Laser technology can do wonders to rejuvenate skin, reduce pigmentation, and reduce unwanted hair. In fact, lasers can even do a lot more! But, as the demand for effective skincare treatments grows, it’s more important than ever to know how to suss out your options and find the right provider for your goals and preferences. The reality is that many unqualified practices offer laser treatments that are best avoided for a variety of reasons. If you don’t know what to look for, you risk your skin and your health. So, before you take the leap under the light, there are few things you should consider.

Find a practice with lots of lasers

In this case, more is better. The more tools your provider has, the more flexible they can be in creating a treatment program that’s just right for you. If your selected provider has only one or two laser platforms, it’s more likely you’ll wind up with a treatment plan or laser technology that doesn’t achieve your goals the way you want it to— or doesn’t fit your budget, expectations, or preferences. With variety, you have the benefit of choosing the exact treatment and laser technology that will do what you need it to. Even if a certain practice is more convenient or you’ve been there before for other treatments, resist the temptation to settle for less than the best.

Avoid practices who rent lasers or only have one or two platforms

Although you’ll want to focus on the specific treatment you’re looking at, make sure to browse the other laser options your provider offers. If there’s only a few options, this might be an indication that laser medicine is only a side business, not the focus of their practice. You don’t want to be zapped by someone who dabbles with lasers since there’s a lot that can go wrong. Also, many “do it all” platforms do one thing well and everything else poorly. Once you find a provider, do a little research and make sure they have the right tool for the job. Owning multiple lasers shows how committed your provider is to non-invasive aesthetic medicine. If they have very few laser options, it means they likely don’t focus on laser treatments and don’t have the experience you’re looking for.

Keep an open mind

It’s likely that search results and social media will tell you one thing when it comes to which treatment is best for you. Although this can give you a good idea of what to expect, don’t rely on it. Also, don’t insist on a specific laser for your treatment. Rather, let your cosmetic physician assess the right treatment to address your skin concerns based on your preferences and goals. If you choose the right provider who has a variety of options and the experience to back it up, you can trust their opinion on what will achieve your goals best. In short, if you go in expecting one thing, be prepared to walk out with a recommendation for another thing.

Avoid tanning

Unfortunately, lasers can be finicky when it comes to skin pigmentation. The darker you are, the greater your risk of complications since laser light is attracted to pigmentation in the skin. If you’ve recently tanned, you’ll need to consider waiting for it to fade before you opt for certain laser treatments since this might interfere with your intended results. Your cosmetic physician can advise on which treatments may be affected by bronzed skin and even recommend alternatives. Better yet, if you’re considering laser treatments, hold off on tanning until you’ve consulted your cosmetic physician or even completed your treatment package. Additionally, you’ll need to be prepared with a broad spectrum sunscreen after each treatment to avoid the chance pigmentation complications from sunlight exposure.

Verify credentials

If a physician’s assistant or someone other than a doctor is administering your treatment, check to make sure they are permitted to do so under your state’s law. In New Jersey, only doctors and registered nurses are allowed to administer laser treatments. During your consultation, make sure to ask who will be performing each treatment and what qualifies them. If your chosen practice says that an unlicensed person will be performing your treatments, then look for another provider. Lasers can be extremely complicated and require extensive training, so it’s not worth the risk of having an inexperienced person performing cosmetic treatments where great results are the main goal (even if it comes at a lower cost). Aside from that, if your provider is willing to bend the rules on who administers treatments, then they’re likely bending the rules on other important things!

Be realistic

While lasers have great benefits for your skin, they are not a beauty cure-all. It’s important to do your research and learn more about what can be achieved with each laser option, so you don’t go in expecting one thing and getting another. Also, make sure you look at before and after pictures and get a clear sense of the outcome you can expect before you decide on a treatment. Your cosmetic physician will create a plan for how many treatments you can expect to undergo for your best results, so stick to this as best as you can. In most cases, lasers require multiple treatments for best results, so don’t expect instant improvement. Your cosmetic physician can also recommend whether your goals are realistic— they may recommend something heftier or more invasive (like surgery) if lasers won’t get you the results you want. That’s all the more reason to find a trustworthy cosmetic physician who can ensure you don’t throw money away on ineffective treatments.

Assess your timing

If you’re planning a laser treatment prior to an important event (such as a wedding) make sure you allow enough time for your skin to heal after each session. Some lasers can cause swelling and redness, while others require you to avoid sun exposure for a period of time. If you have future plans that you want your skin to be ready for, be sure to communicate your time frame during your consultation. That way, your cosmetic physician can determine whether you’ll have enough time for your chosen option to work and for your results to emerge with enough time to spare. If your time frame isn’t realistic, your cosmetic physician can recommend other options.

Schedule a Consultation

When it comes to achieving clear, beautiful skin, lasers are some of the best options around. However, it’s important to know what to look for and how to find the best provider in your area. At Reflections, we offer a huge selection of laser options and the expertise of our cosmetic physicians so you can create the ideal treatment plan that works for you. To meet with our award-winning team and learn more about laser treatments, contact our Martinsville and Livingston offices by calling or filling out our online form.

Cosmetic & Laser Physician at

Dr. Michelle Ellern’s skillful hands, artful techniques, and warm and caring personality as a cosmetic physician make her a wonderful addition to Reflections. She is certified in Aesthetic Medicine by the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

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