Laser treatments have long been used for cosmetic purposes, but they are now being utilized by dermatologists for preventative care as well. Advances in laser technology have allowed doctors to target specific skin concerns like sun damage, acne, and aging before they worsen or become more difficult to treat. Using lasers proactively can help patients maintain healthy skin and avoid common skin conditions.
Preventative laser treatments are gaining popularity among dermatologists seeking to get ahead of their patients’ skin issues. By using aesthetic lasers in a medical setting, doctors can pinpoint and treat subtle skin changes that can lead to skin cancer, acne breakouts, and premature aging if left unchecked. Catching these skin problems early on with laser therapy improves outcomes and less invasive treatments overall.
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Laser Treatment May Prevent Skin Cancer Recurrence
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are the most prevalent forms of skin cancer. Though highly curable if caught early, these cancers tend to recur – patients have a 35% chance of developing new lesions within three years. However, recent research shows that laser therapy can significantly reduce this risk of recurrence.
In a recent study, patients who underwent nonablative fractional laser resurfacing after removal of basal or squamous cell carcinomas had a much lower recurrence rate than those who did not receive laser therapy. Just 21% of laser-treated patients developed new facial cancers over six years versus 40% of untreated patients. After adjusting for factors like age and skin type, patients with the laser treatment were nearly three times less likely to have a recurrence.
While more research is needed, experts theorize the laser helps in two ways. First, it removes precancerous cells by vaporizing the top layers of skin. Second, the localized heating may stimulate collagen production and a beneficial immune response. This helps healed skin become smoother and more resistant to new cancer growths.
Given these promising results, laser therapy shows great potential as a preventative treatment after cancer removal. By proactively targeting precancerous areas, laser resurfacing may be able to stop these common skin cancers before they have a chance to return or spread. More patients could see their skin cancer risk drop by half with this non-invasive approach.
Lasers Emerge as a Promising Prevention for Acne
Acne is a problem for millions of people, but new laser therapies offer a way to get ahead of breakouts before they start. Recent advances enable dermatologists to use lasers to selectively target overactive sebaceous glands, which produce excess oil and lead to inflammatory acne lesions.
Of the newer laser equipment coming out on the market, the 1,726 nm and 1,064 nm wavelengths have shown particular promise in clinical trials. The 1,726 nm laser was recently FDA-cleared for treating mild to severe acne. In one study, 47% of patients had a significant improvement in the acne grading scale after just four monthly treatments. This laser works by damaging sebum-producing glands while keeping the surrounding skin intact.
Meanwhile, the 1,064 nm laser reduces inflammation and also coagulates sebaceous glands through bulk tissue heating. In a controlled study, 42% of treated patients noticed decreased inflammatory acne compared to just 26% with a placebo procedure.
Preventatively treating acne-prone areas with these fast, non-invasive laser treatments can stop acne before it surfaces and causes scarring. By targeting overactive oil glands, they may be able to stop sebum overproduction and inflammation weeks or months before new breakouts occur. With further research, selective laser therapy may emerge as a preferred first-line treatment to prevent recurring acne.
Laser Treatments Help Prevent the Signs of Ageing
Dermatologists are increasingly utilizing laser treatments as a preventative measure against skin aging. Non-ablative fractional lasers create microscopic wounds in the skin, spurring collagen production and skin tightening. This laser resurfacing can be done periodically as a type of “prejuvenation” to maintain skin laxity and tone before noticeable signs of aging occur.
For patients in their 30s or 40s, these minor laser procedures can stave off wrinkles and sun damage. Preventative lasers are also used in areas prone to early aging, like the delicate skin around the eyes. In addition, pigmentation and vascular lasers can erase sun spots and rosacea before these conditions progress. When incorporated into routine skincare early on, laser treatments can proactively combat many aging concerns, helping patients achieve more youthful, healthy skin over time.
Related article: How Are Lasers Used in Dermatology?
Your Supplier for Aesthetic Laser Dermatology
Offer patients the solutions they are seeking with laser treatments. Laser Service Solutions has a wide selection of new and pre-owned cosmetic laser equipment to help expand your practice. We also provide affordable leasing and rental options. Contact us to learn more about adding this cutting-edge technology to your dermatology practice.