I am back with another gyaan session! This one is on Skin Whitening using Lasers.:)
Well, as we all know we Indians have been obsessed with fairness from time immemorial, when our ancestors would make use of several home-made exotic ingredients like Kesar, sandalwood, haldi, milk and so on to lighten our natural wheatish complexion.
Well, coming to the present day, we have neither the time nor the patience to prepare these packs and creams and wait for days and months for results to show. Hence, we have all those advertisements which claim to make us ‘Fair and Lovely’ and just when we thought we had enough of this fairness craze, Voila! Our scientific world presented us with yet another fairness miracle in the form of laser treatments! Now, which woman would not want to transform herself into a ‘Fair and Flawless beauty’ in just a couple of weeks? Seems like a dream come true right? But what if this ends up a nightmare? Read on and figure that out for yourselves..
What it means:
Laser Skin Whitening is a procedure wherein short pulsed concentrated beams of light are targeted to remove irregular, unwanted or damaged skin and stimulate the growth of new skin cells thereby given the person a lighter skin tone.
Laser resurfacing, Labrasion and Laser peel are other terms used for this skin treatment.
Laser treatment is used to effectively treat various hyper-pigmentation problems like chloasma, melasma, age spots, liver spots and uneven dark skin due to the overproduction of melanin.
Ablative laser resurfacing: Ablasive lasers are used to remove the top most layers of the skin and a part of the underlying sub layer by vaporizing the affected tissue.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing: Here, non-ablative lasers penetrate the skin without damaging the skin surface, which aids faster healing and recovery.
Fractional skin resurfacing: This is a combination treatment which uses both Ablative and Non-ablative lasers to minimize risks and maximize results. Even though this is not as strong as the Ablative laser treatment, it is targeted at stimulating the body to replace old affected tissues with healthy new ones, thereby resulting in fairer, radiant skin.
How it works on the skin:
Lasers work on skin in two different ways –
By breaking down a part of the melanin into microscopic particles. This is later expelled by the body through its natural defense, circulation and excretory systems.
Due to the concentrated beam of light, the melanin initially forms a thin dark crust on the skin, which will gradually flake or shed with time, depending on the area and the intensity of the melanin content.
Usually 3-5 laser sessions would be required to see some visible results.
Why Laser Skin Whitening could be a ‘dream’ for those who want a fairer complexion:
- It’s a quick fix!
Unlike other treatments that may take months on end to show any results, laser treatments give fairer skin in just 2- weeks. So this would be ideal for those who would want a radiant and glowing look for festivities, marriages and other such important life events.
- It actually works! (well..in most cases atleast)
There are n number of whitening products available which make tall claims on lightening skin tones. However, as most of us have experienced, some are not suitable for our skin type, some show negligible results and some do not work at all. Laser is one treatment which would work well and give visibly brighter looking skin when performed under the right medical guidance.
- We are in safe hands!
Being under the medical guidance and seeking the right professional advice from a certified doctor, minimizes risks to a great extent and in case of complications, trained experts can help us rectify the problems.
Why laser treatment could turn into a ‘nightmare’:
- Uneven complexion: As the procedure involves disrupting the melanin cells, which gives the skin its color, there may be hyper or hypo pigmentation which would leave the skin blotchy, with uneven skin tone.
- Healing period: Simple treatments may need a day or two but a full facial treatment may involve having a dressing applied, which needs to be kept in place for 7-21 days. Also, the time taken for the post treatment scars to fade away would vary from person to person. Redness, itchiness and irritation may also be noticed during the recovery period.
- Swelling: Lasers penetrates skin cells that may cause inflammation, which often results in swelling of the affected part. Swelling usually comes down in a few days to a week.
- Cost: Laser treatment is one of the costliest alternatives of skin whitening treatments. So, it would definitely burn a hole in most of our pockets!
- Other risks would include mild pain at the affected area post the treatment, increased sensitivity to Sun exposure, possible infections, recurrence of the skin problems and minor breakouts.
Even though the Laser Skin Whitening looks tempting as it is effective and fast, we need to consider the risks involved in undergoing such treatments. It is very important to consult a reputed and trusted dermatologist and discussing the pros and cons with him/her, before going ahead and taking a decision.
Well… That’s it for now… Ba byeeeeeeeeeeeeee……
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