Most of us are quite familiar with winter’s negative effects on our skin. The colder months can quickly dry out our skin, exacerbating wrinkles and lines, flaring up eczema and acne, and causing general irritation. So, while it’s always important to take good care of your skin it’s especially important during the winter. Daily actions, such as applying moisturizer and sunscreen, limiting the heart and duration of your showers, and installing humidifiers in your home can help keep your skin healthy and hydrated this coming season. However, some individuals might also seek more intensive methods for achieving brighter, smoother skin. In recent years lasers have become somewhat of a staple of cosmetic dermatology -- Dermal Optical Thermolysis (DOT therapy) is one such technique that can improve your skin’s appearance this winter and beyond.
DOT therapy is a laser resurfacing technique that makes skin appear smoother and more youthful by stimulating the body’s natural healing process. Cleverly named, DOT is both an acronym for Dermal Optical Thermolysis and an indication of how this method works and looks -- during this procedure, a CO2 laser system perforates targeted areas of skin, creating a pattern of “dots” that are essentially tiny wounds. In response to this minor damage, the skin begins to heal itself, producing collagen and new skin cells.
At first glance, dotting your skin with a laser might seem counterintuitive -- after all, if the goal is to achieve smoother skin, wouldn’t these little holes offer the opposite effect? On the contrary, the dots produced by DOT therapy heal and fade fairly quickly, and the response they stimulate aids in addressing a variety of cosmetic concerns, such as:
In short, DOT therapy can improve both the texture and tone of your skin. The procedure isn’t particularly painful, either. DOT therapy is performed in the office while the patient is awake. Mild sedation and/or local anesthetics are usually necessary but minimal. Best of all, a single DOT procedure typically takes only 15-30 minutes and recovery times are relatively quick (5-7 days on average), so it’s not a major time commitment.
Despite the many benefits of DOT therapy, this procedure might not be optimal for everyone. It’s important to speak to your dermatologist before considering this treatment. Your doctor will examine your medical history and ask you questions regarding any medications or skin care products you’ve recently used. One week prior to a DOT procedure, patients should avoid using products containing retinol and/or hydroxy acids, as well as exfoliating products that may dry or irritate the skin. Contraindications include tan skin, pregnancy, connective tissue disease, and the use of Accutane within the past year. Fortunately, DOT therapy is highly customizable, so even those with sensitive skin or particular health concerns may be qualified to undergo this procedure if approved by their dermatologist. DOT therapy yields virtually zero side effects and is deemed highly safe for proper candidates.
Whether you’re looking for a reliable laser treatment for acne scars or a holistic method for making your skin smoother and more youthful, dermal optical thermolysis is worth considering. The experts at Premier Dermatology Partners can give you more information regarding this laser resurfacing option if you’re interested. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.