Elizabeth Rago is a freelance writer specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, working with yoga studios, chiropractors, mental health, and wellness practitioners. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. She has been published in Mamalode Magazine, MOMentumNation.com and thesavvyfreelancer.com. Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Google+.
Our culture has embraced alternative treatments of the skin in an attempt to reverse the signs of aging, and while many patients have experienced optimal results, there are a few things to consider before booking your next rejuvenation appointment.
1. Ablative vs. Non-Ablative
In ablative laser resurfacing, the upper layers of the skin are removed. This procedure dramatically improves sun damage, skin tone and acne scars, but requires anesthesia. Some types of ablative procedures: Fractional CO2 Skin Resurfacing, Erbium Laser, and Ablative Fractional Resurfacing Lasers
For non-ablative procedures, there is no visible wounding to the surface of the skin, which treats minimal sun damage, age spots, irregular pigmentation, spider veins, rosacea, and acne scarring. Some types of non-ablative procedures: Nonablative Fractional Resurfacing, IPL, Pearl of Cutera, Photo Facial, Portrait, Pulsed Dye Lasers
2. Consider the benefits – If you are looking for an even skin tone, texture and clarity of the skin, photo rejuvenation procedure can be a good fit for you. Many individuals seek out these treatments to minimize scars and tattoos, address vascular conditions and pigmentation concerns (dark patches on the skin, freckles, ect.), loss of skin tone, and wrinkles. There is minimal downtime with non-ablative photo rejuevination and long-term benefits with ablative photo rejuevination.
3. Do your research – It is imperative that you locate a reputable physician in your area. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery or New Beauty (a publication and resource for advanced beauty treatments) can help you find a practitioner in your area.
4. Do you have the time for recovery?
For ablative procedures, recovery means pain management, your skin crusting over, shedding scabs and then healing (anywhere between 4- 6 weeks) before seeing the final results. The risk of infection is higher with ablative procedures and there is a possibility that you might have to stay out of the sun for at least a year.
Non-ablative recovery is immediate as the need for taking time off from work or other responsibilities is unnecessary.
5. It’s an investment. The cost for ablative procedures range from $2500 - $5000, but the treatment is long lasting. The cost of non-ablative: $200-$500 per treatment, which usually takes at least 3 visits to see results. After the fact: According to New Beauty, “It is imperative that you follow the regimen for post-treatment care set out by your laser skin doctor or dermatologist. Since the skin is now fresh and new, the outermost skin layer needs to be tended to properly and carefully. If you don’t follow the protocol set forth, you may compromise your results.”
Post-treatment care includes applying SPF daily, moisturizing, using a skin brightener, and avoiding products with fragrance or chemicals.
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