Learn more about specific conditions where laser/light therapy can be used
What is laser/light therapy?
Laser/light therapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses light energy to repair and regenerate damaged skin. Benefits of the procedure include:
Elevation of ATP production, resulting in increased energy for cells.Increased endorphin production, resulting in less need for pain medication.Improved immune response.Improved DNA production to promote healing.Promotion of collagen production to reduce wrinkles and scarring.Better lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling.Improved circulation.Reduced inflammation.
What should first be done before considering laser/light therapy?
Before the procedure, an ASDS doctor will usually review the patient’s medical history and conduct a physical exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. Patients also should avoid:
Sunbathing, tanning beds, waxing, chemical peels or collagen injections for two weeks prior to the procedure.Perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the treatment area before and after treatment.Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements due to increased risk of bleeding.
When is laser/light therapy appropriate?
Laser/light therapy is appropriate for the following conditions:
Who is not a candidate for laser/light therapy
Patients with any of the following conditions are not good candidates for laser/light therapy:
- Are taking or recently taken Accutane.
- Are subject to keloid scarring.
- Exhibit severe or unusual scar formations.
- Are pregnant.
- Have recently tanned or suffered severe sun burn.
- Have active acne.
- Are dark skinned.
- Are on blood thinners.
- Have skin resurfacing disorders.
Is laser/light therapy painful?
During the procedure, patients may feel a pinch similar to the snapping of a rubber band. Topical anesthetic or chilled gel may be applied to prevent discomfort.
What are the potential complications of laser/light therapy?
What can I expect after having had laser/light therapy?
Patients may not see any significant changes until several weeks after the procedure. Other post-procedure issues include:
- Treated area may be pink or red for four to eight hours after treatment.
- A slight stinging sensation, similar to a mild sunburn in the treated area. This sensation usually subsides within four to six hours. Cool packs or moist cloths may be applied to reduce the sensation.
- Mild swelling in the treatment area that usually dissipates within several days.
In addition, patients should:
- Avoid applying makeup or lotion to the treated area for either 24 hours or until all signs or redness and stinging have dissipated.
- Apply a good moisturizing lotion to the treated area twice daily for the duration of the treatments and for at least three months after final treatment.
For more information and referrals
For more information on skin conditions and treatments, along with a list of ASDS members in your state, please visit the find a dermatologic surgeon section of our website.