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AAD Looks Into New Minimally Invasive Rejuvenating Treatments

Posted: August 11, 2008

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Several different types of minimally invasive lasers and light sources can be used to treat pigmentation problems. In general, these technologies work by selectively targeting the affected areas of the skin with varying wavelengths and pulse durations without injuring the top layer of skin. For example, Kauvar noted the KTP, Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers work well on areas of the skin affected by noticeable changes in pigmentation, such as sun spots or splotchy skin. Intense pulsed light sources, or IPLs, target both vascular and pigmentation changes on the skin, and the pulsed-dye and pulsed-KTP lasers also are used for vascular conditions.

In addition, peeling techniques, such as microdermabrasion or light chemical peels, are minimally invasive options for removing the accumulated layer of dead skin cells that cause a dull appearance. Kauvar added that these peeling procedures can improve the overall radiance of the skin and also remove some of the abnormal pigmentation from sun damage.

Wrinkles and textural changes

Many of the changes in the skin's texture can be directly attributed to the natural aging cycle and sun damage. Although wrinkles are perhaps the most obvious changes that occur, enlarged pores and even acne scars often worsen as we get older, resulting from the loss of collagen. Plump and smooth-to-the-touch skin, commonly referred to as baby skin, also is replaced by crepe-like skin, which feels dramatically different to the touch.

To treat large pores, Kauvar recommended the use of nonablative lasers to heat the layer of tissue in the superficial dermis, resulting in the production of new, thicker and smoother skin. Often referred to as a "lunchtime procedure," nonablative lasers have minimal side effects that only last for a few hours, primarily redness and puffiness that can be covered by makeup following the procedure.