Laser Skin Tightening
Laser skin tightening is a noninvasive procedure designed to reverse signs of aging on the skin. It can be used on all areas of the face and body, but is typically used on the face and neck. It works by heating the underlying layers of skin to stimulate collagen production, which, in turn, causes the skin to look fuller and tighter. Wrinkles, fine lines, lax skin and other signs of aging are minimized, and skin looks healthier and more youthful.
Laser skin tightening is an in-office procedure usually performed by a dermatologist. A session begins with an anesthetic cream being applied to the areas of skin being treated; this minimizes discomfort caused by the laser. Protective eyewear is also supplied. During the actual treatment, a handpiece, which emits cool air to also help reduce discomfort, is used to apply short pulses of laser energy to the skin. The heat from the laser stimulates collagen production, which then contracts and tightens the skin.
Depending upon the size of the treatment area, sessions typically take 30 minutes to an hour. For best results, 2 or 3 treatment sessions, spaced about 1 month apart, are usually recommended. Many patients see improvement to the overall condition of their skin immediately after being treated, and skin continues to improve over the next few months as collagen production increases. In some cases, the results of laser skin tightening last for 2 years.
Because it is not invasive, many people choose to undergo laser skin tightening rather than facelifts, neck lifts, liposuction or "tummy tucks," all of which are surgical procedures that require recovery time. After a laser skin tightening session, patients can resume their regular activities immediately.
There are no serious side effects associated with laser skin tightening. Mild side effects, which are temporary, include redness; swelling; bruising; skin sensitivity; and changes in skin color. Any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.