Why are Fall and winter months a great time for laser procedures?

Most laser treatments require you to avoid the sun or very careful about the sun for a month or two after treatment. The best times for laser treatments are fall, winter and early spring when the sun’s UVA rays are lowest.

How does exposure to the sun affect these procedures?

There are a couple of reasons to avoid sun exposure with laser treatments:

1. Effectiveness. Laser hair removal requires light skin and dark hair for the most effective results. The laser targets the pigment in the hair and having skin with more pigment negatively impacts the effectiveness of the laser.

2. Increased sensitivity. A laser procedure will ablate or cause the top layers of your skin to peel and new skin can be photo-sensitive. Sun exposure will cause your skin to darken, freckle or become photo-damaged. In rare cases excess sun exposure after a laser procedure could cause hyperpigmentation.

3. Sun damage. Lasers are often used to combat the effects of aging and one of the worse causes of skin aging is sun exposure. Technology is available to quickly show patients the extent of sun damage in the deeper layers of their skin. We use the Reveal Imager to show patients the amount of damage that may be present.

Tell me more about the Reveal Imager and how it works.

The Reveal Imager is a multi-spectral computer imaging system that uses standard white light and cross-polarized flash. The device enables us to see beneath the skin surface, visualizing specific conditions as related to both vascular disorders and hyperpigmentation. This information is very useful in determining the best treatment plan and for tracking improvements in your skin health.

We’ve just entered the Fall season so it is a perfect time to schedule the laser procedures that are done as a series such as laser hair removal and Fraxel.

Laser hair removal is done as a series because the laser targets hair in the growth phase and only part of your hair is in the growth phase at a time. Five treatments is a commonly required for laser hair removal.

Fraxel utilizes a technology called Fractional Resurfacing. With Fractional Resurfacing, only a fraction of the skin receives the laser light. The laser delivers a series of microscopic closely spaced laser spots to the skin while simultaneously preserving normal healthy skin between the laser spots. This preservation of healthy skin results in rapid healing following the laser treatment. Because only a fraction of the skin is treated, four treatments deliver the best results.