What are the best laser treatments for your age? That’s actually a trick question. A person in their 20s with acne scarring or sun-damaged skin could need a more aggressive laser treatment than a person in their 40s who still has relatively good skin tone. A better question to ask is, “What is the best laser treatment for me?” As cosmetic laser skin treatments improve, a lot of the older devices and laser types are being discarded for new technologies. Dr. Michael R. Macdonald at San Francisco’s Aesthetic Surgery Center is one of the few doctors in the area to adopt the clinically-proven BBL™ phototherapy. Short for Broad Band Light, BBL is gentle enough to be used on adults in any age range.
Common Skin Conditions Based on Age
The type of laser treatment that is best for you depends more on your individual needs than on your age. Dr. Macdonald will work with you to discuss your goals for laser skin treatments, any conditions or scarring that you may want to have removed, and the types of treatments that stand the best chance of achieving those goals. In general, these are the most common types of skin conditions that people encounter, based on their age:
- 20s: People in their 20s can begin to show the first signs of aging, especially if they’ve spent a lot of time in the sun. The skin tone begins to change in the mid- to late-20s. Someone in their 20s may want to get rid of acne scarring from their teenage years or reduce the size of their pores.
- 30s: Skin starts to lose that youthful “glow” that many people enjoy. Pigmentation changes can take place, and the texture of the skin is not as glossy and “young”-looking as it once was.
- 40s: Many people begin to really start seeing changes in skin tone due to environmental effects in their 40s. The skin starts to lose its collagen, and fine lines and wrinkles may start to appear. Sun damage can take more of a toll by this age than it did earlier in life.
- 50s and Up: Wrinkles start to become more prevalent when we are in our 50s and older. The skin begins to show more laxity (looseness or sagging). Age spots, as well as “spider veins” or dilated blood vessels, begin to show up.
BBL™ Phototherapy vs. Traditional Lasers
Traditional laser therapy treatments penetrate the skin to a specific depth. These are very aggressive treatments, require a lot of recovery time and tend to be more expensive. BBL™ phototherapy technology can be adjusted to specific depths to penetrate varying layers of the dermis (rather than a fixed depth like a traditional laser).
Here are some of the advantages that BBL™ phototherapy offers over most traditional laser treatments:
- Minimal Recovery Time: Most patients are a little red followed by sun damage spots on their skin turning darker. In a few days to a few weeks, the darker spots will flake off. Occasionally, patients experience swelling that may require a prescription for prednisone.
- Fast Treatment: You’ll need no more than an hour. Generally, it takes about 45 minutes to prep, do the treatment, and clean the patient up and apply sunblock.
- with BBL™.
- Greatly Reduced Discomfort: BBL™ phototherapy is much more comfortable than a laser treatment. The burning sensation of a full laser treatment is almost completely eliminated with BBL™.
- Works All Over: BBL™ can be used on all body parts, from your head to your toes. This is far preferable (and less expensive) than different lasers, different treatments and different depths for different body parts, which patients may have to go through with traditional laser treatments.
- Results-Based Evidence: BBL™ treatments have more a decade of clinically-proven results that include long-lasting removal of the effects of aging.
Because BBL™ phototherapy is so much more gentle and effective than traditional laser treatments, it can be safely used on adults in any age range. It can be used to treat active acne on patients in their 20s and to remove the effects of deep wrinkling and age spots on patients in their 60s. Patients who have tried traditional laser treatments rave about BBL™, because it is so much more effective and has such a greatly reduced recovery time.
If you’d like to learn more about the best laser treatments based on your age, as well as BBL™, contact Aesthetic Surgery Center to schedule an appointment today.