Unwanted Bikini Hair
"Laser hair removal for the bikini area is a popular thing," says New York City dermatologist David Colbert, MD. "People come in about a month or two before summer," he says. Sessions last 15 minutes. "You see some results after one session, but you won't see full results until about three sessions."
Vanishing Your Varicose Veins
If large, unsightly varicose veins or tiny spider veins on the thighs, calves, and ankles are your problem, Colbert recommends sclerotherapy. "We inject the veins with a solution to make the veins disappear in a week or two," he says. The solution basically causes these veins to collapse and fade.
Ostad is a fan of endovenous laser for varicose veins. "The cause of these veins is the pooling of blood in the lower leg because your veins don't work properly," he says. Traditionally, doctors used surgery which involves general anesthesia and its related risks. "They would cut out the veins, but people were left with scars. Plus it really doesn't address the problem, so the veins tended to recur," he says.
Endovenous laser technology uses ultrasound to locate thegreat saphenous vein, which runs from the knee to the groin. "Then we insert a laser fiber into the vein and generate heat and seal it," he says. "Once you lose that vein, the varicose veins will get less and less over a course of months," he says.
"There's no pain, no general anesthesia, no hospitalization, and it takes an hour," Ostad says, adding that "endovenous laser treatment has revolutionized the treatment of varicose veins."
Erasing Your Acne
Break-outs on your face or back don't have to put a damper on your fun in the sun this summer, Colbert says. "Lasers are also all the rage for acne. We use blue light lasers on the back and face."
"This is a low energy light source that kills acne-causing bacteria and makes acne go away," Colbert tells WebMD. His prescription: "About one treatment a week for four weeks."
If you really want your skin smooth and supple by summer, opt for a chemical peel about a month before beach season kicks in, Colbert says. Chemical peels can use any of a number of solutions to improve and smooth the texture of the facial or back skin by removing its damaged outer layers.
Unfortunately, not so fast.
"This is really a condition that's waiting for a technology," says Ostad. "There is nothing that has shown to be very effective yet."
"There's endermologie which is basically massaging the fat," he says. Endermologie may work by stimulating skin cells called fibroblasts to increase the production of collagen and elastin, which improve skin tone.
The TriActive laser is also touted as a cellulite cure, Ostad says. "The laser generates heat into the tissue to stimulate collagen production." The hope is that the new collagen will smooth out skin.