From laser hair removal to Clear + Brilliant, there's a laser treatment out there for nearly everyone. Lasers can do almost anything nowadays, from blasting away unwanted tattoos to reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Pretty incredible, right? If you're thinking about getting laser treatments, here's everything you need to know about planning them.
Be familiar with the technology used
There are so many different technologies that drive laser treatments. That's why it's crucial to be familiar with all the underlying technologies and how treatments work:
- Laser hair removal typically uses Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers. The Alexandrite specializes in skin types 1 to 3, whereas the Nd:YAG targets skin types 4 to 6. These lasers essentially work by damaging the hair follicle to minimize hair growth. The Cynosure Apogee Elite is a dual-wavelength laser combining both Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers to effectively treat different skin and hair follicle types.
- Clear + Brilliant is a non-invasive dioxide laser that creates millions of microscopic treatment zones deep within the skin, replacing damaged skin with healthy, younger-looking tissue.
- Laser tattoo removal usually involves Q-switch lasers, each one targeting a different color spectrum at different wavelengths. They target the tattoo pigments, causing them to fragment.
All three of these popular laser treatments are minimally invasive, which means little downtime is involved.
Know how many treatments you'll need and when to space them out
A lot of non-invasive laser treatments require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results. Patients typically like to start laser treatments in the fall and winter because that's when they're less likely to experience side effects as a result of sun exposure. It's essential to know how many treatments you'll need and when to schedule them:
- With laser hair removal, the number of treatments you'll need depends on the area being treated. You could need anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments, spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart.
- Similar to laser hair removal, the number of Clear + Brilliant treatments you'll need all depends on your skincare goals. Many patients notice visible improvements after four-to-six treatments spaced a few weeks apart.
- Laser tattoo removal all depends on the specific tattoo you're getting rid of, including the amount and type of ink used and how deeply it sits. It also takes three-to-six weeks between treatments for your body to absorb the pigment residue, so that's why treatments tend to be spaced several weeks apart.
...and when you can expect to see results
Plan ahead when it comes to getting laser treatments. Why? Because it can take several months until you notice significant results:
- Results from a series of laser hair removal sessions can be seen as early as one-to-two weeks following the first treatment, and they become more noticeable with each successive treatment. After the final treatment, hair growth will be permanently reduced by up to 80%. Basically, you'll see results within a few months of when you start laser hair removal.
- With Clear + Brilliant, results are both immediate and progressive. Within a week or two after one treatment, you'll notice that your skin will start to feel softer, look brighter, and show more even tone. These results become more noticeable after each additional treatment. Most patients end up undergoing four-to-six Clear + Brilliant treatments.
- Laser tattoo removal can require up to twelve sessions, spaced six-to-eight weeks apart. Results, like with other laser treatments, are progressive. Your body absorbs and eliminates tattoo ink after each treatment. This means that the more treatments you undergo, the more the tattoo will disappear. It typically takes a few months to eliminate a tattoo entirely.
When it comes to planning and scheduling laser treatments, you should know how each treatment works, how many sessions you'll need, and how long it takes to notice results. This will ensure your laser treatments go as smoothly as possible. Remember to always go to a well-regarded and trusted aesthetic dermatology provider, like LaserAway, where you can talk through your treatment in detail with a clinician.