For years, dermatological surgeons have been searching for a foolproof method the elimination of wrinkles, the correction of acne scars, and the improvement of sun-damaged and aging skin. The latest breakthrough in skin rejuvenation is known as laser resurfacing.
In order to vaporize wrinkles and replace them by fresh skin cells, a wand-like laser is used on the skin. This hand piece allows more precision and more control upon penetration, so the treatment is much safer.
WHAT IS A LASER?
The “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”, or LASER basically functions by directing a powerful beam of bright light that moves in one direction to the area requiring treatment. Because the laser produces a specific color of light, it can then be adjusted to certain wavelengths, which can be used on various treatments at specific safety levels.
WHAT IS SKIN RESURFACING?
Laser resurfacing is a very effective method for getting rid of wrinkles, improving sun-damaged skin, reducing the signs of aging, and decreasing acne scars. Unsightly scars and wrinkles are significantly vaporized with the use of laser beams. There is more control in the depth of penetration, and the laser leaves normal skin between pulses, this allows more precision and safety in the treatment.
HOW DOES THE CARBON DIOXIDE LASER WORK?
The newer generation of CO2 laser is able to deliver extremely high energy in short bursts, which is a vast improvement from the continuous carbon dioxide lasers or old. This new fractional CO2 laser has been known to reduce the risk of scarring and other complications. To get to the fresh skin beneath the surface, this revolutionary technology works by removing the surface and damaged skin one pulse at a time.
HOW DOES THE FRACTIONAL ERBIUM YAG LASER WORK? (FRAXEL)
The Erbium Yag laser has properties that Dr. Rapaport utilizes when precisely heating columns of skin. This high-powered laser is easily absorbed by water while gently penetrating the skin.
HOW DOES DR. RAPAPORT DECIDE TO CHOOSE A LASER?
For patients with minor surface discolorations or scars, or for those whose facial wrinkles range from superficial to moderate, the Fraxel laser is generally used. The skin around the eyes, neck, mouth, and hands are more delicate, so the Fraxel laser’s gentleness is more appropriate. Lastly, the Fraxel laser is also used on patients who cannot tolerate the redness after the procedure for a longer period of time, as well as for those with darker skin.
On the other hand, severe sun damage and deeper facial wrinkles are best treated with the fractionated CO2 laser. This, however, causes prolonged redness and the healing time is significantly longer with a more substantial amount of tissue tightening.
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO PERFORM LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
Dermatologists, in general, are experts in treating skin disease and skin care. Dr. Rapaport specializes in laser surgery, as well as the treatment of post-operative conditions. Choosing a doctor who is experienced in laser treatment is very important because good results rely on technique, almost to an artistic level. Various other aesthetic surgeons have consulted and asked Dr. Rapaport for assistance in treating complications from their surgeries.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN LASER RESURFACING TREAT?
- Wrinkles and fine lines on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and other areas of the face can be reduced.
- Eyelid skin can be tightened and smoothened.
- Crow’s feet surrounding the eyes can be improved significantly.
- Frown lines and pucker marks can be softened.
- Uneven skin color and brown spots can be reduced and removed.
- Scars can be flattened and generally improved.
- Smoker’s lines can be repaired.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LASER SURGERY FOR FACIAL RESURFACING?
- Treatment results are vastly improved.
- As a surgery, it is relatively “bloodless” and non-invasive.
- It is a highly precise and controlled form of surgery.
- It serves as an alternative to more traditional aesthetic procedures.
- It is a safe and effective out-patient surgery that can be performed in a day.
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED DURING AND AFTER SURGERY?
Patients may receive local anesthesia, or a topical anesthetic with mild sedation, based on the condition being treated specifically. Throughout the procedure, some very minor discomfort may be experienced, as well as during the recovery phase. The whole procedure is approximately one hour, though this will largely depend on the specific treatment, as well.
After the Fractionated CO2 skin resurfacing procedure, the skin will be covered with a fine crust and will typically be pink or red. For a few days after the treatment, the areas that have been treated will be kept moist with occlusive dressings or ointment and must be completely protected from sunlight. Sunblock is then applied as soon as the treated area starts to heal. Makeup can be worn approximately 7 days after the treatment. The pinkish color may remain from several days to several months, depending on one’s ability to heal, as well as the type of laser that was used during treatment.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OF THE PROCEDURE?
Like all surgical procedures, laser resurfacing also has some risks. The risk of scarring is relatively low with both CO2 laser surgery and the new Fraxel Fractionated surgery. The treatment sites may suffer some mild swelling, brown discoloration or redness, and crusting as side effects. After laser resurfacing, bleaching creams may be required to help regulate skin color. Sound surgical techniques and adequate care post-surgery will greatly minimize the occurrence of swelling, bleeding, infection, and pain. Both surgical procedures and post-operative care are continuously being improved for the patients’ comfort and safety.
WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF FRACTIONATED LASER RESURFACING?
Laser resurfacing does not completely eliminate jowls or excessive skin, nor is it a facelift substitute. However, certain folds and creases can be greatly improved from fractionated laser resurfacing because some tightening of loose skin may occur. Laser resurfacing is often a good alternative to deep chemical peels, dermabrasion, and other traditional methods for skin rejuvenation in many instances. When used in conjunction with chemical peels, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), and other such aesthetic procedures, laser resurfacing also works very well.
WHY CHOOSE Alaxis Aesthetics
When you are considering a dermatological or cosmetic treatment, nothing will make more of a difference in your results and experience than your choice of the right professionals experienced in dermatological, cosmetic and body contouring and cosmetic surgery procedures. The Doctors at Alaxis Aesthetics are all certified so you know that they have been certified and have extensive training. Our complete and total skincare center is highly recognized and awarded by major organizations , which means we meet very high standards for safety, quality of care, and infection prevention.
To begin talking about your cosmetic treatment options, please schedule a consultation today!