Scars, Spots, and Stretch Marks: Lasers Can Treat Them All

Scars, Spots, and Stretch Mark, laser treatment,

It’s safe to say virtually no one has a naturally flawless complexion. And as we get older, those little imperfections seem to become more numerous and more visible. Scars, age spots, sun spots, lines, and stretch marks can all make us look more worn, tired, and older than we’d like. The problem is, no matter how well we care for our skin, we can’t prevent these little imperfections from showing up. But fortunately, with the ICON® laser system, we can help make them less visible or even get rid of them entirely. At Girard Internal Medicine, we use the ICON system to help our patients improve their skin’s appearance so they look and feel more confident, more attractive, more youthful, and just plain sexier. Here’s how it works.

ICON: The power of fractions

You may have hated fractions in school, but when it comes to laser treatments, they’re going to be your best friends. While some traditional laser systems treat every part of your skin, fractionated lasers like the ICON laser system treat isolated “columns” of skin tissue, leaving neighboring columns untreated and unaffected. Think of it like a checkerboard, but on a super-tiny scale: The red squares absorb the laser energy, while the neighboring black squares are left untreated. Using a fractionated approach means it takes a lot less time to heal compared to a treatment with a traditional laser system, and your recovery can also be a lot more comfortable. But because the gaps left untreated are so tiny, you’ll still get great results.

How the ICON works

With the ICON system, fractionated delivery is just part of the story. The ICON helps treat scars, spots, and stretch marks by sending laser energy into the deeper layers of skin where collagen is produced. Collagen is an important component of skin, and it plays an integral role in healing. When your skin is injured, your body produces extra collagen fibers. These fibers bind together to form strong networks of tissue that replace damaged tissue.

In an ICON treatment, the laser energy works in two ways: First, it helps break down scar tissue and other damaged areas into tiny fragments that can be carted off and naturally eliminated by your body. Then, it stimulates your body’s natural healing processes, ramping up production of collagen so damaged areas are repaired and replaced by new, healthy tissue. The result is skin that’s smoother, clearer, and firmer — more like the skin you had when you were younger.

What to expect during and after treatment

ICON laser treatment is performed right in the office, and there’s no downtime. The length of your treatment session will depend on the size of the area being treated, the issue that’s being treated, and other factors. During your session, a special applicator is passed over your skin. The applicator emits short pulses of laser energy. As the laser energy penetrates your skin, you might feel some warmth and mild stinging, like the snapping of a rubber band against your skin, sensations most patients find very tolerable. Afterward, it’s common to have some mild redness and swelling while the area heals, and applying ice packs can help. You’ll need to avoid direct sun exposure for up to six weeks to encourage healing in the area, and you should also use plenty of moisturizer to soothe your skin and help it recover. 

Since your skin’s healing processes will be doing most of the “repair work,” it can take a few weeks to see the results of your treatment. You can expect to see maximum results within about two to three months. Depending on your treatment goals, you might benefit from a second treatment to refine your results. Dr. Kimzey will develop a treatment plan that's tailored just for you.

Learn more about laser treatments

Laser resurfacing with the ICON laser system could eb just what you're looking for to help you enjoy clearer, smoother, more attractive skin. To learn more about the laser treatments we offer at Girard Internal Medicine, book an appointment online today.

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