The right laser has the ability to treat dark spots, remove hair, smooth your complexion and even erase visible facial blood vessels. Lasers are usually non-invasive so there is minimal wound care and no down time. With all the beneficial features laser therapy offers, it’s not surprising that there continues to be an exploding consumer demand for the technology. Yet many people don’t realize that whenever you have any type of laser therapy, there is always a risk of developing complications such as burns, scars, discoloration, or an infection. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that is especially true when it comes to lasers. Here’s what you can do to minimize your risk of developing complications from laser therapy treatments.
The single most critical action you can take to minimize your risk of complications is to choose your provider carefully. As a result of laser therapy’s enormous popularity, there is an overwhelming array of options available to consumers on where they can go for their laser treatment. Sadly, there have been too many times when I’ve treated patients who didn’t do their homework and went somewhere they shouldn’t have for a laser treatment. The risk of complications is significantly lower if you take the time to find a well-trained, experienced physician and laser technician. There are two reasons for this.
First, you need someone who is expertly trained to match the right technology with a good candidate for the treatment. Complications arise when the wrong laser is applied to the wrong candidate. However, depending on the type of laser being used for your procedure, there are some perfectly normal reactions the skin may have such as some redness or even a sunburn-like feeling. When it comes to complications, you want to be concerned with reactions that occur beyond the normal healing process. This brings me to the second reason why you need to find a qualified technician. If you do get a complication, you need to let your laser surgeon know about it immediately and follow their advice. This means it is of paramount importance that you make sure the physician who is in charge is a true laser expert who can manage your medical condition. I’ve seen and heard of many facilities or “medical spas” that are not equipped to handle complications. This problem is compounded by the fact that you’re probably more likely to develop complications if your treatment occurs in a facility that is not overseen by a qualified physician.
When researching laser facilities, there are some specific questions you can ask to find out if the physician who is in charge is a true laser expert.
- Is the physician on-site? Some facilities will have a physician who is in charge but who doesn’t actually practice in the same building where the laser treatments occur. Look for a facility where the physician is on-site.
- Is the physician in charge a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? You essentially want to find a doctor who is a well-trained laser expert and has medical expertise in skin.
- Do they actually treat patients who have complications? Many times I hear patients report that while it is easy to sign up for laser treatment, they felt like they were on their own if there were any problems. Make sure to ask if the doctor will actually see a patient who has laser complications.
By following these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing complications from a laser therapy treatment. This way you can enjoy the peace of mind and benefits that come with having your laser treatment administered by a capable, qualified technician in a competent medical facility.