrasion kits on the market to easily use at home. They basically consist of sets that include a device, usually with a diamond tip, for easy use at home. They can also incorporate facial brushes or microdermabrasion pens that incorporate a rotating disk with a glass tip made of aluminum oxide.

We can also find kits that only include creams with exfoliating qualities, which would act in a similar way to how a device with a diamond tip would, since it contains different exfoliating crystals in its composition.

However, even though they may be a useful option to use at home, and therefore simple, the results are not at all comparable to a professional facial treatment, since the devices used by dermatologists in the office generally have greater power., and in addition, they have a greater capacity to penetrate more deeply, and thus offer a much deeper and more precise exfoliation.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a technique that literally means “cold therapy”. Although it can be used all over the body, generally in cosmetics and dermatology it is mainly administered in a single area, by means of what is known as localized cryotherapy.

It basically consists of a procedure that uses extreme cold (usually liquid nitrogen) to destroy the tissue to be removed. It is used, therefore, to treat different skin lesions, such as age spots or sun spots, freckles or moles, which can be benign (that is, not cancerous) or be actinic keratosis, which is a lesion a precancerous condition that appears as a scaly patch on the skin, and if left untreated, in a small percentage of cases it can develop into superficial skin cancer in the future.

In addition, cryotherapy is especially useful to save the area around the lesions, as well as to reduce scarring as much as possible; at least as much as possible.

How it works and how it is applied:

During the procedure, the dermatologist sprays a little liquid nitrogen on the area of ​​the dark spot, in order to freeze the skin so that it lightens and turns white. It usually causes a small blister, which will heal in around one to two weeks once the treatment is applied, and the uncomfortable sun spot will disappear along with it.

It is also possible to use nitrous oxide instead of liquid nitrogen, especially in the case of more superficial dark spots, such as the case of the aforementioned sunspots. This is because it is not usually as aggressive (if we compare it with the effect of liquid nitrogen), since the probability of causing blisters is usually lower.

The treatment, in short, is extremely simple to apply, and in most cases cryotherapy will take a few minutes. Of course, everything will depend on the number of skin lesions that have been treated at the same time. Although it is true that, sometimes, the specialist will prefer to do it in several sessions.

Once the liquid nitrogen is applied, and the procedure is finished, the area that has been treated will turn a little red. And, as we have mentioned, the most normal thing is that a blister forms, and some swelling arises. If this happens, it is part of the skin’s natural healing process and will help ensure that the result is as expected, so it is not appropriate to touch the blister or break it.

For the healing process to be adequate, it is essential to wash the treated area gently with water and neutral soap, daily. Your dermatologist may recommend applying a protective ointment, such as Vaseline, every day for two weeks. This will help prevent scabbing and help the area heal. However, if it does occur, it is advisable to apply Vaseline until the scab falls off. On the other hand, it is advisable to leave the treated area uncovered, although it is not advisable to expose it to the sun.

The treated area will begin to heal 7 to 10 days later. And most likely, it will not leave a scar. Once the area has healed completely, the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen, at least 30, is essential to prevent scarring. Finally, it is possible that some type of discoloration (such as lighter, darker or reddened skin) will appear in the area that has been treated, which may or may not disappear in the following months.

Luckily, it is a simple and easy to apply treatment, which is usually carried out in the dermatologist’s office. In addition, in most cases it is well tolerated, causing no more problems than those related only to the natural healing process of the wound.

Intense pulsed light

Intense pulsed light therapy is a treatment that is commonly used to reduce wrinkles and blemishes, in fact becoming a way to improve both the color and texture of the skin, without using surgery. It is ideal, for example, to get rid of part of the visible damage caused by sun exposure, which is known as photoaging, which is formed mainly in areas usually exposed to the sun, such as the face, chest, neck and the hands. Therefore, it can be extremely useful when we have sun spots on the skin. And, in addition, it is useful in case of birthmarks, freckles, varicose veins, rosacea and broken blood vessels that appear on the face.

And not only that: did you know that it can also be extremely useful when it comes to removing or reducing the hair present on the face, neck, back, chest and other areas that you want to remove?

How intense pulsed light works and how it is applied:

The different pigment cells present in the skin (melanin), absorb the energy from light, converting it into heat. This heat is responsible for destroying the unwanted pigment, in order to eliminate both dark spots and freckles. And if the treatment is used for the purpose of hair reduction, it will destroy the hair follicle, preventing it from growing back in the area where it has been applied.

Before the procedure, the specialist will examine the skin. And, before undergoing treatment, you may be advised to avoid certain activities for at least two weeks beforehand, such as: exposure to direct sunlight, hair removal, use of tanning beds and self-tanning products, chemical peels, collagen injections, or aspirin- or ibuprofen-based treatments.

