As the saying goes: sun’s out, guns out! Everyone knows that it is good for your mental and physical health to spend some time in the sun. Getting enough sun exposure and vitamin D can help reduce your risk of depression, including S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder).
However, there is always a trade off when it comes to health. While sun exposure is good for your mental health, it isn’t always as good for your skin. Sun damage is one side effect of too many days at the pool. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stay inside like a vampire. Thanks to laser treatment for sun damage at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, you can get the best of both worlds! Get ready to enjoy the sun and keep your skin looking damage-free and youthful.
How Does Laser Treatment For Sun Damage Work?
Sun damage is normally visible on the skin in the form of dark spots, red spots, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. Laser treatments are highly effective at healing sun damage because when energy is applied to the skin, it can have rejuvenating properties. Most lasers work in 2 ways; first, the laser safely removes the damaged parts of the skin to make room for healthy skin. Second, the heat from the laser naturally causes the skin to tighten and then to produce more collagen.
We will review the four best laser treatments for sun damage, including:
In the months after your laser treatments, your body will naturally heal the effects of the sun damage and your skin will look better and brighter than before!
Because laser treatment for sun damage is closely targeted and easy to customize, it is one of the best options on the market to reduce sun spots. Laser technology allows board-certified cosmetic physicians like Dr. Nadir Qazi to quickly resurface the problem areas, while leaving your healthy skin untouched. The depth and intensity of the lasers can also be controlled so that the treatment can be perfectly customized to your skin.
What Is The Best Laser For Treating Sun Damage?
Everyone’s skin and their sun damage are unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all best laser. For the best results, the type and brand of laser should be tailored to the needs of the individual patient. To learn which laser is the best for treating your sun damage, simply schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic!
In general, there are several factors that will determine which laser is best for your sun damage. During consultations, Dr. Qazi normally considers the following when talking to a new patient:
- Skin Tone – This is the biggest factor that determines which laser will be the best for your skin. Not all lasers are safe for all skin tones. Because darker skin contains more melanin, certain lasers can damage the skin and cause greater pigmentation. If you have a darker skin tone, you will have more limited options for laser treatment. In some cases, Dr. Qazi may recommend a chemical peel or RF microneedling for patients with melanated skin.
- The Extent of the Treatment Area – Laser treatment for sun damage is most often targeted on the face and neck; however, it is safe to use lasers on almost any area of the body. The face, neck, back, arms, hands, shoulders, and legs are the areas that normally get the most sun damage. While all lasers can safely treat any area of the body, certain lasers are better for treating larger areas.
- The Nature of Your Sun Damage – Most sun damage presents as hyperpigmentation, including melasma, dark spots, and red spots. For people with a lifetime of sun exposure, it can cause their skin to form lines and wrinkles prematurely. For patients with severe lines and wrinkles, it may be best for you to receive a laser treatment that thoroughly resurfaces the skin. If you only have some small spots of pigment, then you will only require a laser treatment that targets pigmentation.
- Timeline – Most laser treatments require multiple sessions. On average, Dr. Qazi administers 3-5 laser treatments for sun damage before the desired results are visible. While most lasers require follow-ups, some lasers require fewer appointments than others. If you are getting married or attending an important event in the future, let Dr. Qazi know in order to help him plan your timeline. The goal at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic is to help all patients look their best for all of life’s biggest events.
- Are You Combining Treatments? – Two is always better than one, especially in the case of glow up procedures. Qazi Cosmetic Clinic offers a variety of procedures that are frequently combined with laser treatment, including facials, fillers, sugar threading, and lip injections. Thanks to Dr. Qazi’s surgical team you also have the option of getting a facelift and laser combination treatment. If you are interested in combining treatments, that may affect the timeline and the type of treatment.
Here is the breakdown on which laser does what:
1. Sciton Joule BBL Laser: What You Need To Know
BBL stands for BroadBand Light. It is also called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy. Sciton is the company that developed several highly effective BBL lasers. The Sciton Joule BBL laser is one of the most powerful lasers on the market and is the best for treating sun damage on light skin.
This type of laser works by delivering gentle pulses of light energy, which heat the upper layers of the skin. Areas of the skin with pigmentation caused by sun damage will absorb more of the laser’s energy. This will destroy the damaged cells without harming your healthy skin. After the treatment, your skin will heal and create healthy cells to replace the damaged ones.
The procedure is not painful. You can expect the treated area to look slightly sunburned for 4-7 days after a laser treatment. Once your skin heals, you can expect your sunspots to be significantly improved. When you get laser treatment for sun damage with the Sciton Joule BBL laser, you can expect a maximum of 4 sessions. Most patients that Dr. Qazi sees only require 2-3 sessions, spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart.
