Laser treatment is often associated with cosmetic or aesthetic procedures like skin resurfacing, the removal of varicose veins and hair removal. From improving the medical imaging process and revolutionising microscopic surgery, to their effective use in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions, laser treatments pop up at every stage of the medical process.
Laser technology has radically improved many surgical procedures by allowing surgeons to perform their tasks in a more efficient and less invasive manner. Surgeries involving this technology are typically minimally invasive, involve less blood loss, and allow for faster healing with lower incidences of post-operative infection. Furthermore, unlike the radiation that patients are exposed to during an x-ray, laser surgery employs non-ionising radiation which does not cause detrimental effects. Nonetheless, like any other surgical treatment option, laser surgery carries its share of risks including the possibility of scarring and skin discolouration.
Surgical uses of lasers
Lasers are best suited to surgical procedures in which precision and accuracy are important. This is because the high intensity light of a laser can be focused on small areas where a scalpel would be less effective; for instance, in surgical procedures on the eye. In fact, the popular LASIK procedure, which employs the use of medical laser technology, helps improve and restore the vision of people in countries all over the world.
Lasers are the real secret behind many million dollar smiles as they are used by dentists to whiten teeth. In general surgery, lasers provide assistance in tumour and cataract removal. They are also widely used in cosmetic surgical procedures like tattoo removal and the treatment of stretch marks and spider veins.
Scar revision therapy
Another medical use of lasers is in the treatment of scars. This is not just limited to the cosmetic laser removal of birthmarks and acne scars, lasers can be used to treat scars such as keloids and hypertrophic scars which are triggered by surgery. Laser treatment can thus supplement the traditional wound healing practices of maintaining cleanliness and dressing the wound.
Treatment of nail fungal infections and warts
Fungal infections on the nail can cause considerable pain and discomfort. The most common treatment of these infections is through the topical application of creams. However, this method can be troublesome, messy and take a very long time to produce results, if any. Laser treatment of the affected nail area can produce a significantly higher likelihood of recovery.
Plantar and Palmar warts which appear on the foot and palm are very common among young children. These warts are caused by a viral skin infection and result in a lump or growth on the surface of the skin. While these protrusions are non-cancerous and therefore not dangerous, they can cause minor discomfort or significant pain depending on where they are located. Lasers can be used to effectively treat warts by blocking off the blood supply to the wart which causes it to shrivel up and die. This treatment is more effective than the conventional method of freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen.
Laser treatments are tremendously useful beyond their aesthetic uses; it’s not all about creating pretty faces. They truly are at the forefront of medical treatment, allowing us to explore better ways of treating, healing and improving upon the human body.
Please contact us for more information and to arrange a consultation where we can discuss the most suitable laser skin treatments for your skin condition at The Ryder Clinic, St Albans, Hertfordshire.
[Photo by by Bhumika.B]