At the time of undergoing therapy, the dermatologist will thoroughly cleanse the skin area that will later be treated. He will then rub a cold gel on the skin, and finally apply pulses of light from the intense pulsed light device on it. During the duration of the procedure, the use of dark glasses is essential, essential to protect our eyes.

Depending on the extent of the area to be treated, and specifically the part of the body being treated, it is common for the procedure to last between 20 to 30 minutes. Of course, depending on the desired results, between 3 to 6 treatments may be necessary, approximately one month apart, to allow the skin to heal.

What are the differences between intense pulsed light and laser treatment?

It’s normal to believe that there are similarities between laser treatment, which can also be helpful in reducing sun spots and age spots, and intense pulsed light therapy. And, in a sense, it is true, since they are two similar therapies.

However, in the case of intense pulsed light, light of many different wavelengths is released, much like a photographic flash, so it tends to be more scattered and less focused. While the laser focuses only a single wavelength of light on the skin.

Thus, in the case of intense pulsed light, it penetrates to the dermis (the second layer of the skin) without damaging the epidermis (upper layer), so that it causes less damage to the skin.

However, as experts say, the reality is that intense pulsed light therapy works just as well as laser treatments, especially when it comes to reducing spots, freckles and treating blood vessels in the skin.

Complications and side effects of intense pulsed light

It is common for some side effects to appear, such as redness or slight swelling immediately after having undergone the procedure. If it appears, it usually disappears between one to two days later.

In some cases, other complications may arise, such as: changes in skin color, infection, bruising and burning.

Laser therapy

When it comes to treating dark spots, and any other problem related to the natural or premature aging of the skin, there is no doubt that laser therapy has also become another of the treatments of choice for most dermatologists and health professionals. sector.

Technically known as laser resurfacing therapy, it is a skin care procedure performed exclusively by a physician or dermatologist, in which a laser is used to help improve not only the appearance of the skin, but also its texture.

It is a technique in which short, concentrated, pulsating beams of light are directed at the area or area of ​​the skin to be treated, precisely removing the skin layer by layer. For this reason, it is a therapy also known by the names of laser peeling, laser vaporization or laser abrasion.

To do this, depending on the individual needs of the person undergoing treatment, the dermatologist may recommend the use of an ablative laser (including carbon dioxide or erbium) or a non-ablative laser. In this sense, carbon dioxide laser treatments are used fundamentally when it comes to removing scars, deeper wrinkles and also warts; while erbium is mainly used for more superficial skin problems, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Be that as it may, both carbon dioxide and erbium ablative lasers act by removing the outer layers of the skin, vaporizing those damaged cells at the surface level.

Non-ablative lasers, however, do not remove any skin layer, and include pulsed light, fractional laser, and pulsed dye laser, and are most useful for skin problems directly related to acne, spider veins, or rosacea.

Of course, depending on the type of skin we have, we could be, or not, candidates for this treatment. The best candidates are those with a lighter skin tone, as this therapy carries a reduced risk of hyperpigmentation. The same would not happen with those who have very dark skin, or with stretch marks.

Benefits of laser therapy

It is an excellent option not only for those with skin blemishes, but also for fine lines or wrinkles on the forehead, around the eyes and in the mouth; superficial scars associated with acne, or when the skin does not respond as it should after a face lift.

Ultimately, it is useful for age spots and sun spots, scars, fine lines and wrinkles, acne-related scars, crow’s feet, loose skin, uneven skin tone, warts, and enlarged oil glands.

On the other hand, even when it is useful in case of scars associated with acne, it is not recommended when we have acne breakouts on the face.

How it works and how it is applied:

This treatment targets the outer layer of the skin, while heating the lower layers of the dermis to promote natural collagen production. Thus, these new fibers will help produce a new skin, with a much firmer texture and softer to the touch.

For this, before undergoing the therapy, it is essential that the skin must be prepared several weeks before. The goal is to improve skin tolerance, while reducing the risk of side effects.

On the day of the procedure, the doctor will apply a topical anesthetic to the area of ​​skin to be treated, which will help reduce pain in the area. Then, the skin is thoroughly cleansed, in order to reduce the presence of dead cells, dirt, bacteria and excess oil as much as possible.

The doctor will then start the laser treatment, using the option you have chosen. This laser moves slowly around the designated skin area. Finally, the doctor will wrap the treated area with a series of wraps, useful to protect the skin at the end of the procedure.

It is, as we see, an outpatient procedure in which the doctor can easily treat individual wrinkles that arise around the mouth, eyes, forehead or simply on the entire face. As well as the spots that usually appear in some parts of the face.