The Sciton Joule BBL laser is suitable for use anywhere on the body. However, it is not recommended for patients with darker skin because it could damage melanated skin.
2. Lutronic LaseMD Ultra Laser For All Skin Tones
BBL laser might not be safe for melanated skin, but LaseMD Ultra is! The Lutronic LaseMD Ultra laser is a fractional, non-ablative laser that smoothes wrinkles and erases sunspots with very little downtime.
LaseMD laser works by applying small, controlled bursts of energy to the skin. This creates channels that penetrate through to the deepest layers of the skin. Because this laser is able to target so deeply, it can treat a range of cosmetic concerns from wrinkles to scars. Unlike other lasers, the LaseMD Ultra laser does not do any damage to the topmost layers of the skin. This means that you will not spend the following week looking sunburned.
When you get laser treatment for sun damage with a LaseMD Ultra laser, you can expect to feel no pain. Numbing cream can be used to improve your comfort, but most patients report only feeling heat and a tingling sensation. After the treatment, you can go right back to work. A few hours of mild redness is normal, but you will see your initial results immediately after you walk out of Qazi Cosmetic Clinic.
Most patients require 4-6 sessions to see their desired results. After 10-12 weeks, your results will be final and your new collagen should start improving the texture of your skin. While the results of LaseMD Ultra are long-lasting, they are not permanent. Further sun damage could harm your results and create more dark spots. For this reason, Dr. Qazi recommends that patients get maintenance sessions even after their sunspots are gone in order to keep their skin healthy.
3. Pico Laser At Qazi Cosmetic Clinic
If the Pico Laser sounds familiar, that is because it is an in-demand treatment in Orange County. Qazi Cosmetic Clinic has offered pico laser treatment for a long time, and patients are loving their results! Here’s why Pico Laser is the most highly recommended laser treatment for sun damage:
- It is safe for all skin types and skin tones, including darker skin.
- Pico Laser can be used to treat many types of sun damage, including dark spots, melasma, freckles, sun damage, and fine lines. It is also effective for other cosmetic concerns, including stretch marks, acne scars, pigmented scars, and for tattoo removal.
- Only 3 to 6 sessions are necessary to kiss your sun damage goodbye. Dr. Qazi normally spaces laser treatments 2 to 4 weeks apart in order to allow your skin to recover. If you have darker skin, it may be best to get your laser treatments 4-8 weeks apart to protect your beautiful melanated skin.
- Pico Laser treatment is relatively pain free. It feels similar to Botox injections: you may feel a light pinch as the laser is applied, but there is no lasting discomfort.
- After your Pico Laser treatment, there is no downtime! You can immediately go back to work or school. However, in order to be nice to your skin, you should avoid sun bathing and makeup for a day or so after treatment.
What makes Pico Laser treatment so different from other types of lasers is what this laser does to the skin. Most lasers apply energy to the skin in order to resurface or to break up damaged cells. The Pico Laser, on the other hand, pushes heat into the skin to treat damaged cells. This is why this laser is safer for melanated skin. When the device applies heat to the skin, it also prompts the body to produce more collagen and elastin, which are the proteins responsible for the appearance of the skin.
4. The Power of the Q-Switch Laser
Q-Switch (or Q-Switched) lasers are primarily used for tattoo removal because they are the best lasers on the market for targeting and destroying pigment in the skin. Q-Switch lasers are also able to treat a range of other conditions, from sun damage and pigmentation to toenail fungus, spider veins, port wine stains, birthmarks, and removing your ex’s name from your wrist.
What makes Q-Switched lasers unique is how powerful they are. A Q-Switch laser creates a high-intensity pulsed beam, which lasts a billionth of a second. Because the energy is so concentrated, this laser does very little damage to the surrounding skin.
Unlike other laser treatments, this option often removes between 75% and 100% of pigmentation in the skin, so most patients only need a single session to see results. It is very rare that Dr. Qazi performs more than 3 Q-Switch treatments on a patient.
After this type of laser treatment for sun damage, your skin may turn white or grey for a few minutes immediately after the laser is applied. If you had lots of pigment, you may notice some bruising as well. It takes 10 to 14 days for the skin to heal properly and for your skin tone to even out again. While you recover, you should avoid wearing makeup and getting sun exposure. Some patients develop shallow blisters after treatment, so it may be best to work from home if you can.
Once your skin heals, that sun damage is not coming back!
Learn More About Laser Treatments For Sun Damage!
The most important thing that you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen, skip the tanning beds, shade your face with a hat when outdoors, and keep your skin moisturized. If you, like most of us, forgot to apply sunscreen last summer while sipping drinks poolside, Qazi Cosmetic Clinic has the solution! Schedule a consultation today to learn how to best treat your sun damaged skin.