Laser Skin Tightening – Stimulate Collagen Growth and Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles
Of the many developments in cosmetic surgery over the last decade, use of the laser is one of the most effective. The laser, a concentrated beam of light and energy, is a more precise, much less invasive tool than a scalpel, and in the right hands can yield excellent results. The laser skin resurfacing, or laser peel, is probably the most popular of laser cosmetic surgeries. However, laser skin tightening, a different process altogether, is another attractive choice.
In laser skin resurfacing, a carbon dioxide beam is used to burn off layers of discolored and wrinkled skin. Laser skin tightening, however, uses an infrared beam to heat up the collagen underneath the skin. As the collagen heats, the dermis (inner skin) coagulates, plumping up the outer skin. Meanwhile the heat stimulates the production of more collagen to tighten the skin further. This procedure does not eliminate surface flaws as the laser peel does, but makes skin appear firmer and less wrinkled without invasive surgery. The trick is that it heats the cells under the skin’s surface without heating up the skin itself.
Laser skin tightening can be used on the neck, jowls or between the eyebrows. It can also tighten loose skin around the thighs and abdomen. The effects are immediate and improvement continues for several months.
The laser skin tightening process is fairly simple and almost painless (a local anesthetic cream is applied to the skin beforehand and protective eyewear supplied). It takes place in the doctor’s office. The doctor, or other skilled practitioner, will use a handheld device to apply the laser pulses to the skin. The laser also produces cool air, so that patient comfort is maintained. Each area to be tightened will require several sets of pulses, and the entire thing will take about 30 minutes. Side effects, which pass fairly quickly, may include reddened skin and a warm sensation.
The treatment causes the skin to improve over the space of about six months, as heat-stimulated collagen grows and plumps up the skin. After that, another treatment is usually required, although on rare occasions, the effects have lasted as long as a year. Some sites advertise “permanent results,” but keep in mind “permanent” does not mean the same thing in cosmetic surgery as it does in real life. A certain cosmetic injection procedure is called “permanent” because it lasts five years.
Unlike laser resurfacing, which may not be appropriate for those with darker skin, laser skin tightening will work for almost anybody, since the procedure does not interfere with the surface of the skin.