If you are having a tough day, don’t try to read this. I will do my best to explain it to you.
True lasers are straight beams of light. There are many factors which determine what they will do on or to the skin. These include the wavelength of the light and the “target”. Though, also includes the color in the skin which is being targeted. Sometimes the color may be red, or brown, or neither. In the case of acne, red targets would be acne infections or healing acne sites. Brown marks are found in people with darker skin types where an increase in pigmentation results from infection. The melanin pigment makes cell brown in colour which stimulates from the infection. (See below)
Unfortunately, laser manufacturers give their devices sexy sound names which use for marketing purposes. Mustang, Corvette, Camero all are the names of sports cars. Therefore, we need more information to understand the difference between them. Similarly, in order to know the difference between different brand named lasers, we need to know their wavelength in order to know what they do. To make matters worse, lasers are named by the material inside the laser tube which generates the light. The CO2 laser is an invisible laser with an infrared wavelength of 10,600 nm . Nd:YAG laser has a wavelength of 1064 nm and the capability to reach deeper layers of skin tissue than other types of lasers. A KTP laser may emit light at a wavelength of 532 nm. It all depends on what the goal of the treatment would be.
Lasers and Chemical peels
The basic difference between ablative and non–ablative treatments is that ablative lasers (like CO2) remove the top layer of skin, while non–ablative lasers( like YAG) often work by heating up the underlying skin tissue (without harming the surface). Again, each use for different purposes. To make things worse, there are devices falsely called lasers which are IPL devices. IPL means Intense Pulsed Light. They do not have a single wavelength rather many wavelengths controlled by a gross filter. They are less expensive to manufacture than true lasers.
And Fractional? Fractional refers to the fact that a fraction of the laser output is used on the skin in order to make an easier recovery for the patient. The letter x is added to the word for giving a Brand name to a device. Finally, what about lasers that use 532 and 940nm. The 532nm wavelength reduces active and healing red acne. The brown color of old acne scar marks are treated with both of these.
The main point is that box and rolling scars are not appropriate for lasers and peels. These scars are deep holes and need to be “pushed “ up from below. However, lasers cannot treat too deep ice picks. The only scars which benefit from peels and lasers of various types are superficial. Lasers and Chemical peels treat the acne scars. Too often, here today and gone tomorrow.
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