The Daily Mail asks ‘Is your beauty treatment ageing you?’

I was appalled at this latest Daily Mail article which claims that laser treatments and glycolic peels actually contribute to the ageing effect, rather than helping to turn back the clock.

As a laser practitioner and laser trainer I take a keen interest in what is written in the media about health, beauty, ageing and in particular about laser treatments. Whilst we are fortunate to have a wealth of information at our fingertips (how did we ever manage without Google?), the Internet and more worryingly the Press, often get it so wrong. The danger of course is that for many people it’s a case of ‘it is written, therefore it is’.

The latest Daily Mail article claims that laser treatments such as IPL, YAG or Erbium cause a ‘hardening’ or ‘scarring’ of the skin, as it causes ‘inflammaging’. According to the article, ‘inflammaging’ occurs where you have ‘persistent or prolonged’ inflammation which apparently can be caused by lasers or glycolic peels. To say that I have never heard such an utter load of rubbish would be an understatement.

Firstly, ‘inflammaging’, according to the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information, is defined as Human ageing which is characterised by a chronic, low-grade inflammation. Inflammaging is a highly significant risk factor for both morbidity and mortality in the elderly people, as most if not all age-related diseases share an inflammatory pathogenesis”

It is NOT as suggested by the Daily Mail to do with over exposure to laser and glycolic peel treatments.

Any kind of laser treatment, be it laser hair removal, thread vein removal, laser acne treatment or sun spot removal involves delivering heat to the skin. Most laser treatments heat the target causing a photo-thermal effect, apart from laser tattoo removal which causes a photo-mechanical effect by shattering the target. However a few short bursts of laser light onto a given area of skin does not, and cannot cause ‘prolonged or persistent’ inflammation within the skin. Exposure to UV radiation, 365 days of the year however, will certainly cause unwanted inflammatory responses in the skin such as uneven pigmentation.

Whilst all laser treatments carry possible side effects, the benefits of laser treatment far outweigh possible adverse reactions. We now live in an age where it is possible to treat acne without antibiotics. Laser acne treatment is now considered the gold standard treatment by dermatologists for treating live acne, or ‘acne vulgaris’. Thread veins, which used to be treated with electrolysis machines can now be successfully cleared using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) as well as laser, with far less side effects. Laser light has a rejuvenating, not an ‘ageing’ effect on the skin. Laser light delivered to the skin, which heats the tissue to 35 degrees Celsius or above, will target the fibroblasts in the skin which are responsible for producing collagen. So when laser hair removal is performed for instance, (which heats the bulb to around 60-70 degrees), not only are you getting the benefit of permanently reducing your unwanted hair, but your skin is also being rejuvenated at the same time as it created a collagen boosting effect. This is why when clients at our Bournemouth laser clinic have laser hair removal on their bikini lines, any scarring from in growing hairs also improve or vanish.

I do wish the Daily Mail would get their facts straight. Firstly it’s LED light, not LAD. Secondly, the use of a grammar check wouldn’t go amiss either. The abbreviation of ‘you are’ is ‘you’re’, not ‘your’.

For honest, no nonsense and accurate advice on laser treatments and skin rejuvenation, come and see us at our Bournemouth based laser clinic by calling Laser Skin Solutions on 01202 985 029. We are conveniently situated for Christchurch, Poole, Dorchester and Weymouth.


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