Q & A 8

Aug 03, 12 Q & A 8

Dear Dr Irene,

Can lasers help to smoothen my skin?

A reader of StarHealth

Dear Reader,

There are many reasons that may contribute to uneven skin. Firstly, if it is due to any skin disease, it should be treated first before any aesthetic procedures.

There are many other causes of an uneven skin. Generally, it can be due to some ‘lumps and bumps’, enlarged pores, scars and sometimes uneven skin tone may give rise to an apparent uneven skin surface.

Common lumps and bumps on the face includes oil seeds (milia), black and white heads, syringoma and trichoepithelioma. The role of lasers are  mainly on removal of syringoma and trichoepithelioma. These lesions may be burned off by a CO2 laser.

Milia

Syringoma

Trichoepithelioma

Depending on which type of acne scars, some lasers may be able to help to reduce the degree of scarring. Those scars that cause depression on the skin surface may be ameliorated by the use of ablative lasers such as fractional CO2, fractional erbium:yag, fractional erbium as well as fractional radiofrequency lasers. Scars that are protruding such as hypertrophic and keloid scars may do well with vascular lasers such as pulse dye laser. Pigmentation scars can be lightened by pigment lasers.

If the uneven skin surface is due to uneven or enlarged pores, some skin rejuvenation lasers may help to even out the skin surface. Commonly used lasers includes intense pulse light (IPL), long pulse Nd:Yag, Q-switched Nd:Yag, erbium glass, fractional CO2, fractional erbium:yag, fractional erbium, fractional radio frequency and etc.

The best laser to be used for a certain person depends on the overall condition of his or her skin as well as his or her general health condition. Treatment has to be customised to each and everyone’s need. What works for one may not works for another. Its best to seek professional help to determine which will be the best for you.

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