The Ultimate Guide to Cosmetic Lasers: What Works and What Doesn’t

Cosmetic surgery in Mexico is an increasingly popular solution for candidates seeking improved appearances, health, and self-confidence. A growing number of treatments are now completed through the use of cosmetic lasers, and they have the potential to transform your look and lifestyle with rapid results.

Nevertheless, as with any cosmetic procedure, you must familiarize yourself with what to expect. This guide to cosmetic lasers will provide the information you need to know.

laser treatment mexico before and after

What is Laser Cosmetic Surgery?

Laser cosmetic treatments are defined as any procedure that uses a laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) to alter a person’s appearance. While lasers can be used for other issues, cosmetic processes are usually focused on correcting skin blemishes.

The improvements are achieved by targeting monochromatic (single colored) bursts of light to the designated body part. Utilizing a process known as selective photothermolysis, the advanced lasers can do this with incredible accuracy. In turn, it can break down the cells to remove the presence of various skin conditions, such as brown spots and red patches.

Surgery provided through cosmetic lasers is less invasive than other treatments and can deliver permanent results.

Ablative versus Non-Ablative Lasers

Cosmetic lasers all use single colored beams of light, which must be adapted to reflect the procedure in question. While the types of lasers used can be broken into many subcategories, the primary distinction is between ablative and non-ablative lasers:

Ablative lasers vaporize and remove the top layer of skin in the anatomic area of treatment. While they are more invasive and require a longer recovery time (usually two weeks), and may cause discomfort in this period, they can complete the job in one session. They are most commonly used to treat wrinkles, discoloration, and facial scarring.

Non-ablative lasers are less invasive and work deeper in the skin without removing the top layers. They are commonly used to improve texture and tone. While recovery times are shorter, it is often necessary to undergo multiple appointments to see results. Fine lines and pigmentation issues are among the most common treatments.

When can Cosmetic Lasers Be Used?

Both ablative and non-ablative lasers can be broken down into several cosmetic laser types. A professional team of experienced cosmetic surgeons should utilize a range of lasers, including but not limited to;

  • Fractional lasers that penetrate the skin in micro pinpoints and can use more aggressive laser therapies.
  • CO2 lasers that use the gas to create infrared light. This is a type of ablative laser used for skin resurfacing.
  • Erbium lasers that use white metal to produce an infrared laser and target the appearance of scarring.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lasers that target red and brown pigmentation.
  • Alexandrite lasers that use a green gem, using the resulting wavelength to penetrate the red spectrum.
  • Pulsed Dye lasers that use a yellow wavelength to reduce acne scars and blood vessel appearances.

The above lasers, alongside others, subsequently make cosmetic laser therapies very versatile. In fact, they can be used to treat a wide range of cosmetic skin issues, such as:

Skin Tightening

Skin tightening is a natural feature of all laser therapies because the cosmetic lasers work on the concept of creating controlled minor injuries that the body will naturally repair through increased collagen production. CO2 lasers can be used to generate more significant skin tightening.  (Learn about CO2 laser therapy here or Thermage here

Wrinkle Removal

Ironing out fine lines and wrinkles without needing injections is a highly popular reason for using cosmetic lasers. Skin tightening and skin resurfacing are used in conjunction to produce clearer skin. CO2 lasers, erbium lasers, and IPLs can be used for this type of treatment.

See Our Before and After Gallery Here

Acne Scarring Removal

Acne scarring is a common issue that can impact a person’s appearance for life. Laser therapy can cause injuries and remove the top layers of skin, forcing the body to repair itself with increased collagen. Meanwhile, LED tech can be used to combat active acne.

Lesions Treatment

Both precancerous lesions and vascular lesions can be treated with lasers. Ablative lasers will often be used to remove precancerous lesions, delivering potential health benefits as well as esthetic upgrades. Vascular options are often completed with IPL Lasers.

Pigmentation Lesions

Sunspots, age spots, melasma, and other pigmentation issues associated with skin damage can be treated through the use of targeted laser lights. Pulsed dye lasers are the most commonly used solution and can create a more even skin tone.

Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal techniques have evolved at a rapid rate and is now the most common way to restore the skin back to how it looked before a regrettable tattoo. However, the possibilities are somewhat dictated by the size, type, and anatomical location of the tattoo.

