While laser treatments were once relegated to dermatologists' offices, you can now purchase a laser and use it in the privacy of your home. Lasers are used to smooth skin, reduce the signs of aging and diminish blemishes. Used in conjunction with topical creams, at home laser treatment can be an effective tool in your skin care arsenal.
Why Use a Laser?
Your skin is made up of layers. At-home lasers work on the endodermis layer of the skin. This layer is about 1 cm under the epidermis (the outside layer). Inside the skin cells are components called mitochondria. These mitochondria produce Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP, which is a building block of elastin and collagen. Elastin and collagen are plentiful in young and healthy skin. They give the skin the plump and smooth texture we all desire.
How Lasers Work
The light from the laser penetrates the skin into the endodermis layer and the mitochondria absorb the photon light and are energized. These stimulated mitochondria produce more ATP which in turn promote faster cell reproduction.
Laser light also acts on the blood microcirculation within cells. This makes the cells healthier and behave as if they were younger. At home lasers also help to treat existing acne blemishes by penetrating the skin layers with heat.
Types Of At-Home Skin Lasers
The Rejuva Wand Skincare System from Light Dimensions combines relaxing massage (RejuvaVibe) with light therapy to promote a more youthful appearance of the skin. It uses red and infrared light waves to stimulate the body's own restorative processes to counteract the effects of aging. This device is approved by the FDA for use in the United States.
The Beurer Softlaser uses the principles of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). It produces a process known as bio-stimulation that stimulates the mitochondria in the skin cells. In Europe, the Beurer Softlaser has been approved to treat a number of conditions including canker sores, small cuts and herpes. In the United States it has not obtained FDA approval for such treatment. The maker only recommends its use for improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Personal acne laser devices have come on the market under the names ThermaClear and Zeno. These work on the principle of using controlled bursts of heat to treat existing blemishes. While not effective on preventing or improving chronic acne, dermatologists consider them handy for the treatment of the occasional pimple. Zeno was the first device to receive the FDA's approval and clears 90% of blemishes in a 24 to 48 hour period. ThermaClear will clear acne two to four times faster than non-treatment. It does not help blackheads, whiteheads or cystic acne.
Using An At-Home Skin Laser
The manufactors of the Softlaser recommend use twice a day--once in the morning and once at bedtime. To use, divide your face into three areas. Apply the laser to the forehead, left side and then right side of the face. Use a zigzig motion on each area for 6 minutes.
For treatment of acne, it is recommended that you hold the laser about 1 cm above the skin so that you do not spread bacteria from the blemishes to the rest of your face.
Benefits Of At Home Skin Lasers
With the use of an at-home skin laser, you can achieve more youthful looking skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Other uses of home skin lasers are in development. These include healing of small cuts, hair removal, and relief of minor pain.
Kathryn Pless lives in rural Florida and is a licensed cosmetologist and nail technician. She has had articles published in Nails Magazine and also had poetry published in The Sandhill Review, the literary journal of Saint Leo University.