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What Is Laser Skin Tightening?

Laser skin tightening is a minimally invasive, non-surgical process that uses an infrared light source (a laser) to tighten skin by heating the collagen under the skin’s surface, causing the skin to contract (tighten). Facial skin tightening is noticeable immediately after the treatment, and there is no downtime, making this an increasingly popular procedure. Additional skin tightening occurs over the next few months, but optimal results usually require two or three treatments about a month apart.

How Does Laser Skin Tightening Work?
Laser skin tightening uses infrared and radioactive energy to heat the lower levels of the skin, known as the dermis. The heat causes the soft tissues of the dermis to coagulate, which lends a more plump and youthful appearance to the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. While the deeper layers of the skin are heated, the outer layer of skin, or the epidermis, is simultaneously cooled, ensuring that the skin is not burned and that the patient remains comfortable for the duration of his or her laser skin tightening treatment.

Is Skin Tightening Treatment Painful?
Laser skin tightening treatment should not be painful. Before treatment, the practitioner will smooth an anesthetic cream over the area to be affected in order to minimize the risk of any discomfort for the patient. Most patients who undergo skin tightening treatment experience only minor discomfort in the form of a heating sensation. This is usually eased by the regular cooling blasts of air produced by the laser skin tightening handpiece, which increases patient comfort and prevents the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, from burning. It is also fairly common for patients to experience a mild stinging sensation from the laser, which is most commonly compared to the sensation of a rubber band being snapped against the skin. Any discomfort encountered by patients during a laser skin tightening session should resolve itself within minutes of the treatment session, though patients may feel some warmth in the treated skin for up to 48 hours after treatment.

Laser Skin Tightening Recovery and Results
After laser skin tightening, rapid recovery and dramatic results are what makes the procedure increasingly popular with patients. Despite the rapid treatment time and lack of downtime associated with laser skin tightening, results include marked reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and dramatically firmer skin. Read on to learn more about laser skin tightening recovery and results, and see if this procedure may be right for you.
Typical laser skin tightening results are visible for up to two years, and many patients find that they can extend their optimal results with a few touch-up treatments. After roughly two years, another series of treatments may be necessary to promote the growth of new collagen, which will be reabsorbed into the body over time.

Skin Tightening
Several non-invasive devices can tighten the skin. While these devices do not deliver the results of a surgical lifting procedure such as a facelift, they can produce mild to modest tightening by sending heat deep into the skin. The heat causes some immediate tissue tightening and signals the body to start making new collagen. As the new collagen forms, skin may appear firmer and tighter. There is virtually no downtime.

Technologies used for this non-invasive skin tightening include:
• Infrared laser
• Pulsed infrared light
• Radiofrequency
Signs of Aging Treated

Different devices are used to tighten skin on virtually every area of the body. Most people choose non-invasive skin tightening to:
• Firm forehead and cheeks
• Lift the eyebrows
• Tighten jowls and neck
• Reduce wrinkles around the eyes
• Diminish the appearance of cellulite
• Tighten skin on the abdomen, buttocks, arms, and thighs

When See Results from Non-Invasive Skin Tightening
Patients may see some improvement after the first treatment session. One study reported that some patients saw a 40% to 60% improvement after the initial treatment, with continued improvement noticeable for up to 1 year after a series of treatments.
Most patients, however, will notice gradual improvement over 4 to 6 months. It also is possible that minimal or no improvement results from non-invasive skin tightening.
With recent improvements in the technologies used for non-invasive skin tightening though, more patients are seeing positive results. These improvements also allow more areas of the body to be successfully treated.

Results tend to be modest, but noticeable. Skin-tightening devices cannot produce the results possible with a surgical lifting procedure such as a brow lift or facelift. However, both younger and older patients can be treated successfully without downtime. These skin-tightening devices cause the body to produce more collagen, which makes the skin thicker and firmer.

Possible Side Effects
While side effects vary with the device used, most people experience only noticeable redness that lasts for a few hours after the procedure. Soreness after the procedure has been reported. Rarely, a mild burn can result.

How Long Results Last
This varies with the device used, number of treatments, and the skin treated. In general,results last about 1 year or longer.