The days may be short, and the sun may only show the occasional appearance for many of us, but these long winter months get the A-plus grade when it comes to offering up that just-right timing for some skin-perfecting lasers. “Winter months are a great time to do laser treatments because we are able to stay out of the sun, which is important both before and after laser treatments,” explains Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley C. Loss, MD.
“Many of the lasers we use to treat red spots and brown spots cannot tell the difference between tan or sunburned skin, so it’s best to stay out of the sun two-to-four weeks prior to receiving a laser treatment. Similarly, laser treatments can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so we recommend avoiding sun exposure for a couple weeks after laser treatment.” Not sure which one is right for you? Dr. Loss offers this easy-to-understand laser lowdown:
Are there any lasers that are particularly good for dry skin that might come about from colder weather?
Dry skin is best managed with hydrating treatments, serums, and a thin layer of barrier emollient if you are frequently exposing your skin to harsh conditions (think Vaseline, Aquaphor or any petroleum-based product).
Likewise, are there any lasers that are particularly good for targeting sun-damage from the summer months?
Summer-time sun damage can be effectively reduced, or, in some cases eliminated, with the use of either Sciton’s Halo Pro or Broad Band Light (BBL) treatments. In my experience, the combination therapy is synergistic and does a consistent and wonderful job clearing up freckles, brown spots and blood vessels that come about with sun exposure.
Are there any specific lasers that you’ve seen an uptick in interest in recently?
BBL in younger patients (in their 20s and early 30s) who are looking to maintain youthfulness love BBL Forever Young. It helps clear up early signs of sun damage, like brown and red spots, and stimulates collagen over time. Similarly, the PicoWay Resolve treatment is a great low- to no-downtime treatment that leaves the patient with glowing, younger-appearing skin.
Are there any specific skin-care conditions patients are often surprised to hear a laser can improve?
Rosacea. Many patients think you can only treat rosacea medically with creams and antibiotics. Lasers, such as pulse-dye laser and BBL, can help diminish blood vessels—aka, “spider veins”—that appear at rest. It also can help diminish baselines redness, flushing and breakouts with regular maintenance treatments. I find it’s a great compliment to the medical treatments available. We have also seen significant success using Forever Clear BBL to treat acne, including acne that is resistant to traditional medical treatments. For patients with acne scarring, we’ve had great results with combination BBL and Profractional resurfacing therapies.