A New Role for Lasers in Maintaining Skin Health

Technologies such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) are commonly used for wrinkle reduction, and of course there’s a place for lasers in tattoo removal. This suggests a philosophy of aggressive intervention rather than the approach we generally prefer, which is to promote homeostasis, i.e. the skin’s natural ability to maintain itself.

But it’s not quite that simple.

As a practising dermatologist, I recently attended the Cutera University Clinical Forum 2018. There was much discussion around the biological effects of laser technology in optimising skin health. This is an important paradigm shift and complements the use of cosmeceutical skincare products to maintain skin vitality rather than a specific focus on anti-aging and skin pathology.

I was particularly impressed by the exciting new class of pico lasers. These offer advantages over older IPL systems because they use narrow wavelengths, which are inherently safer. They are less subject to operator error and can be used on all skin types. 

One promising study found that pico laser treatment of acne scars led to healthier skin down the track:

Treatment of facial acne scars with a diffractive lens array and 755-nm picosecond laser produced improvement in appearance and texture at 3 months after the last treatment, with objective findings similar to those published for a series of fractional ablative laser treatments. Histologic findings suggest that improvement in scarring from this treatment goes beyond remodeling of collagen. 

Your daily skincare regime should be the foundation of optimum skin health – but don’t overlook the potential of new-generation laser technology to support homeostasis.