Do you have noticeable facial lines and sun damage? Laser Skin Resurfacing offers a solution.
Laser Skin Resurfacing: The Liftless Facelift
In the mid 90’s laser ablative skin resurfacing became popular until rumors started that it was a traumatic procedure whose benefits had been exaggerated. But laser surgery breakthroughs in the last few years have made laser skin resurfacing a safer, easier way to eliminate wrinkles than traditional face-lifts or plastic surgery.
Patients looking for dramatic, permanent changes in their skin often choose resurfacing. They come away amazed at their dewy, new-looking skin. Healing time varies depending on which type of laser resurfacing is performed.
The laser peels off years of sun-damaged skin. It removes wrinkled skin layer by layer, stimulating the regeneration of the deeper healthier skin. Unlike dermabrasion and chemical peels, lasers use high-energy beams of light to vaporize scars, lines, wrinkles, sun damaged skin, and tightens collagen without an invasive face-lift. Although full face carbon dioxide lasers create the most dramatic changes, they are also associated with a prolonged healing time and a greater risk of complications. To alleviate these problems, fractional laser treatments are often preferred. Precise, controlled lasers used by a trained physician make the procedure safe and predictable.
Laser skin resurfacing’s two major effects are:
- Removing damaged cells
- Tightening the underlying collagen
The cosmetic benefits include:
- It noticeably reduces deeply-wrinkled skin without invasive, scalpel procedures
- It smooths crow’s feet around eyes
- It vaporizes high ridges of wrinkles
- It makes skin much smoother
- It diminishes and often removes the lines around the mouth that cause lipstick to “bleed”
- It improves acne scars
- It stimulates the deeper layers of skin, making it healthier and younger looking
- It gets rid of unwanted skin conditions instantly.
The earliest carbon dioxide lasers removed warts and unwanted growths, but they could damage and scar skin around the treated area. This limited their uses. Pinpoint precision laser technology in area and depth allowsed physicians to paint away lines, wrinkles, sun-damaged or aging skin.
Most procedures can be performed in the office with a topical and/or local anesthetic and without the risk of patient hospitalization. Depending on the benefits desired, the depth of laser treatments and the type of laser used will vary.
There are two types of laser procedures for improving the appearance of your skin: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers actually remove the top thin top layers of the skin and can further be divided into ones that remove the entire top layer and ones that remove only a portion of it (fractional). Non-ablative laser penetrate into the dermis without damaging the top layers of the skin.
With traditional full face ablative laser resurfacing, you will often need to take a week off from your normal routine. This time is shortened to just a few days if a fractional ablative procedure is performed. To promote faster healing and preventing crusts from forming, you will need to keep your skin moist for 7-10 days. Depending on which laser is used, your skin will be quite pink to red for the next several days to several weeks but once any drainage or peeling is gone, you can use make up if desired.
Fractional Laser Treatments
Modification of full thickness ablative laser resurfacing procedures led to the popular procedure of fractional laser treatments. These lasers produce thousands of tiny columns or microbeams of energy creating areas of treated tissue surrounded by untreated tissue. This technique provides for faster healing and reduced side effects.
Non-Ablative Fractional Laser Treatments
A technique that allows the fractional microbeams to pass through the protective barrier of the skin, the stratum corneum and epidermis leaving it intact. These microcolumns of injury lead to the production of new collagen reducing lines and wrinkles. More than one treatment is often necessary and can be a good intermediate step before a full laser resurfacing treatment.
Combination Fractional Ablative and Fractional Non-Ablative Skin Resurfacing
This combination mimics the results obtained with the more aggressive carbon dioxide ablative procedures but without the risks and prolonged healing time. This “fractional” treatment allows the skin to heal much faster with minimal downtime.