Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Wedding Laser Treatments

Here's the deal on each and every type of popular laser treatment

Updated 03/29/19

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How can you guarantee a gorgeous, glowing complexion when your wedding day arrives? When it comes to targeting specific skin-care concerns—such as broken capillaries and sun damage—laser treatments are among the most popular procedures.

It’s no secret that every bride wants to put her best face forward. And from chemical peels to microneedling, there are tons of pre-wedding beauty treatments that promise to get your skin in tip-top shape. But thanks to results that seriously deliver, laser treatments are often considered the best of the best.

Of course, like any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to consult a professional. So we tapped dermatologists and estheticians to get the scoop on laser resurfacing. Here’s what you need to know:

What problems can laser treatments fix?

Depending on the device and wavelength, lasers can fix a slew of skin concerns. The most common complexion woes include broken blood vessels, pigmentation, brown spots, large pores, fine lines, texture, and acne scars.

Who is a candidate?

According to Elyse Shelger, RN, director of medical operations at Skin Laundry, anyone seeking to correct the aforementioned conditions can benefit from laser treatments. “At our practice, we require a consultation with each prospective patient to discuss concerns, assess their skin type, and create a tailored plan of action to meet individual goals and desires for improvement,” says Graceanne Svendsen, senior esthetician at Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center.

What types of lasers are available and what can you expect?

“When considering laser treatments, it’s important to understand that there are differences in the intensity, recovery time, expected results, and costs associated with various options,” explains Adam Geyer, board-certified dermatologist and global medical director at Skin Laundry. “The main points of differentiation are whether the lasers are ablative or non-ablative as well as full-field or fractional.”

Ablative lasers remove the outer layers. Thus, they are more aggressive than their non-ablative counterparts, which simply heat tissue. “In both cases, it’s through the delivery of light-based energy that a controlled ‘injury’ is initiated, which stimulates the natural healing process,” says Dendy Engelman, board-certified dermatologist in New York City.

CO2 lasers use pulsed light energy to treat scars, warts, wrinkles, and enlarged pores. These generally require the fewest number of sessions to achieve significant improvements, but are also associated with the longest recovery periods.

Erbium lasers promote collagen remodeling. So they’re great for targeting fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and age spots. Another benefit? Fewer side effects and less downtime—as little as a one week.

Non-ablative lasers, including Fraxel, penetrate the epidermis in a fractionated pattern. This allows for faster recovery and less pain, while still delivering exceptional results. “Patients can expect mild redness or swelling for about three days,” notes Engelman. On average, a series of five monthly treatments is recommended.

Pulsed-dye lasers, such as V-Beam, heat the skin and absorb pigments to reduce redness, broken capillaries, and signs of rosacea. Keep in mind, it typically requires more than one visit.

No matter which procedure you choose, aftercare should consist of gentle formulas and plenty of broad spectrum sunscreen.

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