What Is Laser Skin Tightening?
Laser skin tightening is a minimally invasive, non-surgical process that uses an infrared light source (a laser) to tighten skin by heating the collagen under the skin’s surface, causing the skin to contract (tighten). Facial skin tightening is noticeable immediately after the treatment, and there is no downtime, making this an increasingly popular procedure. Additional skin tightening occurs over the next few months, but optimal results usually require two or three treatments about a month apart. Laser skin tightening is an FDA approved method for the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. While laser skin tightening results may not be as dramatic as those of a face lift, patients enjoy moderate results with no downtime. An added benefit of laser skin tightening is that it is safe and effective for restoring a more firm, youthful appearance to skin all over the body. Read on to learn more about the benefits of laser skin tightening treatment.
Skin tightening treatment also encourages the growth of new collagen in the treated areas and promotes the absorption of more collagen from surrounding, untreated areas. With the regeneration of natural collagen, laser skin tightening patients immediately begin to notice smoother, softer skin and a more youthful appearance. The effects continue to improve over the next few months following laser skin tightening treatment, as the skin’s natural stores of collagen are gradually replenished.
What to Expect During a Laser Skin Tightening Session
Before a skin tightening treatment session, it is important for a patient to remove all make-up, oils, sunscreens, and any other substances that may be on the skin. Then, the laser skin tightening practitioner will apply a topical anesthetic cream to the area to be treated and supply the patient with protective eyewear. Because of the non-ablative nature of laser skin tightening treatment, no further anesthetic should be needed, though patients who have a particularly low tolerance for discomfort may wish to take an over-the-counter pain medication prior to treatment.
Laser skin tightening takes place in the office of a cosmetic dermatologist or other highly trained skincare professional. During a laser skin tightening treatment session, the practitioner uses a handpiece to apply brief pulses of laser energy to the skin. A continuous burst of cool air from the laser will ensure the patients’ comfort. Most laser skin tightening systems require the practitioner to go over the treatment area three times for optimal results. Sessions normally last from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the size and location of the area to be treated.
After a laser skin tightening treatment, patients are able to return immediately to work or other regular activities. Side effects are minimal, and may include a warm sensation to the skin, redness, or minor swelling. Side effects of a skin tightening treatment usually resolve themselves naturally within a few hours.
Is Skin Tightening Treatment Painful?
Laser skin tightening treatment should not be painful. Before treatment, the practitioner will smooth an anesthetic cream over the area to be affected in order to minimize the risk of any discomfort for the patient. Most patients who undergo skin tightening treatment experience only minor discomfort in the form of a heating sensation. This is usually eased by the regular cooling blasts of air produced by the laser skin tightening handpiece, which increases patient comfort and prevents the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, from burning. It is also fairly common for patients to experience a mild stinging sensation from the laser, which is most commonly compared to the sensation of a rubber band being snapped against the skin. Any discomfort encountered by patients during a laser skin tightening session should resolve itself within minutes of the treatment session, though patients may feel some warmth in the treated skin for up to 48 hours after treatment.
Laser Skin Tightening Candidates
Many people notice signs of aging when skin begins to sag around the face and neck. Laser skin tightening is appropriate for men and women of all skin types and skin tones who wish to achieve dramatic results without painful surgery and lengthy recovery times. The most successful laser skin tightening candidates experience permanent results as the collagen under their skin is regenerated, producing a more youthful complexion. Laser skin tightening is a safe, effective way to lessen the effects of time. Using advanced laser technology, the collagen beneath the surface of the skin is heated, causing it to constrict, thus tightening loose facial skin and giving the appearance of firm, youthful skin with less fine lines and wrinkles.
Ideal Laser Skin Tightening Candidates
Men and women between ages 30 and 60 are ideal candidates for laser skin tightening procedures. As long as you’re in good health, laser skin tightening can repair loose facial skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines all over the body. Patients with extreme skin laxity might consider combining another surgery, such as a face lift, with skin tightening to remove excess skin while diminishing surface wrinkles and rejuvenating the firmness of their healthy complexions. Laser skin tightening is an effective, minimally invasive option for people of all skin types and skin tones.