Every consumer of skincare services is now subjected to dozens of competing claims by doctors, mid-levels (PA-Cs and ARNPs), aestheticians, social media and print media. There are now dozens of laser companies making several hundred “lasers” and laser cousins (IPL/BBLs). Which to choose? How do you avoid wasting your time and money? Can they live up to their claims?
I really believe that most providers are trying to do the right thing by their patients. And I also know that a little knowledge and minimal experience can be very dangerous. So when you are a consumer, what do you do?
Some guidelines that may help:
- New is NOT better. Often these are just inferior or old technologies remarketed under a different name.
- Look for laser centers and providers that have been in business and providing treatments for at least 5-10 years. For example, a PA-C who worked in our office several years ago, but never worked with lasers, recently set herself up and started marketing herself as a laser provider and expert. Scary!
- How can you tell? Go to your states’ business site to find the date of incorporation, or ask what year the provider was licensed. Also, be careful to verify that the doctor is a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Sometimes ER docs, anesthesiologists, and family medicine docs will do aesthetic medicine. They will say on their site that they are “board-certified,” but neglect to tell you that it’s ER medicine.
- Beware a lot of hype, the pressure to make same-day decisions, or package “deals.” So many patients have paid for a package and then realized they don’t have confidence in the center. Pay only for one treatment in the beginning.
Threeforme is just an IPL system made by Cynosure. In my opinion, the claims she is making are unlikely to prove true. The only laser that is really capable of skin tightening is a CO2. Several radiofrequency devices are capable of skin tightening. If you are 66, and your main problem is sagging and wrinkles in your lower face, consider a CO2 laser with filler, or a Profound treatment. If you live near Sacramento the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Northern California is excellent.
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