Laser skin resurfacing is a very popular and effective option for those who may have issues with their skin condition. Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat a range of skin issues, from problems with sun damage to age spots, and it can help with many types of acne scars. Laser skin resurfacing is also a great cosmetic option for general skin rejuvenation. Often, when it comes to improving the appearance of skin on the face, many individuals think that they may need plastic surgery, such as a face lift, or invasive cosmetic surgery. However, with modern dermatology procedures, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, most patients prefer non-invasive treatments, where the downtime and risks of serious side effects are reduced.
Laser skin resurfacing is a great skin treatment option since it can be used to combat the signs of aging, such as the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration concerns, and issues of hyperpigmentation. Skin damage, often caused by sun exposure, can make the skin appear older. A laser cosmetic procedure can help reverse this premature aging and sun damage.
Types of Laser Treatments Available
There are two different types of fractional laser resurfacing. The first type is ablative, which often consists of a carbon dioxide laser (also known as a CO2 laser). The other type of fractional laser technology is ‘non-ablative’. Depending on your skin condition and skin tone, different fractional lasers will be recommended in order to treat your own specific issue. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers treat moderate to fine wrinkles, sun spots, uneven skin tone, sun-damaged skin, and acne scars. Typically, there is less downtime associated with non-ablative lasers since they tend to work by targeting the deeper lasers, underneath the skin itself. Ablative lasers typically target the upper layer of skin, the epidermis, and heat the underlying skin, the dermis. The ablative laser removes the outer layer or the sun damaged or wrinkled skin. At the same time, the laser stimulates the underlying skin to produce new collagen formation, which results in a visual improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. Ablative lasers take longer to heal which means that some additional after skin care will be needed, including daily sunscreen use. Popular laser skin resurfacing options include:
Female treated with Restylane, Vbeam and eMatrix
CO2 laser – These types of lasers are often used for treating wrinkles, scars, warts, as well as oil glands on the nose. It can remove a thin layer of skin without affecting the surrounding tissue, but is often used for deep scars too. It is often used for acne scar treatment too and can help re-surface and rejuvenate the skin. One side effect of the CO2 laser is the potential for hypopigmentation since there is a great deal of energy or heat used with these types of lasers in treating the skin. Pre-treating with antiviral medications, such as Valtrex, is needed before this laser, to prevent the onset of cold sores. The scabs which form as a result of the CO2 laser also have a much longer recovery time, typically taking more than two weeks, with persistent erythema lasting for over six weeks.
Erbium laser – Also known as the ER:Yag laser, this can provide a quicker recovery time than CO2 lasers, and is often used on deep lines and facial wrinkles. It is often recommended for darker skin tones too. The Erbium technology focuses energy deep within the skin, and can stimulate new collagen production.
Fraxel® Dual laser – This laser is very flexible and can be used to treat a range of different skin conditions. The Fraxel Dual Laser is an erbium fiber laser which has two different wavelengths. The 1550 wavelength is used for treating fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. The 1927 wavelength is used to treat problems with pigmentation and skin discoloration, including age spots and sun damage. One of the benefits of the Fraxel Dual Laser is that the treated areas typically require very minimal downtime and minimal discomfort. Because the Fraxel laser is a non-ablative laser, it means that the laser treats only a fraction of tissue at the treated area at a time, leaving the surrounding skin intact. This fractionated mechanism helps to yield quick healing, while your skin produces and remodel new collagen to rejuvenate your skin.
V-Beam® Laser – This laser is especially popular at treating the redness from acne and rosacea, and overall redness in the face. If the redness on the skin is caused by acne breakouts, the V-Beam laser may is a highly effective option as it is considered the gold standard for treating facial redness, broken blood vessels, and spider veins. One of the other benefits of the V-Beam laser is that it can be used to control the inflammation and irritation caused by Rosacea.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – IPL is technically not a laser, but instead releases light of various wavelengths that are much more scattered than lasers. IPL penetrates the dermis layer of the skin (second layer) without any harm to the top layer of the treatment area (epidermis). These beams of light work, depending on the setting used, on rosacea, pigmentation, hair removal and skin tightening. The skin tightening setting of the BBL works on boosting the natural collagen production process within the skin.
Combining Laser Skin Resurfacing with Dermal Fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane
Your dermatologist might recommending combining laser resurfacing procedures with cosmetic injections of hyaluronic acid. Typically, the dermal fillers which Dr. Green often recommends include Restylane or Juvederm. These hyaluronic acid fillers can be used to treat facial wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, Dr. Green injects Sculptra to boost the body’s own natural collagen production. By combining these lasers and the hyaluronic filler, Dr. Green is able to maximize and boost new collagen production within the skin layers. This combination of injectables and laser skin resurfacing treatments makes Dr. Michele Green one of the best dermatologists in NYC for treating patients with acne scars.
Recovery Time After Having Laser Skin Resurfacing
Depending on the type of laser resurfacing which you have undergone, and the depth of the procedure necessary, will determine the length of your recovery time. Again, with some laser skin resurfacing treatments, such as the CO2 laser, there will be some considerable downtime while your skin heals. Depending on your skin type and depth of the treatment, the healing process may take longer and special skin care must be used such as emollients and sunscreens for several weeks after the procedure. With other laser treatments, such as the Fraxel Dual Laser, there is minimal erythema or exfoliation after the laser procedure, with nearly any downtime.
If you are unhappy with the texture or condition of your skin, there’s finally a solution that can help. Contact us online today or call 212-535-3088 to learn whether laser skin resurfacing may be right for you.