Lasers produce intense monochromatic light, light that is limited to a very a narrow band of wavelengths. This light has no effect on some substances, and high-intensity effects on others.
One setting might heat hemoglobin but have no effect on neighbouring skin cells. Another setting might ‘melt’ the melanin that causes deep pigmentation on the skin. A third might vapourise tattoo ink. Dermatologists use lasers to destroy specific substances at specific depths in the skin.
What do you need to know?
Point 1: If you are squeamish about blood, chances are you will prefer laser treatments for acne to microdermabrasion.
Point 2: Laser treatments remove scars and pigmentation by heating hemoglobin in the blood in capillaries beneath the skin.
Point 3: Heating blood vessels deprives upper layers of skin of oxygen and nutrients so they slough off, giving new healthy skin a chance to replace them.
Point 4: The darker your skin, the less likely laser treatment is to be successful.
Point 5: The more sensitive your skin, the less likely laser treatment is to be successful.
Point 6: Laser therapy always requires multiple visits and never gets rid of 100% of scars or pigmentation.