Lasers & Lights
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Lasers and Lights:
Common Questions

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One of the most exciting categories of procedures we offer our patients is laser and light treatments. Technological advances are constantly improving the results of these options. At our Tucson practice, we are committed to staying at the forefront of aesthetic laser technologies so we can recommend the most appropriate procedure for your skin. Whenever you are considering laser and light treatments, it's important to make sure the procedure is performed by medical personnel who have been trained by physicians and experts from the companies that devise the technologies.

If you are curious about the treatments we perform at Skin Spectrum, review the answers below, and when you're ready, request a cosmetic consultation online, or call our office at (520) 797-8885.

Dr. Jody
Dr. Tina Pai

Common Questions

Every day, we answer questions about dozens of laser and light treatments, from laser tattoo removal to laser hair removal, at our Tucson, AZ practice. The most important thing to remember is that a laser's safety depends on the training and qualifications of the person performing the procedure. Here are answers to some of the most common questions:

What's the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers?

Ablative and non-ablative are the 2 basic categories of lasers. An ablative laser aggressively rejuvenates the skin by actually vaporizing the top layer of damaged skin. A non-ablative laser targets deeper layers of the skin without damaging the top layers. Because many patients require treatment for a variety of skin conditions, a combination of ablative and non-ablative laser treatments is sometimes recommended.

I've heard about CO2 and Erbium YAG lasers. They sound like they do the same thing. What's the difference?

CO2 lasers create more heat in the skin during treatment. The light and heat tightens the skin by producing millions of small laser holes. As the skin heals, it tightens and texture improves. This treatment is ideal for patients with sagging, wrinkled, and severely scarred skin.

Erbium YAG lasers are less aggressive. They also produce millions of small holes in the skin, but with less heat. The result is generally less redness and faster healing, but not as much skin tightening.

Will my laser or light procedure hurt?

Some of the more aggressive laser procedures we offer cause minor discomfort, but your technician can discuss options for numbing your treatment area. Many of our procedures do not cause any pain or downtime.

I want tighter skin, plus I have a few acne scars. What's the best laser skin rejuvenation treatment?

The best treatment often depends on the amount of downtime you can afford. For example, Thermage® is a non-surgical procedure that uses radiofrequency energy and doesn't affect the outer layers of skin. It tightens skin with little to no downtime. Active FX™, on the other hand, is a fractional laser that requires about 5 days of downtime, but it effectively treats acne scarring and skin damage. Our most recent addition for collagen stimulation is Cutera®'s Laser Genesis. This is a painless procedure that stimulates collagen. We often utilize lasers, light devices, microneedling and fillers for optimal acne scar treatment results.

What's the difference between Intense Pulsed Light treatments and laser procedures?

Light energy, similar to radiofrequency energy, gradually improves the skin's appearance without causing damage to the outer layers. Almost no downtime is required, but the results are less dramatic. IPL is a good choice if you want to reduce freckles, age spots, or fine lines. Many existing and recent studies utilize IPL with other devices simultaneously and/or sequentially. IPL is a common annual fresh up treatment for all body skin.

What's the best laser to remove unwanted hair?

As you might guess, the answer depends on several factors, such as skin color and how much hair is being removed. We use the Light Sheer® DUET™ because it's safe for all skin colors and types and works much faster than earlier lasers, so it's more efficient. We recommend our Spectra YAG laser for clients who want to treat other skin conditions while removing hair.

What's different about a laser used to remove tattoos?

Lasers used to remove tattoos target pigment in the ink, rather than the skin cells targeted by the lasers used in skin rejuvenation procedures. One of the most important considerations in laser tattoo removal is the quality of the tattoo itself. Experienced tattoo artists apply ink evenly, so removing the tattoo is actually easier.

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