Opinion: Is Laser Dermatology the New Way to Go?

By KR Aziz

Some Ugandans are taking to Laser Treatments for various Skin and Hair Loss Treatments. While it is already an established Dermatological mainstay in the more developed world, Laser Dermatology is still a fairly new phenomenon in Uganda. There are still a number of questions surrounding it, what it treats, its effectiveness, its cost and the side-effects.  In this article, we try to unpack Laser Dermatology with the help of renowned Dermatologist: Dr. Malik Ssempereza from Unity Skin Clinic, a leading Skin, Laser and Hair Loss Clinic in Uganda.

“We have 6 different types of lasers that we use for treatment of various conditions. Each type uses a specific level of energy that targets a specific type of component in the body. Ideally the light beam will collide with that specific component it is meant for, and cause it to disintegrate, thus achieving the desired results, while leaving other surrounding tissues safe and intact. Some lasers target water, others target the red pigment in blood to remove birthmarks called haemangiomas and varicose veins. Others lasers target the dark pigment in the hair to remove hair while others target the colored pigments in tattoos to remove the tattoos”, says Dr. Malik.

We even have a new laser for fungal infections of the nails which reduces the need for oral medications, as it works directly on the nail, and delivers more effective results. At the Unity Skin Clinic, laser is used a lot for surgery. It is used to remove skin swellings and abnormal growths. The advantage is that results are instant, with no bleeding, and no scarring.

Currently, permanent hair removal is the most sought after laser-based service. Most probably you are more accustomed to clearing unwanted hair off your body using a shaver or razor blade. May be you are, the more open-minded kind that uses shaving cream or prefers to wax. Now it is time to get introduced to Laser Hair Removal.

The major difference between Laser Hair Removal and the aforementioned hair removal options is long term effectiveness. It works by beaming highly concentrated light into the hair follicles enabling the pigment in the hair follicles to absorb the light which eventually destroys the hair. “The procedure is quite quick but may cause some minor discomfort,” says Dr. Malik Ssempereza. He adds that the hair almost stops growing after an average of 8 sessions spaced out as advised by the clinical expert. Thereafter, one doesn’t have to bother with hair removal for that part again.

While Laser Treatment is used for Hair Removal, it is also used for Hair Loss Treatment. Laser hair therapy is a viable option for both men and women with certain types of hair loss. Dr. Malik Ssempereza explains, “Low-dose laser treatments stimulate circulation and stimulation that encourages hair follicles to grow hair.” He added that this procedure is non-invasive, painless, side-effect-free, increases hair strength in both men and women.

Having had enough of the “creepy, hairy stuff”, let’s briefly delve into the other uses of Laser Dermatology. These include: Laser treatment to reduce the appearance of scars using focused light therapy to either remove the outer layer of the skin’s surface or stimulate the production of new skin cells to cover damaged skin cells. For those who are very keen on preserving their youth, Laser Treatment also comes in handy. In essence, it is also an Anti-aging option. Dr. Malik states that Laser treatment reduces the appearance of age spots and  skin wrinkles. “As we age, our skin, muscles get weaker and the skin thins. “Laser Treatment entails shooting heat, light or radio frequency deep down into the layers of skin to stimulate collagen production, which in turn leads to firmer and tighter skin.” He also added that there are no major known side effects of the procedure. So there you go folks, go forth and live forever young!


Lastly, let us talk about the cost of Laser Dermatology. Dr. Malik explained that being a fairly new phenomenon on the Ugandan market, it is affordable but with more people opting for these procedures, the prices will get even the lower as client volumes increase because laser technology delivers safe tangible results that are visibly worth the value.






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