Old-style laser treatments for banishing wrinkles and crow’s feet inflicted a lot of pain and left patients suffering for up to a week with red and raw skin. The sessions were very expensive and had to be done at a doctor’s office. But people endured all this because they saw wrinkles disappear and their skin color and tone improve.
Now, fractionated lasers like Fraxel get the same results with a lot less “downtime.” They remove only part of the top layer of skin instead of the whole area. The laser still penetrates deep enough to stimulate new collagen growth. A patient may still feel some burning and see some redness, but the main recovery time is only a day or two instead of a week.
Some lasers don’t even remove skin; they only heat up the area underneath. This cuts down recovery time even more. It has the same effect of encouraging new collagen to grow. More collagen means firmer, younger-looking skin.
The new laser treatments are less invasive and powerful, so they take longer to give the same results. A patient may have to complete several sessions to get the best results possible. That’s why being able to use a laser at home is very convenient. Even though the initial cost of buying a home-use laser seems expensive, it costs a lot less than paying for multiple visits to a dermatologist’s office.
Ablative Fractional Laser at a Doctor’s Office
Think of an ablative fractional laser like the Fraxel as light divided into thousands of microscopic columns. These columns of light push out pigmentation and cause new collagen to start forming. The columns only penetrate into certain areas so not all the skin is damaged at once. The undamaged areas help the lasered areas heal more quickly.
Treatments like these done at a doctor’s office still usually require anesthetic and the use of a Zimmer machine to cool off skin. A patient will normally complete 4 to 5 sessions, spaced about a month apart.
Doctors warn that aggressive ablative laser treatments can still cause redness, flaking, swelling, acne breakout, herpes simplex outbreaks, and sensitivity to sunlight. They recommend moisturizing and using sunscreen.
Laser Treatments at Home
Instead of paying $500 to $1000 per treatment, why not pay under $500 one time and then treat yourself?
The Tria Age-Defying Laser from Tria Beauty is the first FDA-cleared ablative fractional laser for home use. It works for all skin types. It does exactly what the laser in the doctor’s office does, but on a smaller scale.
Yes, that means having to treat yourself 5 nights a week for 12 weeks. Sixty treatments bring you up to the equivalent of two office visits. But if you’re only battling sun damage and fine lines, you’ll save yourself a lot of suffering and money. (If you have scars you want to remove, you’ll probably still need to visit a dermatologist).
Risks of Home Laser Treatment
Over-treat an area, and you can will cause blisters, redness, and swelling. Looking directly into the light can cause damage to eyesight. Tria recommends following their product instructions faithfully.
Doing Treatments at Home
The Tria laser is a 7.7-inch tall handheld wand that emits a lavender light. It has a non-removable rechargeable battery inside, and comes with a charger dock and power cord.
There are three power settings. Start on the lowest setting to see how your skin will react. With weeks of treatments ahead, you’ll move up to the top power setting in time.
For wrinkles around eyes, only treat areas where you can feel bone under the skin. Avoid your eyelids. (Check out Tria’s Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser shown below.)
Don’t treat an area of skin more than once every 24 hours, and don’t use the wand on skin that’s already inflamed or irritated.
Once you’ve cleaned and dried your face, touch the wand to your skin. Glide it over the area you want to treat until the buzzer sounds. On the highest power setting, this may take up to 10 minutes a treatment.
How Does It Feel?
Users says it stings and feels hot, and they usually look sunburned after a treatment. This redness fades overnight. It’s important to use a moisturizer to soothe skin. Laser treatments help skin absorb peptides and antioxidants. Avoid using products with glycolic acid or retinol right after a session because they will cause more irritation. Do use sunblock while doing laser treatments because your skin will be more sensitive to UV rays.
How Well Does It Work?
Ninety-five percent of the people participating in a clinical trial of the Tria said they saw their skin looking smoother after weeks of use. Seventy-six percent noticed “meaningful reduction in fine lines and wrinkles”.
Tria Beauty Age-Defying Laser
At the time of writing, Amazon customer reviews rated the Tria Age-Defying Laser with 3.5 stars out of 5. Many of the negative reviews complained that the product was defective or that they didn’t like that the battery couldn’t be replaced.
Forty-one percent of the total reviews gave 5-star ratings. Users noted that it is painful to use, but they have seen positive results. Their skin looks more firm and lines have faded or disappeared.
Tria offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Tria Beauty Age-Defying Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser
Although Tria created this laser especially for eliminating wrinkles around the eyes, you still need to be careful how you use it. Don’t plan on treating your eyelids or looking directly into the laser light. Moisturize after use and avoid using retinol or very acidic products. Wear sunscreen.
On the upside, the Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser only requires 2 minutes of treatment per day. Results should start appearing after just two weeks of treatment.
It comes with the same 90-day money-back guarantee as the Age-Defying Laser.
Sensitive Skin Care Products
While you’re doing laser treatments you need to baby your skin. See the best skin care products for sensitive skin.
If you aren’t sure that you’re ready to use a laser at home, you still have options. See how radiofrequency skin tightening makes your skin look younger and firmer without as many side effects.