Cosmetic lasers and other devices touted for skin tightening yield unpredictable results, researchers say. But amid the confusing claims, one technology is emerging as a reliable way to improve skin's appearance: pulsed light.
Skin doctors largely agree that pulsed light can get rid of freckles, brown spots and broken capillaries that give skin a mottled appearance. Pulsed light, by combining wavelengths, heats and destroys pigmentary changes -- including the flushing associated with the skin condition rosacea. Patients are predominantly women in their 40s and 50s. But more men are getting treated, especially those with red blotchy faces who are "embarrassed" that people think they are heavy drinkers, says Vic Narurkar, an aesthetic dermatologist at the Bay Area Laser Institute in San Francisco.