Bryn Mawr Dermatology

Villanova, PA | Collegeville, PA

Reveal your Sun Damage and Treat it with Lasers

Introduction

September is the best month of the year to schedule an initial consultation for laser treatments. With the summer weather and activities wind down, the colder months tend to keep us indoors which lowers your risk for complications due to sun exposure. Below you will learn why laser treatments are best after summer, the general process for laser treatments, and the specific laser treatment options we offer here at Bryn Mawr Dermatology.

While this article spells out some important information about sun damage and laser treatments, we highly recommend you read the full article, here are the key points we will focus on:

Table of Contents

Why Should You Wait Until After Summer for Laser Treatments?

Sun Exposure and Tanning

During the summer months, people tend to spend more time outdoors, leading to increased sun exposure and the possibility of tanning. Tanned skin contains more melanin, which is the same pigment targeted by lasers in treatments like Laser Hair Reduction and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). When the skin is tanned, there’s a higher risk of the laser targeting the melanin in the healthy skin rather than just the hair follicles or sun spots. This can result in adverse reactions such as burns, blisters, or changes in pigmentation. 

Skin Sensitivity

Sun-exposed skin is often more sensitive. Laser treatments can cause discomfort, and sun-exposed skin may be more prone to irritation, redness, or discomfort during and after the procedure. 

Increased Risk of Complications

Treating tanned or sun-damaged skin with lasers can increase the risk of complications, including burns, blisters, and changes in pigmentation. Waiting until your skin returns to its natural color minimizes these risks.

Post-Treatment Care

After undergoing laser treatments, it’s recommended to avoid direct sun exposure and be extra careful about protecting skin with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and UV protective clothing. This helps protect the treated area and prevents potential complications. Starting treatments after the summer makes it easier to adhere to these post-treatment care instructions. 

Long-Term Planning

Certain laser treatments, such as laser hair removal and IPL, typically require multiple sessions spaced several weeks apart to get the desired results. By starting treatments in the fall or winter, you can complete your treatment plan before the next summer season arrives, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of smoother, more uniform skin without interruption.

Minimized Disruption to Summer Activities

Laser treatments can sometimes lead to temporary redness, swelling, or sensitivity in the treated area. Starting treatments after summer ensures that you can fully enjoy outdoor activities and events without any concerns about discomfort or visible side effects.

Assessing Your Skin with the Reveal Imager

The Reveal Imager enables us to comprehensively assess your skin, tailoring a personalized treatment and skincare plan. Its 3-D imaging, zoom, and magnification features allow for a thorough evaluation of skin attributes such as pigmentation, texture, sun damage, rosacea, acne, and wrinkles. Through this multi-spectral analysis, we pinpoint critical areas influencing your skin’s overall health and appearance, delving below the surface where complexion issues originate. By exposing the causal factors of the signs of skin aging, we can more accurately suggest which device(s) will be best for your particular concerns, how many treatments you might require to get the best results, and even the pacing of your treatments.

Reveal Pigmentation Issues

The Reveal Imager uses ultraviolet (UV) photography to capture images of the skin under UV light. UV light helps reveal pigmentation irregularities such as sunspots, freckles, and areas of hyperpigmentation. The device captures images in visible light to detect changes in skin tone, dark spots, and other pigmentation concerns that are visible to the naked eye.

Reveal Vascular Damage

The imager canenhance images to bring out vascular structures and abnormalities more clearly. This can reveal visible blood vessels, capillaries, and other vascular structures on the skin’s surface. Additionally, it allows for side-by-side comparisons of images over time, enabling us to track changes in vascular health and assess the effectiveness of treatments.

Reveal Fine Lines & Wrinkles

The Reveal Imager often utilizes multi-spectral imaging to capture images across different wavelengths. This helps in assessing fine lines and wrinkles by analyzing skin texture and color variations.

Reveal How Your Skin Will Age

Utilizing computer software to analyze the captured images and predict how certain features and conditions may evolve as the skin ages. This analysis may include predicting changes in wrinkle depth, pore size, and skin texture.

General Laser Treatment Process

Creating a laser treatment plan requires a comprehensive understanding of your specific treatment needs, skin type, hair color, and medical history. It’s important to consult with your Bryn Mawr Dermatologist to tailor a treatment plan suited to your specific skin condition. 

Consultation and Assessment

Start with a consultation with one of Bryn Mawr’s dermatologists or certified laser technicians. We will assess your skin type, hair color, medical history, potential contraindications, and if your concerns warrant it, we will use the Reveal Imager to illuminate the underlying causes.

Customized Treatment Plan

Based on the assessment, we will recommend the most appropriate type of laser technology for your skin condition. Different lasers are suitable for different skin tones and treatment options. We will also estimate the quantity of treatment sessions needed to successfully complete your treatment plan. The number of sessions varies depending on factors such as hair color and thickness (if applicable), the extent of correction we want to accomplish, and/or quantity of pigmentation. 

