Laser Skin Resurfacing: As one of the most exciting and innovative scientific achievements of the decade, Laser technology is being utilized throughout the health care community. Dr. Wald uses one of the newest lasers, the ultrapulse carbon dioxide laser, to treat sun-damaged skin, facial wrinkles and scars in a procedure called laser skin resurfacing.
What is a Laser?
The word "laser" is an acronym, which stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A surgical laser, such as the CO2 laser, is a beam of light capable of removing unwanted tissue, such as scarred, lined, wrinkled, and otherwise imperfect skin. The laser vaporizes skin cells by emitting bursts of radiation that are absorbed by water in these cells. Laser light penetrates to a very precise, controlled depth, making the procedure safe and predictable, while reducing the risk of scarring or pigmentation problems. Laser skin resurfacing is bloodless, and is performed right here in our office, under light sedation. As a result of this treatment, you are left with more natural looking skin.
What Areas can be Treated Through Laser Resurfacing?
The laser is used to reduce tiny wrinkles, acne scars and other minor skin imperfections, especially around the mouth and eyes. It can improve sun-damaged and acne scarred skin, problems that often cause concern to both men and women.
Benefits of Treatment
Laser resurfacing can be used as an alternative to chemical peel and dermabrasion. The benefits of using this technique are that there is less pain and a faster recovery time. In most cases, it is also less costly.
Prior to surgery, Dr. Wald and you will discuss the goals for facial improvement. After determining the appropriate procedure, we will fully describe the procedure, what results to expect and the costs. The skin is usually pretreated prior to surgery to improve the healing time.
A local anesthetic is given to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. The area is cleansed and draped. Dr. Wald directs the laser beam toward your skin imperfections. The laser quickly and accurately vaporizes the outermost layers of skin just four or five cells in thickness.
What can be Expected?
In most cases, only one treatment is needed. The initial redness fades in a few weeks to a light pink, which can be concealed with makeup. The discoloration usually disappears in one or three months. The goal of laser resurfacing is to enhance facial appearance. Expectations by the patient must be realistic, and results should be anticipated as improvements rather than total corrections. Results of the surgery depend on many factors such as the size, shape and location of the imperfection and the patient's heredity, age and general skin condition.
Chemical Peels: Chemical peel is helpful for wrinkles, light acne scarring and irregular pigmentation such as freckles and age spots. Pre-cancerous conditions such as kurtosis (thick, rough, reddish growths) also respond well to this procedure.
There are several types of chemical peels:
After thoroughly cleansing the skin, a small applicator is used to apply the chemical solution to an area of the face. Excess solution is removed and the procedure is repeated on other areas.
The amount of improvement varies and depends upon the initial condition of the patient's skin. Significant improvement of damaged skin has been achieved, which can produce dramatic results.
Skin Rejuvenation: A skin rejuvenation program is often used in conjunction with either chemical peels or laser wrinkle removal to reduce the fine wrinkles of the face, lighten areas of hyperpigmentation and produce a softer texture to the skin. The program can be accomplished separately or in conjunction with the other procedures listed here and is followed at home by the patient after a consultation and a treatment plan is established for the patient's cosmetic needs.
Our skin care department is dedicated to providing you with the latest and most effective skin treatments available.
We invite you to inquire about laser skin resurfacing and hope it can help you achieve smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin.
When reviewing information about specific plastic surgery procedures, it is important to understand that the circumstances and experience of every individual are unique. If you are considering plastic surgery, please ask your plastic surgeon for further information about the particular procedure and what you can expect.