What do you think of when you think of plastic surgery? For many people, the answer is either “celebrities” or “going under the knife.” It’s often seen as a series of painful, intrusive procedures for people with a lot of money and a lot of time. Luckily, in the year 2018, that’s changing. Aesthetic procedures don’t have to involve sharp objects anymore. The price varies tremendously depending on what kind of work you want done, but it’s not something that only the 1 percent can afford. Cosmetic laser work offers numerous benefits and can treat a variety of skin issues. Lasers can be used to do everything from removing an ill-advised tattoo to smooth out aging skin.
How lasers work
Before you start calling medical spas, it’s important to know how laser technology works with your body. Per the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, lasers “produce high-energy, focused beams” of light and heat, ones that “selectively interact, in very useful ways, upon various tissues within the skin and body.” The group says one major plus to laser treatment is the precision since laser light is a simpler method of delivery than, say, a scalpel. Laser surgeries are often performed as outpatient procedures in an office, too, which means no overnight stay in a hospital bed is required.
What about the pain factor, though? Lasers aren’t necessarily painless. They do, however, offer a shorter recovery time than procedures that are performed the old-fashioned way. In some cases, the area being treated will be numbed beforehand, especially if the patient is receiving something like a deep resurfacing treatment to soften the face and reduce signs of aging. If you’re worried about pain, it’s important to talk with your doctor or aesthetician about those concerns before the procedure begins. Even if there is a pain, it’s usually better to know to expect it rather than be completely surprised by it.
Frequency and cost
You may have heard that laser hair removal treatment is guaranteed way to remove all that pesky hair forever, but that’s not necessarily true. According to dermatologists, it usually takes multiple sessions to remove a significant amount of hair from the area being treated. Your body’s skin and hair type also play a role, as people with lighter hair don’t typically have enough pigment to absorb the laser light. If that’s the case, it might be wise to seek alternative treatments. However, lighter skin is also typically more responsive than darker skin, which means a person with fair skin and jet-black hair will do better than a person with blonde hair and a major tan.
Price is hard to predict without calling the medical spa where you want to be treated and just asking how much they charge. Some spas have just one type of laser, while others have multiple options to pick from. You can get good results from both brand new equipment and used cosmetic lasers, and many offices may buy the latter to save a few bucks since lasers aren’t exactly cheap. Some people may want to get treatment just once a year, while others may go in every few weeks. More drastic results often require more frequent trips, so talk to your doctor and figure out a plan that makes sense for both your budget and your schedule.