Laser skin therapy is an increasingly popular method of dealing with a variety of skin disorders, including keratosis. Keratosis occurs as a result of excessive keratin build-up on the skin. Keratin is an essential protein, a key component in hair and nails. There are four types: actinic keratosis – a condition wherein skin is exposed to the sun constantly resulting in thick, scaly and crusty bumps which are usually dry and rough to the touch; hydrocarbon keratosis which involves constant exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), e.g. highway maintenance workers, roofers and road pavers; keratosis pilaris which is a follicular condition, meaning that it occurs because keratin traps the hair follicles in the pores and seborrheic keratosis, a non-cancerous benign skin growth.
All skin conditions are preventable if one is willing to take the measures necessary. They include:
- Wearing protective clothing, e.g. hats, long-sleeved shirts, etc.
- Using sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Trying to avoid sun exposure at midday, when sunlight is most intense.
- Use high-quality sunscreens with SPF ratings of about 30.
Treatments vary according to the type present in an individual. For example, for actinic keratosis, treatment includes photodynamic therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, cryosurgery, electrocautery and of course, laser therapy.
Fraxel laser treatment is a form of laser skin therapy. Approved by the FDA, the fraxel laser treatment works to effectively resurface the skin from the inside. The result is seen in improved texture of the skin, an evening of the skin tone, smoother skin. It is considered preferable to other treatments as it is less risky, does not ordinarily result in discomfort from redness and irritation. The fraxel treatment works by penetrating deep into the skin, triggering the body’s natural ability to heal. It replaces damaged tissue with younger, healthier skin. Are there side effects to this treatment? Well, it largely depends on the individual. The fact is some people are blessed with the ability to heal faster than others. Also, it depends on the intensity of the treatment as well as the severity of the keratosis. Some amount of swelling and redness is normal; however abnormal swelling to the face and eyes (think chipmunk), sunburn-type redness with peeling may occur with others.
As with all treatments, this form of laser therapy must be researched to determine its suitability for the individual. Always consult a medical professional before making a decision.
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