You know we love our lasers at Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal. We’re kind of geeky about them, offering more varieties of lasers for hair removal and vein removal than anyone else. That’s why we have such a loyal clientele.
But we also like to tell our patients about other procedures or health tips from time to time. We’ve talked about skin care and even why we get the blues come wintertime. Patients sometimes ask us about other procedures they hear about.
This blog is about another cosmetic use of lasers — for skin tightening. This is a relatively new addition to the aesthetic world. Here’s how it works.
Laser Skin Tightening
It seems somewhat frightening to direct laser energy through the skin’s outer layer, the epidermis, and down into the dermis (the skin’s second layer). It’s somewhat similar to when we use our lasers for spider vein removal, but we only direct the energy just below the surface of the epidermis into the spider vein. In skin tightening, the laser penetration is deeper. The laser energy is applied to the skin, and it penetrates into the dermis where the light energy converts to heat. In the dermis, the converted energy heats the collagen. Collagen is responsible for providing structural support for the skin. But as we age, our collagen production constantly decreases by one additional percent every year. When heated, the collagen contracts, technically called remodeling. This instantly provides some degree of skin tightening on the surface.
The second part of the effect is what endures. When heat enters the dermis layer, the body perceives this as a “wound” of sorts. It responds to the heat-treated area by producing and delivering new collagen to the site of the “wound.” This process continues for a few months after the laser procedure, and the new collagen further firms the skin and lessons the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The results last for up to two years, but the new collagen will eventually be reabsorbed, and the results will fade. At this point, another series of treatments would be necessary.
How Is Laser Skin Tightening Different from Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser skin tightening is completely non-ablative. The laser energy simply heats the collagen under the skin, causing it to contract and tighten. Plus, it triggers the body to create new collagen. But there isn’t any recovery afterward.
Laser skin resurfacing is ablative. The laser energy is used to remove the top layers of the skin. It provides more dramatic results for removing issues such as acne scars and sun damage, but recovery time is involved, and there can be unfavorable changes in pigmentation and scarring.
Schedule a Consultation
That’s the lowdown on laser skin tightening. We’re more concerned with using our lasers at Romeo & Juliette to help you get rid of that unwanted hair. Winter is a great time to do so and get ready for swimsuit season. Call us at (212) 750-2000 to make an appointment.