Spots, Scars, and Stretch Marks: Lasers Can Treat Them All
Picture this: You’re the star of a skincare commercial. You wake up, douse your face in cold water from the sink, and look up into the mirror at perfectly radiant skin.
Must be nice, right?
We won’t tell you that you can look exactly like the teenage gals in NeutrogenaⓇ commercials (especially not just by washing your face), but we will tell you that you can erase blemishes and achieve smooth, even-toned skin.
From hyperpigmentation to acne scars, one very revolutionary tool has changed the way people take care of their skin forever. That tool? Lasers.
Our Dr. Carolyn Kochert here at Kochert Pain and Health explains how lasers work to treat different skin conditions so you can finally enjoy a baby-smooth complexion.
Laser treatment for dark spots
Dark spots on your skin — often called age spots, sun spots, or liver spots — are medically harmless but can be self-defeating.
How dark spots form: These mole-like splotches occur when overactive pigment cells clump together and form patches of skin with excess melanin.
How lasers treat dark spots: The heat and light energy from lasers target the pigmented areas of your skin with excess melanin. In response to the laser energy, the pigment breaks down into small particles that are eventually absorbed by your body. Now a waste product, the pigment particles are processed and shed through your lymphatic system. Voila — more evenly toned skin.
Laser treatment for scars
Most people have scars on their bodies, particularly scars from childhood injuries (like skinned knees and elbows) and puberty (acne scars). Some scars fade over time, but many remain prominent throughout adulthood. Here’s how lasers treat scar tissue.
How scars form: Scars form in response to an injury. When you scrape your knee, cut your finger, or pop a pimple, your immune system sends help to the injury site and tells your body to start producing new tissue to mend the damage. Depending on the cause and severity of the injury, your scar might appear flat and smooth, raised and wrinkly, or dimpled and sunken.
How lasers treat scars: Using focused light energy, lasers either remove the outer layer of scarred skin (ablative lasers) or stimulate new collagen production to grow new tissue that covers the damaged skin (nonablative lasers). Either way, the result is a diminished scar and smoother skin that matches the rest of your skin tone.
Laser treatment for stretch marks
During periods of rapid growth, such as puberty and pregnancy, your skin sometimes can’t keep up with the rate at which the rest of your body is growing. It stretches to pick up the slack, and once your body slows down, your skin returns to its normal elasticity. The result is stretch marks, a type of spidery scar that many people are all too familiar with.
How stretch marks form: Stretch marks happen when your body grows too fast for its own skin. Though your skin is elastic, rapid growth can disrupt normal collagen production, which is what causes stretch marks.
How lasers treat stretch marks: Because stretch marks are a type of scar, laser treatment works in a similar way. Usually, patients opt for an ablative treatment that destroys the outer layer of skin, because stretch marks typically don’t affect the face, so patients can deal with more downtime.
Ready to leave your blemishes behind? Call our office in Lafayette, Indiana, at 765-274-0723 or request an appointment online to get started.