Laser Resurfacing

Aging skin is a result of sun damage, environmental effects, poor skin care, genetics, & smoking.  In order to erase deep wrinkles and minor skin damage, Laser technology has provided state of the art machines.

Laser therapy stimulates production of new collagen in the skin, which tightens the loose skin while removing facial wrinkles and lines around the eyes, mouth, forehead along with elimination of brown spots and acne scars. Laser resurfacing recovery could be prolonged by 4-8 weeks of skin redness.

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About Procedure

Ablative laser. This is a wounding laser that removes the thin outer layer of skin (epidermis) and heats the underlying skin (dermis), which stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers. As the epidermis heals and regrows, the treated area appears smoother and tighter.

Non-ablative laser. This is a non-wounding laser that stimulates collagen growth, which over time helps improve skin tone and texture. This approach can be done with various types of lasers as well as intense pulsed light (IPL) devices. Non-ablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less recovery time than does ablative laser resurfacing. These treatments are usually less effective.

Both methods can be delivered with a fractional laser, which leaves microscopic columns of untreated tissue throughout the treatment area. Fractional lasers were developed to shorten recovery time and reduce the risk of side effects.

Ablative laser resurfacing can cause various side effects, including: redness, swelling and itching, acne flare ups, infection, herpes lesion flare ups, skin color changes, and scarring. These risks and complications are minimized by performing a thorough history and physical examination as well as administrating prophylactic medications as necessary.

Resurfacing treatments may hurt—or may not depending on the energy level and the type of laser used.  Patients and doctors commonly compare the sensation felt during laser treatments to a rubber band snapping against the skin. However, what laser resurfacing feels like depends on the laser, the depth and area of treatment, and an individual’s tolerance for pain.

The skin healing usually takes between 2 and 10 days depending on the type of laser energy used and the depth of the treatments performed.  As a general rule, the bigger the treatment area, and the deeper the laser energy level, the longer the recovery time.

Recovery from an ablative laser treatment, for example, may take up to three weeks.  During recovery, your skin may be red and scab over.  During the recovery time, it is extremely important to follow post-treatment instructions, especially avoiding sun exposure to the treated area.

The results of the resurfacing treatments are not permanent.  Some may see an immediate difference in the treated skin. That will continue to improve for up to a year. While the effects of laser resurfacing can last for a few years, the normal aging process and one’s lifestyle will cause the wrinkles and expression lines to reoccur over time.  Therefore, the treatment may need to be repeated in a few years.

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