We’ve figured out which beauty gadget you should own, the difference between medical and cosmetic dermatologists, and even which laser is best for hyperpigmentation. Now the question remains — what’s the future of lasers, and which laser treatments are most popular with professional dermatologists?
I reached out to some of the top derms in Chicago, the Midwest, and the tri-state area, and asked them the same question — “Which laser therapy treatment is most popular in your practice and why? Is there a cheaper alternative that is just as effective? What do you think the next big laser will be?” Read on to get definitive and helpful answers to inform your future skincare decisions!
Brooke Jackson, M.D., Board Certified Dermatologist and Medical Director of The Skin Wellness Center of Chicago
“The most popular laser depends on what the concerns of the patient are. My biggest frustration as a laser surgeon is that no one laser does everything, treats all conditions or treats every skin type. So, for my skin of color patients, the top two problems are as follows:
1) Unwanted hair. Laser hair removal has been one of the biggest and most welcome laser advances for skin of color. I am fortunate to have been involved with studies which fine tuned the parameters for laser hair removal in skin of color. There are many lasers on the market and many wavelengths out there. Not all of them are appropriate to treat skin of color. It is crucial to go to someone who has experience in treating skin of color with lasers.
2) Discoloration is another big issue. The Fraxel Dual is the next big laser. This laser can help with discoloration due to melasma, acne scarring. Keep in mind that discoloration is caused by something and this “something ” must be treated or controlled first.
Generally you cannot compare procedures to products – it’s apples and oranges. There are no alternatives to lasers which will give you similar effect. Lasers are specifically targeted to affect the hair follicle for example. Most topical creams will not penetrate that deeply and therefore cannot be compared to procedures.”
Carolyn Jacob, MD, Director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology
“We have several lasers to treat a variety of issues, from laser hair removal, to red “broken” blood vessels, to wrinkles. We use the lasers for hair removal the most, followed by the laser to treat redness (blood vessels). There are some topical creams which help temporarily treat redness, such as Redness Relief Calmplex, or Redness Relief Skin Smoothing Cream SPF 25.
The next big device we are getting (and will be the first in the country to have it!) is a microwave technology device, called MiraDry, which reduces underarm sweating for patients who sweat there too much. It’s really amazing for excessive sweating sufferers!”
Dr. Marcy Street, founder and Medical Director of Doctor’s Approach Dermatology, a full-service medical clinic, specializing in skin cancer and Doctor’s Approach Medspa & Laser Center, East Lansing, Michigan.
“Laser hair removal is the most popular laser therapy treatment at Doctor’s Approach Med Spa & Laser Center. This particular treatment is one of the most well-liked options on the market for a more permanent solution to hair removal… The laser at Doctor’s Approach works for permanent hair reduction in ethnic practices.
Laser hair removal is the most effective way to get rid of unwanted hair. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, shaving and waxing are temporary solutions to this problem, but can add up in price. Be sure to use a new razor and shave in the direction of your hair growth. It is also important to exfoliate before shaving and use a good moisturizer once you have finished. Waxing can be tricky. Make sure your hair is long enough so the wax does not damage your skin and test a small patch on the skin before waxing the entire area.
There are many lasers on the market. Not all are effective on ethnic skin. Be sure to do your homework to make sure the office is reputable. “
Dr Nadia Chaudhry of HOPE Integrative Health, New Jersey
“We perform laser treatments everyday, thousand of procedures for every skin type, safely. Laser hair removal and ingrown hairs very popular, gives our clients the gift of time and healthier brighter skin to boot. We use lasers to reverse aging, eradicate wrinkles, dark circles and tone and tighten skin as well slow dow the aging process. Creating Healthy skin – rebuilding the foundation is our passion and purpose here at Hope. If you are looking for definitive long term solutions for healthy clear younger skin, then this is the most cost effective method – it actually saves you money on products, peels, facials, waxing, time and energy. Its wonderful to wake up in the morning and have a very simple beauty regimen, no plucking, waxing, hiding behing makeup (dark circles and hyperpigmentation) -cause you wake up looking luminous healthy and vibrant every day!
They have great lasers already out- unfortunately most laser places do not carry the best equipment, there is a cookie cutter approach to treating all skin types and they are not highly trained or experienced in synergizing lasers for various clinical applications. Skin of color clients have to really
be careful where they go for laser hair treatments- there is a high degree of risk if they lack experience and expertize. Also facial sculpting is an art form that belongs in someone doing advanced techniques everyday – when treating undereye circles and creating “sweetheart faces”, customizing for every individual is critically important so you are making wise investments. There is a new laser called the thulium laser- a different wavelength which looks like it may be very helpful for hyperpigmentation for skin of color that I am excited to test out!”
I’m still on the fence about whether or not I want to give laser treatments a try. I would love for my back to be hyperpigmentation free, and not worrying about shaving anymore would be AMAZING. But from every doctor’s advice so far, it still seems that it’s best to really shop around for the best of the best before getting laser therapy, especially if you’ve got darker skin. Invest in finding the best person for the job first. Better to be safe, than left with regrets.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Have you had laser treatments before?