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Dermatologist Shares New Laser and Light Treatments

The American Academy of Dermatology’s Annual Meeting, which ended on Tuesday, featured an abundant amount of information about the latest dermatological treatments. Another presentation at the meeting discussed emerging laser and aesthetic technology.

The purpose of this presentation was to share some of the new and improved laser and light treatments that are taking aim at cellulite, fat, tattoos, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

Christine Lee, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco and member of the American Academy of Dermatology talked to Brandi Walker about these laser and light treatments and how effective these treatments are for people who are experiencing these skin conditions.

1. What are these new laser and light treatments that are supposed to reduce wrinkles, fat and other skin problems?
New and improved treatments for cellulite and excess fat include the 1440 Nanometer Laser and Cryolipolysis and ultrasound procedures. Improved treatments for improving the appearance of aging facial skin include ultrasound and radiofrequency procedures (for skin tightening) and the Fractioned CO2 Laser (for wrinkles and acne scars).

2. Are these new tech treatments safe?
Overall, the fractional CO2 laser is safer, has fewer side effects, and is better tolerated than the original CO2 laser. The first generation CO2 laser used for skin resurfacing involved a lengthy healing time because the laser created deep wounds in the skin. The lower-powered fractional CO2 laser delivers energy to the deeper layers of skin, which stimulates new collagen without injuring the skin’s surface.
For cellulite and excess fat, these newer treatments provide alternatives to liposuction, which has been used to remove pockets of fat for decades but is more invasive and requires more downtime. Many people prefer these newer fat-reduction treatments because they are not invasive and require little or no downtime for healing.

3. How much more effective are they than wrinkle creams?
All of these devices achieve results that are much more effective than any wrinkle cream. A wrinkle cream may only give five to 10 percent improvement (max) in minor problems while these procedures can result in 50 to 70 percent improvement. Wrinkle creams do not produce dramatic results nor transform the skin—they’re really more for prevention. Ultrasound and radiofrequency and fractional CO2 procedures can actually transform the skin to achieve dramatic results. For example, they can make someone look 10-20 years younger, especially when used in combination.

4. Are these treatments quicker than the previous method of removing fat and cellulite?
The new and improved treatments for removing fat and cellulite are much faster and more effective than previous methods. Previous methods for cellulite required many treatments, resulted only in 20 to 30 percent improvement and results were temporary. The new cellulite procedure only requires one treatment and results are long-lasting (i.e. more than three to four years).
The new improved methods for removing fat are also much faster, only require one treatment and are much more effective. For example, one inch of fat can be melted with only one treatment, whereas previous treatments may only have reduced a fourth of an inch of fat after many treatments.

5. Do they provide long lasting removal of wrinkles and sagging skin?
The fractional CO2 laser provides long-lasting results, including the removal of wrinkles and tightening sagging skin. The results can last three to five years or longer.

To learn more please visit the American Academy of Dermatology at

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