Many patients are still very new to the concept of cosmetic CO2 lasers, and are understandably uncertain about the merits and risks of the procedure. Some have heard about the possibility of permanent skin scarring caused by lasers, and are easily swayed by advertisements about the appeal of various beauty creams and treatments as alternatives to laser treatments. However, such claims are not necessarily true.
Here are some of the common misconceptions regarding CO2 laser treatments:
Myth #1: Laser resurfacing is a new technology that is still in its developmental and experimental stage
Compared to basic laser applications used today, like barcode readers, laser pointers, fiber optics, and lighting displays, medical lasers have been around for longer, which means that they shouldn’t be looked upon as some new technology. Furthermore, medical lasers are developed through candid scientific principles to produce desired results while reducing undesirable side effects, and have proven to be very useful in procedures such as kidney- and gall-stone blasting, LASIK, tumour removal, and dental applications.
Myth #2: There is no need for lasers because all their benefits can be achieved with skin care products
Unlike beauty and skin care products that typically have all kinds of exorbitant claims that are unlikely to be true, medical equipment such as CO2 lasers are required by law to be thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness. So, laser machines cannot be released to the market unless approved by the oversight body.
Myth #3: You can tell whether or not lasers are right for you after the first treatment
Every person is unique, and what works for most people may not necessarily be good for others. Depending on a number of factors, including skin sensitivity, lifestyle habits like exposure to UV radiation or smoking, and pain tolerance, you may respond very differently to laser treatment. This is why it is crucial that you trust your doctor and let him or her determine the best course of your treatment.
Myth #4: Laser treatments cause the skin to thin out and weaken
This is simply not true. On the contrary, the controlled heating and wound action associated with laser treatment actually induces the natural skin reaction of elastin and collagen formation to replace damaged skin. The skin can also not be damaged or weakened by repeated use of CO2 lasers, as long as the laser provider understands the limitations of the equipment that they’re using on a patient.
Lastly, it is important to note that lasers are not all designed to fit one size, since the equipment is highly calibrated and specialised for specific purposes.
That said, there are two major laser categories: ablative or cutting lasers that work by physically damaging the top layers of the skin, and used in procedures such as laser resurfacing and scar revision, and non-ablative lasers that function by targeting specific depths and colours while the top skin layer remains unharmed. So, while one machine may be used for different procedures, it has to be adjusted for the specific purpose.
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