The Truth About Lasers in Skin Care

Dec 31, 2010 by

The Truth About Lasers in Skin Care

Are you tired of seeing the same therapies advertised in the anti-aging and medispa scenes?  Not even that, we now see dentist’s offices, OB-GYN, and family practitioner physicians advertising laser hair removal or skin rejuvenation.

Here is an insider perspective.  I am not only a licensed medical aesthetician, I have had extensive laser training.  Do you know that many people running the lasers and treating you have only been trained by a rep that sells the lasers?  Do you know that actual laser training classes are not widely available and the classes available are usually too expensive and time-consuming for most aestheticians to attend?  Ninety-eight percent (98%) of the few classes available require the doctor to be sitting right alongside the aesthetician or laser tech.  Most doctors are not willing to take the time off just for the aesthetician or laser tech to get trained.

I will say that hands-on experience does speak volumes, but few of these people that have a lot of hands-on experience really understand the mechanics and science of the laser so they will never be able to answer the question about long-term safety.  In my clinic, I specialized in repairing the damage done by lasers or the aesthetician/tech’s mistakes.

If you are like me, then you have had some laser work done only to be disappointed. Every magazine I open up, every medispa, medical office, and spa that I pass is promoting a laser that will erase away the wrinkles, even out your skin tone, reduce the appearance of pores, and give you the Fountain of Youth.

Because I am a knowledgable insider, I can tell you, most of that is hype. Lasers in conjunction with other therapies offer pretty good results, but those results are not without great damage we have yet to see the outcome of.

My concentration is on exposing what does not work. I also educate people on the long-term risks of many popular therapies, like botox, laser hair removal or laser skin rejuvenation.   I have my concerns with laser; from efficacy, to technical and artistic ability of the aesthetician or tech running the laser, to inducing an injury to the skin that causes collagen to form as Scar Tissue. This is known as Unhealthy collagen. When I work with someone, the minute I touch their skin, I can tell if they have had laser treatments. The skin feels and responds very differently.

Your skin is your largest organ of detoxification.  Imagine how scar tissue would impede this natural and much needed biological function.

The technology behind lasers is sound in a controlled environment, yet long-term implications and risks, are not taken into consideration nor discussed with patients. Very few aestheticians or technicians receive proper laser education, even in doctor’s offices. There are no controlled or required tune-ups for the lasers to determine they are indeed on spec.  What if the calibration of the lasers are off?  In the age when lasers first came out, people had to calibrate them every day.  With the new lasers, they are self calibrating.  Now how many times have you seen technology malfunction?  Does your computer always do what it should?  These are real concerns with the lasers.

Because the lasers burn and traumatize the skin, the targeted pigmentation in skin is often suppressed. Most people find that after their initial treatment of 6 laser sessions, they have to come back every 4-6 months to have the session repeated again.

We have something in our body called a Hayflick limit. Leonard Hayflick discovered this limit in 1965. Hayflick observed that human cells divide about 52 times before dying. As cells approach this limit, they show more signs of old age. The limit is believed to be one of the causes of aging. If the cell turnover can be slowed, life expectancy can be extended. Now this sheds a whole new light on the responsibility of the skin care industry. Lasers blast through the skin and any laser rep will tell you that most of the energy is focused at a specific target, but some of the laser light scatters, affecting other areas not intended. They are also quick to say that this does not mean anything. Well, given the above statement, that does mean something.

In the skin care industry we are told that cell turnover slows down as we age and we need to speed it up to have younger looking skin. Cell turnover slows down as a natural protective mechanism that keeps us from aging quicker than we should and ultimately prevents us from meeting an early than expected death. Our cells help create energy for our body so we can sustain life. When our cells cannot function correctly, disease and death of the cell quickly sets in. On a larger scale, this reduces quality of your life.  And I believe this is yet to be seen wide-scale.  We are already beginning to see the reports.  What will the reports say in 5, 10, or 15 more years?

To be fair, lasers have brought about some great results for people that deeply needed resurfacing. My concern is not with the therapeutic uses of laser but the casual use of the lasers being marketed to everyone on every street corner.  The possible issues and long term effects are not discussed enough with the patient.  Everyone has a right to choose what they are willing to risk in the name of beauty, but I also think that every person should be as informed as possible.

Most people are not aware that your skin is only a reflection of what is happening internally. Age spots, sun spots, wrinkles, freckles, small red veins, large pores, and sagging skin is only a result of internal imbalance. This can be reversed by working on the inside of the body by taking a wellness approach to life.

 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photorejuvenation

http://kellycolby.com/

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