April 04, 2020 5 min read 0 Comments
Amidst our current situation, let’s look at the brighter side of things. Staying at home doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself up in your room and do nothing. Now’s your chance to clean the whole house, organize that closet you’ve been dying to do but didn’t have the time before because you were so busy with work, bond with your kids, exercise and focus on your skincare routine.
A laser treatment is one of the most popular ways to reduce scars appearance, wrinkles and skin damage. It can provide quicker and long lasting results; however, it comes with greater risks. Lasers deliver heat to the skin so it can cause side effects like darkening and bruising, longer downtime due to redness and swelling, permanent skin discoloration or scarring especially to those who have a darker complexion. If you have certain medical skin conditions, it would also be a good decision if you consult your doctor first as undergoing laser treatments may flare them up.
Think about it, laser treatments will really cost you a fortune (the average price could run between $1200 and $2200, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) depending on the type of laser, and are generally not covered by insurance. Treating acne scars with lasers can require several appointments too. Although undergoing laser treatment is one of the most sought-after treatment by celebrities and those who have more in life, it is not the only option.
If you are out of budget and want to practice social distancing (as clinics and med spas are temporarily closed anyway), here are the alternatives to laser treatment which may help you achieve similar results in the comfort of your own homes:
Microneedling increased its popularity throughout the years. Dermarollers or microneedling devices have also evolved and will continue to evolve to suit the needs of its users. It is not for the treatment of raised scars (result of excess collagen production) though. This treatment is effective in managing acne scars with fewer redness and swelling than laser treatments. Recovery time is quick, much like a light sunburn appearance in a day or two. It is also safe to use on all skin types, except if you have sensitive skin, best if you patch test on a small area of your skin first as results vary from person to person.
Since microneedling can be done at home and usually have .5mm or less bristles length, results are subtler and may take a longer time before you see your desired results.
Retinol, also known as Vitamin A helps improve pigmentation marks, stimulate collagen and elastin production, improve skin's laxity, improve appearance of pores, reduce excess oil production, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, some scars or sometimes even freckles. You can buy them over the counter and it is one of the least invasive treatments in the market. They need to be used continuously to maintain the results.
As it is more of a targeted treatment product, and needs to be added to the usual skincare, it can become a more expensive option for some. Some skin reactions may also include increased sun's sensitivity, burning feeling or stinging sensation, slight peeling of skin, inflammation or redness and dry skin.
Not all skin issues need laser treatment. Sometimes the skin just needs a little pick-me-up. Bleaching creams or lotions are the go-to product of those with high levels of melanin pigment on their skin. All forms of discoloration like age spots, freckles, dark spots or areas which you need to lighten up and acne scars are eliminated by applying these potent solutions. These usually contain salicylic and glycolic acid which help exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Some bleaching creams may also contain Mercury which can lead to poisoning as well as neurological, psychiatric and kidney problems. Premature aging of the skin may also be a result of using too much of this. Other skin bleaching creams may also lead to inflammation, irritation or allergic reactions.
Silicone gel and silicone sheets help reduce the scar’s size. These are easy to get treatments as well because they are readily available over the counter at drugstores and you may also buy them online. Using this treatment though takes a lot of dedication and consistency and you need to wear the sheet all day in the same spot every day which could take months.
Topical silicone treatments are also most effective if you use them while the scar heals and before it thickens. So this may not be the treatment for you if you’ve had a raised scar for a few years already and are just now thinking about trying to minimize it.
We all need to take our skin’s health very seriously. Whether you choose to do laser treatments or use one of the alternatives to laser treatment, the most important thing to remember is that your skin is one of your body’s most important organs. It’s the only organ that is directly exposed to the environment, that’s why it is advised over and over again to keep it clean especially during these trying times. Keeping it healthy outside is as important as how we take care of our overall health inside.