Laser therapies may also be used for other skin resurfacing issues, as well as hair removal. Depending on the laser type, some issues such as vascular lesions can be treated on the body. Nonetheless, the majority of treatments are for the face.

What Can’t Cosmetic Lasers Be Used For?

While cosmetic laser treatments can achieve a lot, especially when completed by a team of experienced experts that know how to tailor the procedures to your need, there are certain limitations that all prospective patients should know.

For starters, laser surgery cannot penetrate deep below the skin. So, damage underneath the top and middle layers (such as deep scarring) cannot be corrected. Meanwhile, the reduced presence and volume of sebaceous glands can rule out laser treatments on some body parts, which means some procedures can only be used on the face.

Lasers will deliver some skin tightening attributes, especially when opting for a service specifically trying to target this issue. However, it cannot correct severe sagging skin. When your sagging skin is significant, it will be necessary to look at other treatment types.

Despite the fact that laser cosmetic surgery can’t fix every skin issue, it can achieve a lot. The best advice is to discuss the possibilities with your surgeon.

Am I a Candidate For Cosmetic Laser Treatments?

Even if you have one of the above ailments or skin blemishes, the use of cosmetic laser therapies for skin resurfacing procedures may not be suitable. The prime candidate for this type of surgery will meet the following criteria;

  • All patients should be adults over the age of 21 that have matured to a point where physical developments have stopped.
  • Patients should have a naturally light skin tone because the healing processes on darker skin may experience abnormal coloration.
  • The blemishes should be located near the surface of the skin as lasers only penetrate the upper layers of the skin.
  • Patients must not have a current problem, such as an acne flare-up. When they do, the treatment should be postponed until it clears.
  • All patients should understand the limitations of their procedures, including where it can be used and what it cannot correct.

It may still be possible to have this type of treatment if you do not meet one of the criteria points. For example, patients with darker skin tones may still be open to using cosmetic lasers for some issues. However, this will need to be discussed with your surgeon via a full consultation.

The Pre-Treatment Checklist

Cosmetic laser treatments are an ideal way to rejuvenate the skin, restoring your look and confidence. If you want to see the very best results, though, you must take the necessary steps to guarantee you receive the esthetic benefits you deserve. To get this right, you must focus on both the treatment and the surgeon.

The Treatment

Before choosing your cosmetic lasers treatment, be sure to check;

  • That you are a good candidate that can benefit from the proposed treatment.
  • Whether there are any alternative treatments that could get better results.
  • That you understand the possibilities, risks, and laser types that are used.
  • If the skin blemishes can be fully treated with this type of care.
  • What preparations and aftercare steps will be needed to support the treatment.

A caring surgeon will discuss these details in full before you start your cosmetic surgery. Still, familiarizing yourself with the process in advance remains highly advised.

The Surgeon

A high-quality surgeon for laser therapy should;

  • Offer a comprehensive approach to the treatments, using multiple cosmetic lasers.
  • Boast the experience, credentials, and client testimonials to put your mind at ease.
  • Show a good understanding of your objectives, fears, and personal situation.
  • Provide the service at a fair price, and deliver full transparency.
  • Give you a full and thorough consultation to detail all expectations.

By the time you start the cosmetic surgery, you should be blessed with confidence and clarity. If the company doesn’t deliver this, you should look at alternative methods. 

Learn more about our Dermatologist, Dr. Alberto de la Fuente Garcia here


Cosmetic lasers have evolved at a rapid rate in recent years, opening the door to a plethora of new treatment opportunities, as well as increased speed and accuracy. This has also improved the affordability and reduced the side effects, leading to quicker recovery times.

To find out more about the possibilities, expectations, and schedules involved for cosmetic laser treatments in Mexico, arrange a consultation with our experts today or read more about other patient journeys to Mexico here.

Dr. De La Fuente

Dr. De La Fuente is our board-certified Dermatologist practicing at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Cosmetic Dermatology, Laser treatment & Non-invasive procedures, Medical Dermatology and Surgical Dermatology. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Dermatology, Mexican Board of Dermatology, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, American Academy of Dermatology.