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Laser for Skin Care

In Today's cosmetic world, dermatology is fast veering away from its general moorings towards an integrated medical and surgical speciality like the ENT and ophthalmology with dermatologists offering solutions to disorders that have inadequate or no dermabrasions, hair transplantation, scar erasing, phototherapy (PUVA) and laser surgeries - providing new solutions and a ray of hope for patients suffering fromchronic skin problems.

Lasers are swiftly replacing cold steel surgery in all fields of medicine and are being used in ophthalmology, ENT, muscle conditioning and rehabilitative therapy. Now lasers provide the healing light to treat skin problems. It's a whole new field that offers a great deal of comfort for patients and widens a doctor's spectrum on skin care. Erbium - Yag laser is the latest in skin resurfacing and is fast replacing conventional resurfacing (manual dermabrasion, sand paper, chemical peel etc) to treat a host of skin conditions.

We were all born with smooth baby-soft skin. As we go through life, our skin is subjected to numerous experiences like chicken-pox in childhood and acne in teens that leave it less than perfect. For those lucky enough to escape these hazards, time, heredity, overexposure to sun, alcohol use and smoking contribute to create lines and wrinkles - especially around the mouth and eyes. Although dermabrasion, chemical peels etc have offered some hope for patients seeking smoother and younger - looking skin, lack of sufficient cosmetic results, risk of scarring, pigmentation discomfort and long recovery periods have kept many patients from having the skin they want.

According to Dr. Munish Paul, of Paul's Nursing Home, Pashim Vihar, it is now possible to remove skin imperfections and dramatically remove wrinkles with a procedure known as laser resurfacing. The Erbium - Yag laser is the first clinically proven laser for treatment ensures minimal discomfort and rapid recovery and ablates a mere 30 microns of skin thinkness. This enables to remove skin layer by layer. After the damaged skin is removed the new skin quickly regrows in its place. Only mild discomfort is experienced during the procedure and an anaesthetic cream (EMLA) applied to the face before the procedure provides adequate anesthesia. However, treatment to large areas will require general anesthesia. According to Dr. Paul, it is also used in the treatment of birth marks, warts and benign skin growths.

The latest modalities of treatment for leucoderma and psoriasis are bath water PUVA and full body photogheraphy units. PUVA involves the administration of Psoralens (oral topical bath) and exposure to long wave ultra-violet radiation. Psoriasis is a chronic disease characterised by reddish scale plaques over the body. PUVA helps by restoring the accelerated cell division to normal and reducing the inflammatory cells thereby causing flattening of the lesions.

Vitilego is a condition characterised by white patches over the body. It produces profound psychological stress on an individual. PUVA helps by increasing the number of functional melanocytes (pigment producing cells) and melanogenesis (pigment production) thus halting spread of the patches and causing regimentation of the existing patches. Skin grafting of resistant vitilego patches as on the lips and finger tips is also common.

With the ever-rising levels of pollution, dust, use of cosmetics, artificial jewellery etc allergies are on the rise. The most important aspect in the management of allergies is avoidance of all the aggravating factors. It is now possible to detect what one is allergic to using allergy tests and patch and prick test. Once the aggravating factor is found, avoidance of that particular substance will go a long way in relieving the problem, Dr. Paul says. Hair restoration surgery for natural looking hair and electrolysis for permanent removal of unwanted facial hair are also becoming popular.

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