Tightening loose, lax, or saggy skin can be done nowadays without the need for any surgical procedure but rather with the use of lasers. The procedure is called laser skin tightening. The technology was changed in the early 1990s from the ablative to the non-ablative technology. This is turn made for no recovery or down time for such procedure. Laser skin tightening technology has advanced with the change from the use of radiofrequency to the infrared frequency. This allowed for an increase in the penetration depth, allowing a greater degree of skin tightening.
The laser skin tightening procedure is quite short and the length of time it takes depends on the treated area. The laser is applied over the skin that is to be treated. It penetrates through the middle layer of the skin, known as the dermis, heating the collagen and the elastin fibers of the skin. This results in a contraction of the aged collagen fibers while also re-growing new collagen. The process is called collagen remodeling and results in much tighter and younger skin. Due to the progressive nature of the treatment, multiple sessions are needed to achieve the desired outcome.
Laser skin tightening treatment is quite simple with some preparation to be taken. Firstly, the patient is to avoid direct exposure to the sun for about 5 to 7 days. If exposure to sunlight is necessary then SPF35 or higher must be applied to the skin. The number 35 in SPF35 means that the sunscreen lotion is to be applied every 35 minutes on average while the skin is being exposed. The patient should also refrain from using any tanning beds a week before and after treatment and during treatments. Any patient who is pregnant or who has oral herpes cannot get the treatment.
Laser skin tightening technology is very common in the Seattle area and is extremely comfortable. Unlike many other aesthetic skin treatments, laser skin tightening does not require any anesthesia. This means that patients can get back to their daily routine right after the treatment. There are many laser skin tightening technologies out there like the Affirm by Cynosure, Refirme by Syneron, and Titan by Cutera. While all 3 of them have the same goal which is getting rid of mild and fine wrinkles and skin laxity, the Refirme technology, in our experience, is the one that does it best through the use of the ELOS technology. ELOS stands for electro-optical-synergy which is the process of combining bi-polar radio frequency with laser energy to increase the treatment’s safety and efficacy.