In case the dermatologist only treats some parts of the face, it will usually take between 30 to 45 minutes. However, in the case of a complete facial treatment, or usual, it takes between 1 hour and a half and 2 hours, at most.

On the other hand, around 24 hours after the treatment, it is necessary to clean the treated area four to five times each day, to avoid infections. Then, an ointment should be applied, such as Vaseline, to prevent scabs from forming. Generally, the treated and properly cared for areas usually take around 2 weeks to heal, depending, however, on the condition or skin problem that was treated.

Complications and main side effects

There are a number of potential risks directly related to this therapy. The most common are usually:

  • Scar formation
  • Burns or any other injury caused by the heat of the laser
  • Changes in skin pigmentation, which could include lighter or even darker areas of skin
  • bacterial infection
  • Reactivation of cold sores

It is also possible that, during the healing process, small white bumps may appear, especially in the different areas that have been treated with the laser. However, the doctor can treat them.

It is common to feel some swelling after treatment. To control such swelling, especially swelling around the eyes, your doctor may prescribe steroids. An antibiotic may also be prescribed as a preventative measure, or an antiviral medication. On the other hand, in the first 24 to 48 hours, applying an ice pack can help a lot in reducing this swelling.

Then, between 12 and 72 hours after the procedure, it is also common to feel some itching. Between 5 to 7 days later, the skin will become dry and peel, until completely healed.

Fortunately, as long as you follow both the before and after instructions given by your doctor, you can reduce the risk of these types of complications.

However, once the skin has healed, it is possible to use oil-free makeup, which will help minimize redness. In addition, since the skin will be clearer and more sensitive, it is equally essential to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects from both UVB and UVA rays. And avoid, as far as possible, direct exposure to the sun, at least during the first two or three months.

Fraxel Laser Treatment

The so-called Fraxel Laser is another of the treatments commonly used to improve the appearance and texture of the skin, being extremely useful when it comes to lightening both age spots and brown sun spots. It is also known as fractional laser resurfacing.

But its qualities do not end here, since it is also capable of reducing scars caused by acne, healing certain traumatic scars (such as those caused by injuries, burns or surgical scars), smoothing the typical expression lines, balancing the uneven tone of the skin, reduce stretch marks and treat problems directly related to texture.

In addition, since only a fraction of the skin (generally between 20 and 40 percent) of the surface of the skin is treated, healing is faster and safer, greatly reducing the risk of complications.

It is a treatment that, according to specialists, is ideal for anyone between 25 and 60 years of age, but since there are different devices, and in turn, different possible configurations, these variations can affect the results that would be obtained with treatment, as well as its final cost.

Of course, that it is a recommended option for almost anyone who wants to improve the appearance of their skin, the truth is that it is not suitable for those who have sensitive skin or suffer from certain active skin problems, as would be the case of acne, eczema or rosacea. Also, the more aggressive Fraxel lasers are also not recommended for those with a darker skin tone, as they could cause pigmentation problems. In these cases, it is advisable to use a laser with a softer action and effect, which would allow you to enjoy an excellent result.

How it works and how it is applied:

“Fractional” lasers (hence their technical name) create a series of micro-lesions that form a grid-like pattern of light because the laser beam itself is divided into many smaller beams.

These micro-injuries, completely and totally directed by the professional, end up triggering a totally natural healing reaction, but without damaging the skin, helping the body to generate new collagen directly on a specific area (which, in short, is the one that has been treated).

In other words, the energy provided by lasers generates small columns of thermal destruction in the skin, stimulating the creation of new and healthy cells, in order to replace old and damaged cells. That is, it works from the inside out, accelerating the skin’s natural healing process.

Not all lasers produce lesions equally, or require the same quantity/intensity. Thus, we can differentiate between the ablative laser, which, as we have already indicated, is characterized by being a much more aggressive type of treatment by eliminating layers of tissue on the surface of the skin and stimulating the collagen located below the surface, and the non-ablative, much less aggressive and whose results are usually smaller or softer, since the superficial tissue is not removed.

Fortunately, not much preparation is needed to undergo the treatment, except to know in advance what the healing process is like, what can be done and what would not be so recommended. In this sense, it is essential to avoid the sun and potentially irritating skin care products throughout the week before the treatment is to be applied. This is essential, since in this way we will ensure that the skin is in perfect conditions to heal properly.

At the time of application, the dermatologist may apply a topical local anesthetic to the entire face, in the same way that is done with laser therapy. Even so, it is likely that you will have the sensation of small pinpricks and a certain sensation of warmth. In this sense, those who have undergone the treatment identify it as a discomfort similar to that caused by a sunburn.

