Laser devices and techniques used in dermatology continue to evolve, bringing important advances in comfort and effectiveness to patients. The team of providers at Braun Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, with offices in Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC, share this general information on laser surgery.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LASER TECHNOLOGY, call us at
202-816-7557 to schedule a consultation.
How lasers work
Lasers treat skin problems by heating a specific target while leaving other components of the skin unharmed. For example, the Nd-YAG laser heats pigments in hair follicles, until they are destroyed and cannot produce new growth. White hair lacks the melanin pigment, and therefore does not respond to laser treatment. A pulsed dye laser heats red pigments in blood, causing targeted vessels to be destroyed. Vascular lesions such as hemangiomas, telangiectasias, and rosacea are successfully treated with this laser.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) functions similarly to a laser, but instead of using one wavelength, it has a system of filters to select a spectrum of useful wavelengths for desired treatment.
Achieving healthier skin
At Braun Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, we use an Icon laser and the Palomar IPL system. The Icon has various handpieces designed to treat a variety of skin conditions. Please visit our pages on Laser Dermatology and Laser Surgery to learn more about specific applications.
Common questions and concerns
Q – Should I expect to see improvement after just one treatment?
A – While you may notice improvement after your first laser or IPL session, it typically takes a series of treatments to achieve the desired effect. The number of sessions depends on the condition being treated but is typically between three and five treatments.
Q – Does my insurance company cover laser procedures?
A – Rarely. If you feel that your treatment should be covered, please contact your insurance carrier directly.
Q – Can I shave, pluck, or wax prior to laser hair removal appointments?
A – Shaving is fine, but please do not wax or tweeze hairs in the area to be treated. The laser only works when hairs are present below the surface.