Lasers Q & A

What are lasers?

lasrsLasers are powerful devices that emit strong, focused beams of light at specific wavelengths. This light can heat and vaporize tissues for medical aesthetic purposes.

By damaging your tissues with heat, lasers promote healing in either deep or superficial layers of your skin. The controlled damage causes your skin to react as if it’s been injured and initiates the healing process to repair the damage.

There are two main types of lasers used for medical aesthetic purposes:

Ablative lasers

Ablative lasers treat superficial tissue. They heat water within your skin and cause targeted tissue to vaporize.

Non-ablative lasers

Non-ablative lasers target deeper tissues. They repair damage deep within your skin and often result in less recovery time than treatments with ablative lasers.

Intense pulsed light (IPL)

While not a laser, IPL is another powerful form of light frequently used for medical aesthetics. Unlike lasers, IPL uses many light wavelengths in a bright, scattered form.

What are my options for treatment with lasers?

Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center offers options from all laser categories as well as IPL treatment. After reviewing your skin and asking about your treatment goals during a consultation, your provider might recommend:

Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is a laser procedure that works for all skin types. Using the Lumenis® LightSheer® Duet™ for less painful hair removal or the Sciton® ClearScan YAG™ for darker skin tones, you can remove thick or excessive body hair from areas you normally wax or shave.

Laser skin resurfacing

This state-of-the-art facial rejuvenation procedure is a great way to brighten your skin. Your skin heals just 3-4 days after your MicroLaserPeel® by Sciton.

Photofacials with IPL

IPL photofacials are great for targeting pigmented spots and lesions on your skin like facial blood vessels and age spots.

You might need more than one session to achieve your desired results.

How should I care for my skin after procedures with lasers?

The laser procedures available at Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center are gentle and involve minimal downtime. Your provider tells you how you can care for your skin after the procedure to avoid prolonged irritation.

Generally, you should:

  • Use sunscreen every day
  • Avoid harsh, direct sunlight
  • Clean your skin with a gentle cleanser
  • Use gentle moisturizers

Your specific laser procedure might require additional steps for aftercare.

Lasers are highly effective in treating skin concerns like spots and textural issues. To book a consultation, call Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center or request an appointment online today.

*Individual results may vary.

Start Your Laser Hair Removal Treatments Now and Be Silky Smooth by Spring

Start Your Laser Hair Removal Treatments Now and Be Silky Smooth by Spring

The winter holidays are just about here, and if you’re like most people in Washington, DC, springtime is probably the last thing on your mind.

Happy fact: Warm, sunny weather is just a few months away, and if your spring and summer dreams involve exposing plenty of smooth, sexy skin, that means now is the ideal time to schedule laser hair removal.

Winter offers a few advantages for anyone who wants smooth skin on their arms, legs, or other (ahem) body parts this spring. At Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center, our team offers custom laser hair removal tailored to each patient’s needs and goals.

How laser hair removal works

Lasers use focused beams of energy to gently heat individual hairs in each treatment area. The heat from the laser travels down the hair shaft into the follicle.

That tiny burst of heat doesn’t damage your skin, but it’s just enough to damage the hair-growing mechanism inside the follicle. After treatment, that follicle won’t produce hair or the hair it produces will be very, very fine.

Hair grows in stages, and each hair on your body grows at its own rate. To get the best results, we need to treat each follicle during a specific part of the growth stage — the anagen phase, when hair is actively growing.

As a result, you need to have several treatment sessions to make sure every hair is treated during this important phase.

Why now is the time for laser hair removal

Winter in DC means layering sweaters, jeans, and coats, so it might seem a little odd to be thinking about laser hair removal. But there are some clear benefits to having treatment now.

Treatments take time

As noted above, you need multiple treatment sessions to make sure each hair is treated during its anagen (growth) phase. This is the only phase when laser hair removal is effective.

Each treatment needs to be spaced out to give each hair time to move into that phase. Starting treatment now ensures you have time to complete your initial series of treatments before spring arrives, along with any touch-up treatments for errant hairs that pop up a few months later.

You’ll be out of the sun

During laser hair removal, it’s a good idea to stay out of the sun to avoid irritating and stressing your skin. In fact, we recommend avoiding the sun for two weeks after each treatment to give your skin time to heal.

Avoiding the sun can be difficult during the warm spring weather. But in the winter, most of us do all we can to stay out of the brutal cold (and the winter sun). Plus, winter clothing covers more skin, which also minimizes sun exposure during treatment.

It’s easier to skip shaving (and waxing and plucking)

Lasers work by damaging the hair follicle with targeted heat. To reach each follicle, the laser energy needs to travel down the hair shaft to the root of the hair. If your hair is shaved off, plucked, or waxed, the laser doesn’t have a way to reach the follicle.

In the warmer months of the year, there’s a good chance you expose more of your skin, and that makes it harder to feel comfortable skipping your regular hair removal routine. During winter, no one can see your shaggy look but you.

Get ready for smoother, sexier skin

Laser hair removal is popular for both women and men, and our team makes sure your treatments are optimized for your hair, your skin tone, and other factors. To learn more about laser hair removal at MetroDerm DC, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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