Of course, since it is usual for the face -or the area to be treated- to be slightly numb, it does not have to be so uncomfortable. Similarly, if the area to be treated, for example, is the neckline or back area, then the topical anesthetic will be applied to that specific area.

Once applied, it is common for the skin to become red, peel and flake within a few days. Since you will also be much more sensitive, it is essential to use large amounts of sun protection, and strong or prescription acne treatment products should be avoided, at least for the first week.

The skin can be cleansed with the help of a mild, moisturizing cleanser twice a day, although excessive touching or scratching is not recommended, even when the need – and desire – is great. The reason? It will increase the redness and it will take much longer for the skin to heal properly. When it’s time, the previously treated skin will simply fall off, making way for new cells.

Main side effects to be aware of

Once the sensation of heat disappears, it is common for a series of small, raised, brown bumps to begin to appear, right in the area where the laser was applied. But it doesn’t tend to be painful. What’s more, that sunburn-like feeling tends to dissipate just a few hours later.

Be that as it may, do not be too scared by the appearance that your skin will have a few hours later, as well as in the following days, since it will not be very pleasant to say.

As the skin begins to heal, it will feel scaly and slightly itchy. This is where it is essential to resist the sensation or urge to scratch, as it could ruin the healing process, making it even slower.

Regarding the healing time, everything will depend on the type of laser that has been used, the intensity of the treatment and the area of ​​the body that has been treated. It is advised to avoid the sun completely and stay indoors for at least the first week, which is when the skin is reddest and peeling. In any case, in some cases, the complete healing process can take up to two weeks.

Microneedling (Collagen Induction Therapy)

You may have already heard about the dermaroller, or microneedle treatment, which, as we will see in detail in the next section, is especially recommended for the removal of age spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, scars and scars related to the acne. It can also be interesting in case of large pores, in the presence of uneven skin tone, or even to reduce skin elasticity.

In this way, under the name of Microneedling we find ourselves before a procedure that uses dermaroller technology, using small needles in order to puncture the skin and achieve the generation of new collagen and skin tissue, to enjoy a much softer, firmer and more toned skin.

Also known by the name of collagen induction therapy, even though the idea of ​​having a series of microneedles puncturing the skin can be very scary, the reality is that it is a minimally invasive procedure, which does not even require downtime after the application of the treatment. It’s also safe for most people in good health, although it’s not recommended for pregnant women and those taking certain acne medications.

Therefore, we are facing a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, used to treat certain skin problems, from the production of new collagen (hence its name). It seeks to reduce the appearance of acne scars, stretch marks and age spots.

It basically consists of rolling a roller with small microneedles along the skin, which produce micro-injuries in the skin that can help improve the absorption of the different products used for skin care, and in turn influence an increase in the production of collagen, thus also minimizing the fine lines of expression and scars caused by acne.

Performed by a qualified professional, such as a dermatologist, for example, microneedling can be enormously effective in increasing the absorption and/or penetration of the topical product into the skin, plumping it up.

In the case of stretch marks, for example, many specialists consider it to be one of the best options available, since the microneedles improve their color and appearance by generating a series of small puncture wounds in the stretch mark itself, way the skin responds by creating new collagen, and plumping up the injured dermal layer. As this layer expands, the color fades because the skin thickens, disappearing the different blood vessels that give the first stretch marks that characteristic pink/purple color.

How Microneedling works and how it is applied:

Before starting treatment, about an hour beforehand, your doctor will likely use a topical anesthetic, which will help lessen your chances of feeling pain.

Then, during the Microneedling procedure, the doctor, with the help of a pen-like device, will make small punctures under the skin. These punctures, by the way, tend to be so small that they most likely won’t be visible after the procedure is over.

In order to make the new skin that emerges as even as possible, the doctor will move the device equally evenly across the entire skin area to be treated.

After about 30 minutes (which is how long the procedure usually takes), your dermatologist may apply a soothing treatment or serum to ease any discomfort you may feel and soothe your skin overall.

Since the treatment is non-invasive, the most common is that the recovery time is minimal. Some experts point out that the results can be seen a couple of weeks after the procedure is applied. Although, as we will see in the next section, it is common for the first few days to notice irritation and redness, completely natural responses to the small micro-injuries caused by the microneedles in the skin.

Skin will be more sensitive to the sun, so regular, daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen is simply a must.

Main risks or side effects

As with virtually all cosmetic treatments and procedures, Microneedling is not without its risks. One of the most common side effects is mild irritation of the treated skin, which usually occurs or appears almost immediately after treatment.

Then, in the following days, some redness may also appear. However, in case some more serious side effects arise, such as bleeding, infection, bruising or if the skin peels, it is advisable to go to the doctor’s office.

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