What It’s Like Using Skin Tightening Laser Therapy?
What It’s Like Using Skin Tightening Laser Therapy?
Firm, tight, radiant skin is the holy grail for many people. As we age, we lose a lot of the natural support that makes the face look youthful. That also affects how quickly or thoroughly the skin is able to bounce back from all of the things that life has to throw at it.
These issues are one of the main reasons that people seek out treatments like the Viora®, Ulthera®, and Fraxel® Skin Tightening laser therapy, which we provide at Miami Skin Institute. Learning more about what it’s like to use these therapies, and the results you might expect from using them, helps give you all the information you might need to make an educated decision about what may work best for you.
What Causes the Skin To Be Less Tight?
As much as we’d like to think that our skin is going to stay youthful and radiant forever, eventually we all succumb to the changes caused by three factors – genetics, age, and sun damage. How these factors cause those fine lines and wrinkles, or the skin to loosen and sag, is by reducing and weakening the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.
Collagen and elastin are two of the most important components of the skin in general. The bond between collagen molecules helps the skin stay held together as tightly as possible. The bond between elastin helps it be able to bounce back without the fine lines and wrinkles that can result from repetitive muscle movement.
Unfortunately, losing collagen and elastin is a natural part of the aging process. Production of collagen naturally starts to slow down when we reach our mid-twenties and continues to be produced at a slower and slower rate until menopause (for women). Once women hit menopause, that rate lowers even further. That’s why it seems like the skin changes overnight, even though the change was still happening before that time.
In addition, as we age, our skin naturally loses the fat layer under the skin. With less fat, dark circles appear to be more prominent, and fine lines and wrinkles can be more visible. Some people refer to these issues as “senior shadows.” Skin may also seem drier, more pale, and less “healthy”.
Dehydration can also play a part in looser, sagging skin. When our body doesn’t have the water that it needs, it can’t bounce back. It can also cause plenty of other health related concerns, so make sure that you’re getting the recommended amount!
Who Benefits From Skin Tightening Laser Therapy?
While skin tightening laser therapy is available for most everyone who is willing to pay for it, there are a few types of people who would benefit the most from pursuing it.
Specifically, people who are noticing significant sagging or drooping of the skin of their face are often the best candidates. This is especially true for people who are also noticing increasing fine lines or wrinkles on their face. However, the skin does need to be strong enough to be able to stand up against laser therapy. Skin that tends to be very sensitive in nature, or skin types that tend to break out frequently, may not be good candidates.
The same lasers that can be used to tighten the skin can also be used to help minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots, whether they are caused by aging, scarring, or just simple genetics.
It’s also important to understand that no procedures, other than the more invasive surgeries, can really provide you with drastic results. If you’re going into any skin care routine or non-invasive procedure expecting to come out looking like an entirely new person, you should adjust your expectations.
How Do Skin Tightening Lasers Work?
No matter which skin tightening laser treatment you seek out, they all work with essentially the same method of action. When these lasers are directed to certain areas of the skin, they are able to safely penetrate the top layers of the skin to reach the layers underneath.
Once it reaches into those layers, it produces a relatively small amount of heat that is said to help increase the production of collagen. It may also stimulate the wound healing process, which can tighten existing collagen and boost collagen production in even larger amounts.
More specifically, the heat in the skin impacts water molecules that are present in the tissue. As those water molecules heat up, they eventually begin to turn into gas. That gas then goes on to actually vaporize the cells around it, triggering a process known as fibroplasia. Fibroplasia is the wound healing process, which is what then goes on to trigger that increased, tightened collagen production.
To get the desired results, the medical provider who is performing the treatment will adjust the depth and amount of the laser wavelengths. That essentially impacts how much and how quickly the water molecules are vaporized.
There are two different categories of skin lasers – ablative and non-ablative. Non-ablative laser treatments are by far the least invasive of the two, as they cause no damage to that top layer (the epidermis). The ablative treatments can actually remove some of the epidermis to stimulate the tightening of the skin. They require slightly more recovery time as well. Either category uses either fractionated (equally distributed) or nonfractionated (more general) lasers to get their results.
What Else Can Tighten The Skin?
If you’re not ready to use laser therapy to make your skin more firm, but you’d still like to see a visible improvement, there are other options out there for you.
For instance, it’s never too late to establish a good skin care routine. In addition to wearing sunscreen to prevent additional damage to the skin, dermatologists often cite quality skin care as being one of the most important factors to keeping the skin healthy and youthful.
When you cleanse the skin, you help get rid of that top layer of dead skin cells and other pollutants from the environment that build up there and make the skin look dull. If you have noticed a major reduction in the radiance and brightness of your skin, but you have yet to establish your own skin care routine, even just cleansing the skin can really help. It’s much harder for the skin to be able to renew itself if it has to fight through a layer of old, dead cells.
With Miami Skin Institute, you have other options beside just laser treatments to keep the skin firm and young looking. When you develop a quality skin care routine that involves cleansing, using appropriate targeted products, moisturizing, and incorporating them with the judicious “natural” use of injectables and light laser treatments, you can hold back the tides of time as long as possible. We’d love to help you help yourself, because you really can achieve any goal you set for yourself!