As with any type of medical procedure, there are always risks with laser skin tightening; the questions are: what are they, and are they reasonable?
First off, depending on the skin color of the person, if you have black, brown or olive skin pigmentation, laser skin tightening can cause a change to the skin’s color. Next, if you have taken the drug Accutane any time within the last year and a half, or if you are prone to keloid scarring, you have a greater chance of developing an infection after laser skin tightening.
However, normally, the cosmetic surgeon will apply some antibiotic cream to minimize this risk, and then you are advised to put on a mild moisturizer (such as cold cream) on for the first couple of weeks to keep the skin from drying out.
Laser skin tightening can also cause redness, soreness, swelling and sometimes blisters to the skin. Yet, these are minor issues, and easily dealt with. Here again, a doctor will probably tell you to simply use an ice pack, painkillers, and stay out of the direct sun for several days or use strong sunblock if they do go out.
When it comes to long term problems/risks, there are some associated with laser skin tightening. As mentioned above, there are possible temporary changes to their skin’s pigmentation. Well, those can become permanent. There is a rare affliction – hypo pigmentation – where the skin becomes permanently lighter. One drawback to this problem is that the skin can become lighter merely from repeated treatments, and take up to a year or more to return to normal. So, by the time the patient knows they have a problem (up to two years later!), it can be too late to get early treatment. The best way to avoid this risk is by not having the surgeon apply the laser to the exact same area of the body for a large number of treatments.
A scar can occur during the post operation phase, if the skin is not properly cared for, and it can also lead to an infection. If the cosmetic surgeon goes too deep with the laser, it can create damage that the skin can’t restore. These are very rare, but they are a risk with laser skin tightening. Depending on the severity of the damage, the body part (face, arm, leg, abdomen, buttocks) can take on an uneven appearance, some of the subcutaneous fat may be permanent lost, and some muscle tone may be reduced.
Finally, there is the possible psychological damage from laser skin tightening if you do not prepare yourself properly. If a patient goes into the laser skin tightening procedure with unreal expectations as to what the laser treatments can do for them, and they are then disappointed, this can lead to depression. A key to avoiding this is by meeting with the cosmetic surgeon beforehand and reviewing every aspect of the laser skin tightening treatments, and what they can realistically do for them. Approached with knowledge and realistic expectations, laser skin tightening can offer great results.