If you like lasers for the glowing look they give your skin, new research may give you one more reason to love them—and it has to do with the treatment of skin cancer.
Presented by New York dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD, the new studies show that laser resurfacing treatments (like Fraxel Dual and Repair) appear to help “wake up” older cells to prompt them to produce more protective factors against UV light, which, in turn, makes skin healthier and more resistant to skin cancer—something that can be beneficial for patients of all ages as a preventive treatment.
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“The study is particularly noteworthy as up until now, sunscreen was our only viable defense against skin cancer,” Dr. Chapas says. “While daily application of SPF will always be a must, I’m hopeful that this research will offer patients, especially those who have been treated for skin cancer or are prone to cancerous lesions, will now have an additional line of defense against the life-threatening disease.”
Still not sure where to start? Dr. Chapas offers this advice:
Which one is right for you?
“I use different treatments for different types of patients. The most effective treatments varies based on age, skin type and what the patient is looking to achieve,” Dr. Chapas says. “Laser treatments can be beneficial for those interested in prevention strategies and improving pore size.”
If you want to address the early signs of aging and pore size…
Dr. Chapas says the Clear + Brilliant laser gently delivers collagen-building energy and is used to promote skin turnover and prevent and address early signs of aging, including skin texture, firmness, elasticity and pore-size appearance. “A series of treatments is necessary, but the effects are gradual and require minimal recovery time. Results can be more subtle and natural-looking because laser energies stimulate the body to repair itself gradually.”
If you have early signs of aging or acne scars…
“Patients starting to notice early signs of sun damage or acne scars typically undergo moderate to deep nonablative laser resurfacing procedures such as Fraxel Dual, which helps treat a broad range of skin damage, such as sunspots, acne scars and early fine lines.”
If you want to target skin on the body…
Fraxel can also be used to treat a variety of aging face conditions, including wrinkling and loose skin, but Dr. Chapas also likes to use it for specific body-skin issues. “I use Fraxel Restore Dual to treat chest wrinkles, sunspots on the legs and arms, and stretch marks daily. Multiple treatments are required, but people who start in the winter can have younger looking skin by summer.”
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If you want to use them as more of a preventive measure…
Consider this: “Younger patients are often motivated to take preventive action when they are just starting to see early signs of aging, such as uneven skin color or early fine lines. Younger skin often responds better to laser treatments than older skin, so younger patients often have better results than older patients with more sun-damaged skin.”
How many should you get?
Dr. Chapas recommends three to five treatments every four to six weeks for each laser.
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