Which Laser Treatment is Right for Me?

Laser treatments are super popular and effective for a long list of skin concerns. Lasers use quick, concentrated pulses of light energy to treat specific targets in the skin, like blood vessels (causing redness), pigment (causing discoloration), and water (the target when we aim to improve fine lines and wrinkles). But with so many different lasers to choose from, how do you know which laser treatment is right for you? Let’s break down laser treatments into broad categories to describe the most effective ways that they are used here at CLARA.


Broad Band Light (or, Intense Pulsed Light): The Photofacial

Broad band light, or intense pulsed light, is not technically a laser. True lasers use one specific wavelength of light to target specific problem areas in the skin. As the name suggests, Broad Band Light uses multiple wavelengths, by employing filters, to target multiple concerns in one treatment. So although it is not technically a laser, it is a very effective way to address discoloration in the skin (like reds and browns) using light-based technology. Broadband light is safe in most skin types, and the settings can be adjusted to focus more on whichever concern is most prominent in the skin. The best thing about a BBL Photofacial is the minimal downtime. You will see some redness in the days following treatment that gradually improves, and any brown spots will temporarily become darker (resembling coffee grounds on the skin), and then fleck away over 1-2 weeks. Makeup and sunscreen can be worn shortly after treatment, though you should skip more intensive skincare products like acids and retinols until flecking is complete.


Lasers for Specific Concerns: The Vascular Laser and Laser Hair Removal

Because lasers use very specific wavelengths to target very specific concerns, there are some lasers that we consider the “best in class” for certain concerns. Do you have angiomas (those pesky red bumps that appear on the body and look like red moles), or background redness from rosacea? The Vascular Laser is your best bet. Our Vascular Laser is a pulsed dye laser, meaning it uses a colored dye to specifically target the redness we are trying to minimize, without breaking the skin or affecting anything else in the skin. We also use this laser for redness in scars and stretch marks, or vascular birth marks.

To remove unwanted hair from the face and body, we use a different laser called an NdYAG laser. This laser can specifically target the brown color in the root of the hair follicles, damaging them enough that they are shed from the skin and grow back finer and thinner or not at all.


Ablative Laser Treatments: Facial Laser Resurfacing and Scar Laser Resurfacing

At CLARA, we have two resurfacing lasers, both of which stimulate collagen production in the skin by targeting water molecules in the epidermal and dermal cells. These two lasers – one is a CO2 laser and one is a ErYAG laser – work in a similar way. They create tiny channels in a grid pattern on the skin, which your body interprets as small wounds and begins to heal them by creating new collagen and elastin. The end result is brighter, fresher skin, and a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. We love these resurfacing lasers for treating fine lines and wrinkles, overall rejuvenation, and improving the look and feel of scars resulting from either surgery or trauma.


Whatever your skin concern, there is probably a laser treatment that can help address it. But you don’t have to navigate the world of laser treatments alone! Come in to CLARA for a consult, and we can help to identify the right type of treatment for you based on your skin concerns, skin type, and goals.

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