Lasers: A Belly Dancer's Guide Through The High Tech Beauty Galaxy
Are you ready for a laser treatment?
Belly dancers are some of the most fascinating creatures. All eyes zero in on the dancer, and this intense attention that a belly dancer garners from the audience is a lot of pressure, to say the least!
It is no wonder that more and more oriental dancers are becoming more circumspect with their skin care and fitness regimen. If you’re a belly dancer, are you willing to take your vanity procedures to another level? Will you consider laser technology?
Strictly speaking, the word laser is actually an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. You hear the word laser in almost any industry: science, medicine, industry, information technology, and so many others. Well, you hear about laser too in topics of beauty and fitness. Laser has been used for many purposes, especially for treatments for the skin and body.
You’ve probably heard of a few terms and wondered what they meant and what they’re for. Here are some of the more popular, decoded for you. To avoid confusion, note that these are the names and explanations of the laser technology. You will come across specific terms for the treatment (i.e. Thermage ThermaCool) when you visit your dermatologist or aesthetic center.
One of the most popular procedures, Thermage promises to give you taut, more younger-looking skin on face and body, renew body and facial contours, and stimulate production of healthier collagen. Technically speaking, thermage uses non-laser energy; it’s non-invasive, so no scary needles, no surgery, and requires very little to no downtime. You can have one done now and go back to work tomorrow (even sooner). The results are subtle, but you will see a change. It’s best for targeting wrinkles and lines, and it has been used for lifting and tightening of the body, face, and even the eyes. A procedure may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the area (and the size) being treated. It’s considered safe, and results last for months and possibly more than two years.
Like Thermage, Fraxel also takes years off your appearance. It is a skin resurfacing and renewal system that improves skin texture (reduces pore size), helps diminish acne scars and wrinkles. It’s different in that laser beams target a fraction of the skin at a time. Fraxel has also been found to reduce stretch marks, other kinds of scars, skin discoloration (brown or sun spots), and sun-damaged skin. Unlike Thermage, there is a little downtime with Fraxel (around 5-10 days), depending also on how “aggressive” you want your treatment to be.
Acne and Acne Scar Treatment
Acne at age 30? It’s possible, you know. Acne breakouts don’t just happen in adolescence, unfortunately. Laser treatments for acne work to zap the zits and reduce the scarring. They are painless, require no downtime, and are considered safe. There are two kinds/groups of lasers used for acne: One stops the growth of the acne-causing bacteria, while the other targets the sebaceous oil glands that also cause the breakout. Your doctor may use one or both.
A treatment lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Got a scar you want removed? Besides acne scars, laser can also remove other kinds of scars: burn, keloid, surgery, facial, etc. But do take note that if you have skin disorders (psoriasis, dermatitis, etc.), you may be advised not to undergo procedure. Common side effects of laser scar removal are hyperpigmentation (turns dark) or hypopigmentation (turns white) and a possible allergic reaction. But this treatment is considered highly effective (reduces scar appearance by as much as 80%) and requires no downtime. Some scars are, of course, more difficult to treat than others.
Women are perennially bogged down by waxing and shaving, and this is the reason why Laser Hair Removal is very popular. The procedure is usually done on underarm, abdomen, buttocks, bikini lines, thighs, face (chin, area above lips), neck, cleavage, chest, arms, legs, hands, shoulders, and back. Lasers target the melanin, which gives color to skin and hair, in a hair strand. Laser heats the hair and does localized damage to the follicle (the area where hair grows)—destroying the strand at its root. Results may be permanent, but depending on the part being treated, you may have to do a round of four to eight treatments. You may experience some re-growth, which can be fixed with “touch-ups.”
Spider veins, rosacea, port wine stains (reddish or purplish skin discoloration), vascular lesions (overgrown enlarged blood vessels or multiple small vessels). Laser light passes through the skin and causes the vein to break up and diminish—treating only the targeted blood vessels and not affecting the surrounding tissue. Small broken vessels will only require a few pulses, while bigger lesions will need more. Large areas, like large leg veins, will need more than one treatment. The treatment is considered very safe, but you may experience some bruising or discoloration in the area. And oh, don’t expose treated area to the sun for the meantime.
Stretch Marks Removal
The sooner you treat stretch marks, the better. New stretch marks (usually red) can be minimized with pulsed dye laser. Older stretch marks, those that have turned white, can be treated with the Xtrac laser and ReLume light source, which address the white skin that has developed on the stretch mark. The laser stimulates melanocytes (pigment-producing skin cells) to produce melanin, making the stretch mark skin darker and closer to the natural skin tone. Post-treatment, the skin will look like it has experienced a mild sunburn—it turns pink. Take note also that the procedure won’t completely remove the stretch mark, but it will help reduce its appearance.
Cellulite affects anybody, even the thinnest among us. (Remember Paris Hilton’s infamous paparazzi shot showing the hotel heiress with cellulite?) Laser targets cellulite fat cells by heating them below the surface of the skin, promoting better circulation and more efficient oxygen exchange. The result? Increased fat cell metabolism and production of new collagen—delivering tighter skin, reducing cellulite appearance, and producing better-looking body contours. For this procedure, a series of treatments is preferred, with some follow-ups.
Liposuction has become quite popular, but the thought of a machine “sucking out” your fats is a little creepy. It is for this reason that laser liposuction sounds a lot more appealing. Lasers liquefy fats (membrane of the fat cells are weakened and the fats in these cells literally ooze out) for easier suctioning by a tiny cannula (tube). I know, there’s still “sucking out” involved, but at least these fats are not solid. Local anesthesia is used and there will be an incision for the cannula, which may produce a small scar. But sutures are unnecessary and there’s very little blood loss involved. Body is contoured and skin becomes tighter. However, it is still considered surgery, and with any surgery, there are possible risks. But no serious complications have been reported. Even better news: Results are said to be permanent.
There are many other laser procedures, some of them specialized (tattoo removal, vitiligo treatment, and more). So are you open to the beauty benefits of laser technology?
Other Hot Topics!
|Too Wired Really?||Safety First! Belly Dancers, Back Bends & Hair Tosses|