Skin Lesion Treatment with Laser Therapy
You notice a spot, patch or bump on your skin and wonder: "Is it something serious and is it treatable?"
Once you have ruled out the scary stuff, you may breathe a sigh of relief and be tempted to leave well enough alone, even though it’s making you self-conscience. But today Erbium:YAG laser therapy makes treating benign skin lesions easier, less painful and less risky than ever before.
What is the Erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser?
The Er:YAG laser is a non-invasive therapy used to treat skin lesions and provide overall skin rejuvenation. The laser uses light energy to repair and regenerate skin cells.
How does the Er:YAG laser work?
Er:YAG is an ablative laser that removes skin layer by layer with carefully controlled thermal energy. It is customizable for each patient’s skin lesions and skin types and offers complete removal, less scarring and shorter healing time.
The Er:YAG derives its effectiveness through its greater absorption levels. Because water absorbs a larger portion of the Er:YAG energy, the laser treatment results in more efficient vaporization and reduced risk of thermal damage to the surrounding tissues, even when treating the deeper layers of the skin.
What are the benefits of the Er:YAG laser?
The Er:YAG laser is extremely effective in treating skin lesions more safely and comfortably than many other options. Patients require less anesthetic, have shorter recovery time and less risk of scarring and pigmentary change.
This treatment is safe for all skin types and areas of the body, as well as a wide range of benign skin lesions. The therapy increases collagen production and healthy cell growth for overall healthier skin.
What skin lesions are treatable with the Er:YAG laser therapy?
Benign skin lesions may be irritable, uncomfortable, or just look unattractive. Several very common types are treatable with the Er:YAG laser.
- Seborrhea keratosis - Seborrheic keratoses are common, scaly, hyperpigmented plaques that vary in size and appear stuck to the skin’s surface. They can occur anywhere on the body outside of the bottom of the feet, palms of the hands and mucous membranes. The condition becomes even more common in older adults. The lesions can become irritated or inflamed or impact a person’s self-esteem.
- Skin tags – Skin tags, or acrochordons, are flesh-colored tabs of skin that protrude from the skin’s surface. They are most commonly seen on the neck, armpits, or groin, and their growth can be triggered by pregnancy and obesity. They can become an uncomfortable issue if they become twisted or are in areas where they are irritated by clothing, jewelry, or motion.
- Mole – Nevi, or benign moles, often appear during adolescence and may be linked to sun exposure, genetics and other factors. Moles can appear light or dark brown or even blue-black and are caused by altered melanocytes in the skin. However, if a mole has an irregular border, uneven coloring, or asymmetrical shape, it may be a sign of skin cancer and should be addressed with further examination and testing.
- Cherry angioma - Cherry angiomas are benign vascular growths that occur in adults and increase in number with age. Angiomas can appear anywhere on the body but are more common on the trunk and extremities. Although they typically do not cause any itching or pain, they can bleed if they become irritated, scratched or are bumped or hit. Laser therapy is usually the best option for treating cherry angiomas for cosmetic goals.
- Liver spots – Liver spots are light to medium brown patches that are most often seen on areas that receive sun exposure, such as the face, forearms, hands and neck. They are typically benign but can turn into superficial melanoma.
- Keloids – Keloids are more common in people with darker skin tones. The raised bumps often appear as scarring when wounds and injuries heal.
- Pyogenic granulomas – These raised, discolored marks result from excessive growth of capillaries near the surface of the skin. They commonly form after an injury and can bleed easily if re-injured.
What should I expect during my Er:YAG laser therapy?
Before the procedure, we’ll do a thorough exam and talk about your concerns, your goals and your medical history.
During the treatment, the laser-emitting handpiece is placed on the skin lesion. The settings are customized for optimal treatment and recovery. Most patients report minimal pain and discomfort during treatment. We may ask you to avoid tanning, waxing, peels, aspirin, anti-inflammatories, herbal supplements, collagen injections and some other cosmetic procedures in the days before your treatment, depending on the areas being treated. On the day of treatment, do not apply perfumes, deodorants or other potential irritants to the treatment area.
How should I care for my skin after treatment?
We’ll go over your customized recovery plan during your consultation and after treatment. In general, the skin should be left alone to heal for at least 24 hours after treatment. Do not apply make-up, lotion or other products unless we specifically recommend or approve them. After 24 hours, we will likely advise you to moisturize the area twice a day for up to three months.
Depending on what type of lesion is being treated, you may experience some pain, discoloration, swelling, bleeding or infection at the treatment site. These side effects are not common. We’ll discuss potential risks with you before treatment.
If you have concerns about any skin irregularities, patches, discoloration, bumps or other textural changes, don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at Harmony Healing. We can determine the type of skin lesion you have and the best course of treatment.