Preparing For Your Treatment

Before your first treatment session, your dermatologist will provide you with certain guidelines to prepare for your treatment session. It’s important to avoid any sun exposure and tanning for several weeks before treatment. We may request you discontinue certain topical products or medications that make your skin more sensitive. For laser hair removal, we will also ask you to shave the treatment area a day or two before your session.

During A Treatment Session

Our dermatologists and team at Bryn Mawr Dermatology are committed to your comfort and safety. Each member of our staff is highly trained in the latest laser treatment procedures. On the date of your laser treatment appointment, we provide local anesthesia in the form of a topical numbing cream, so you can easily complete your scheduled visit. You’ll be provided with protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the laser. 

Depending on the surface areas being treated, your appointment time can vary in length. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your dermatologist during your initial consultation. 

Post-Treatment Care

After each session, you may experience redness, swelling, changes in pigmentation, and mild discomfort. These side effects usually subside within a day or two. Bryn Mawr Dermatology recommends following these post-treatment care tips:

  • Avoid sun exposure and tanning for a couple of weeks after your last treatment session.
  • Avoid hot baths, saunas, and rigorous exercise for a day or two.
  • Apply soothing creams or aloe vera if your skin is sensitive.

Repeat: Perform these steps twice a day (omitting sunscreen in the PM) to reveal healthy glowing skin. We recommend that you perform your regimen when you wake up in the morning, before your face faces the day, and once again before going to bed.

Remember to choose products that suit your skin type and address specific concerns to achieve the best results. Your skin will thank you for the care and attention it deserves.

Types of Laser Treatments Offered At Bryn Mawr Dermatology

Intense Pulsed Light 

Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, is a gentle but effective procedure for correcting pigmentation issues that can make patients feel self-conscious about the appearance of their skin. Treatment also supports the collagen remodeling process, so skin looks youthful and refreshed. Many patients choose Intense Pulsed Light because it is convenient, non-invasive, and offers the following benefits:

  • Little-to-no downtime
  • Enhanced pigmentation
  • Comfortable and non-abrasive
  • Complements additional skin rejuvenating procedures

Bryn Mawr Dermatology offers Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment sessions at our Villanova and Collegeville locations. You can book your initial consultation by today by scheduling online.

VBeam Laser

The VBeam® Laser is a laser treatment used to treat Rosacea or redness on the central face, cheeks, nose, and forehead. The VBeam® Laser also treats small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin and angiomas, red birthmarks, and scars.

Bryn Mawr Dermatology offers VBeam® Laser treatment sessions at our Villanova and Collegeville locations. You can book your initial consultation by today by scheduling online.

YAG Laser

The YAG laser targets easily-definable dark pigment, as in sunspots, birthmarks, or dark patches on the skin. This is safe to use on any part of the body including the face and hands, where many unwanted age spots or sunspots appear. Bryn Mawr Dermatology offers YAG laser treatment sessions at our Villanova and Collegeville locations. You can book your initial consultation by today by scheduling online.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair reduction offers the benefits of long-lasting and effective hair removal, without having to purchase supplies for keeping skin smooth and stubble-free at-home. After several sessions, hair is eliminated or softened and refined to the point that it is invisible. You never have to worry about whether you’re ready to wear certain outfits or enjoy a day at the beach or pool; your skin will be smooth and virtually hair-free when you need it to be. 

Bryn Mawr Dermatology offers laser hair removal treatment sessions at our Villanova and Collegeville locations. You can book your initial consultation by today by scheduling online.

CO2RE Laser Resurfacing

Fractional CO2 resurfacing can erase years and dramatically improve the appearance of facial wrinkles, skin texture, and discoloration by stimulating collagen production. It can also improve acne scars, C-section surgical scars, and stretchmarks. By targeting zones deep in the skin as opposed to the entire skin surface, fractional CO2 resurfacing allows for less downtime than surgery. Since CO2 is our most powerful laser rejuvenation process, all procedures are performed by our licensed medical professional.

Bryn Mawr Dermatology offers CO2RE Laser Resurfacing treatment sessions at our Villanova location. You can book your initial consultation by today by scheduling online.

Why Choose Bryn Mawr Dermatology for Laser Treatments?

Choose Bryn Mawr Dermatology for personalized, expert skincare that prioritizes your skin’s health and well-being. Our licensed dermatologists have extensive expertise in diagnosing and treating various skin concerns, ensuring you receive the best guidance and treatments. We believe in the power of personalization, providing tailored skincare advice and treatments for your unique skin type and concerns. Moreover, our carefully curated selection of high-quality skincare products, recommended by our dermatologists, ensures you have access to effective and safe solutions for your skin. Take charge of your skin’s health by scheduling a consultation with us and exploring our recommended skincare products on our website to kickstart your journey towards healthy, radiant skin. 

Your Skin is Our Business.

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