While we are turning in on our lights in the during the darker months of our holiday season, it’s quite amazing to reflect how remarkable applications of light and lasers have made their journey to health and wellness.
This over-simplified explanation here will give us some common terminology when we review your goals at your next visit for skin rejuvenation. In aesthetics, we can use selective ranges of visible wavelengths and infrared (invisible) light energy for beneficial effects. Light will travel to varying depths in the skin (and body) and target specific chromophores. The targets being: melanin (pigment), oxyhemoglobin (redness) and water (collagen stimulating target). Studies examining light's effect gene expression have demonstrated applications of light can stimulate certain genes and inhibit others allowing the skin function and look more like younger skin.
For general rejuvenation, most protocols call for a series of treatments (most of the time 3 is sufficient), each about one month apart. This is followed by a maintenance treatment once or twice annually. This recommendation stemmed from an excellent study by Dr. Bitters using broadband light in subjects that did not engage in other aesthetic treatments, and were followed for 6-11 years. So, we understand more purely what the light is capable of doing for rejuvenation: plumping and firming; soften lines & wrinkles; even tone and remove age spots.
Your provider can make recommendations for which type of light treatment is best for your goals. Additional protective and nourishing measures go a long way to enhance and maintain aesthetic outcomes. (Another topic.) Our dark winter months is a great time to turn on the lights for healthy skin.
Chang, A., Bitter, P., et al. (2013), Rejuvenation of Gene Expression Pattern in Aged Human Skin by Broadband Light Treatment. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 133(2):394-407.
Bitter, P. & Pozner, J. (2013).Retrospective Evaluation of the Long-term Anti-aging Effects of Broadband Light Therapy. Cosmetic Dermatology.