The field of Aesthetics has a reputation for being primarily focused on cosmetic treatments but, in fact, there are a wide range of medical conditions whose treatment falls within the scope of this field. Laser treatments alone are used for a wide range of treatments from warts and scars to tattoo and hair removal to hyperhidrosis. There are many different types of lasers and they are all used for different things.
Carbon dioxide lasers operate at a wavelength of 10600 nm and are used to treat a variety of skin disorders including:
- Syringomas (benign sweat duct tumors);
- Sebaceous hyperplasia (enlarged sweat glands);
- Angiofibromas (benign fibrous tissues papules);
- Trichoepitheliosmas (small benign tumor of the hair follicle);
- Epidermal nevus (discolored congenital birthmark);
- Melanocytic nevi (congenital pigmented birthmark);
- Large keloids (fibrous scar tissue post -surgery/injury); and
- Scars and wrinkles.
Pulsed dye lasers, on the other hand, operate at a wavelength of 59 nm and are used to treat medical and cosmetic conditions such as:
- Hemangioma of infancy (benign blood vessels tumor);
- Portwine stain (ruby red birthmark);
- Face and leg telangiectasia (dilation of small blood vessels);
- Poikloderma (mottling pigmentation disorder);
- Keloids (fibrous scar tissue); and
- Striae (stretch marks caused by rapid weight change or pregnancy).
The wavelength is the determining factor in matching laser treatments to the skin conditions they treat: The Q switched Nd YAG laser comes in wavelengths of 532 nm and 1064 nm and is used to treat solar lengtines (brown pigment caused by aging), freckles, tattoos, and nevus of Ota (congenital pigmented birthmarks) while the long pulsed Nd YAG laser only comes in a 1064 nm wavelength and is used in hair removal treatments.
Non-laser Aesthetic Treatments
Aesthetics does not just cover laser treatments but also Botox treatments, chemical peels, derma fillers, and micro-dermabrasion. Similar to lasers, these treatments are not relegated strictly to the cosmetic side of Aesthetics and can be used to correct a host of medical and cosmetic disorders. Botox has a bad reputation for being solely used by aging women trying to recapture their youth but in reality it is used for the treatment of:
- Cervical dystonia;
- Muscle spasticity;
- Frown lines;
- Crows’ feet;
- Forehead furrows; and
- Loose bands of skin on the neck.
Micro-dermabrasion, a treatment which involves the mechanical exfoliation of the skin, is used not just to treat superficial scars, wrinkles, and age spots but also for acne and acne scars, large pores, and to regenerate damaged skin layers.
If you have a skin condition that requires treatment, the field of Aesthetics is likely where you will find your best solution.