Laser skin resurfacing is an innovative cosmetic treatment option that can be used to correct the various effects of sun damage, the natural aging process, and acne scars. When topical skincare products just aren’t enough, laser skin resurfacing treatments can improve the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles, acne scars, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and enlarged pores, among other skin concerns. Laser skin resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel laser, Vivace, eMatrix, IPL, and others, can rejuvenate your skin with only a single treatment. Board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green offers a host of laser skin resurfacing procedures and is the best guide for developing a customized laser skin resurfacing treatment plan for you in New York City.
Laser skin resurfacing treatments work by stimulating the growth of healthy, new skin cells and the production of new collagen in the treated areas. Collagen is a protein in the skin that provides it with structural support and a firm underlying foundation. Levels of collagen are depleted over time in response to sun damage, inflammatory acne lesions, and the natural aging process. By relying on laser technology to promote new collagen production, laser skin resurfacing treatments provide patients with a healthy, radiant, youthful complexion that is smoother, firmer, and more even in tone and texture. Laser treatment offers patients a way to achieve long-lasting skin rejuvenation results without the need for an invasive plastic surgery procedure, meaning there are fewer potential dangerous side effects and significantly less downtime.
Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned leader in the field of dermatology with over 25 years of experience providing her patients from around the globe with the best non-invasive treatment options available, including laser skin resurfacing treatments. For her dedication to her patients and expertise, Dr. Green is consistently identified as one of New York’s best physicians by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, the New York Times, and Super Doctors. When you consult with Dr. Green for skin rejuvenation in her private office, located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, she will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to addressing your particular skin concerns and achieving optimal cosmetic results that are natural-looking and long-lasting.
What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing is a type of outpatient cosmetic procedure performed by board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Laser skin resurfacing treatment may also be referred to as photo-rejuvenation or as a laser peel. The innovative skin resurfacing treatments rely on laser technology, photodynamic therapy, or intense pulsed light to stimulate the growth of new skin cells and new collagen production. The result of a skin resurfacing laser procedure is that the treated skin is tighter, firmer, smoother, and more youthful. Although there are minimal potential side effects and very little downtime involved with most laser skin resurfacing treatments, it’s important to seek a thoroughly trained and experienced medical professional for your resurfacing procedure. The type of laser used for your skin rejuvenation treatment should be appropriate for your skin tone and skin type in order to best prevent encountering unwanted side effects and to guarantee optimal results.
Before and After Fraxel: 2 sessions
What does laser skin resurfacing do?
Laser skin resurfacing is a skin rejuvenation treatment option that diminishes the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and age spots, among other concerns. Laser skin resurfacing treatment improves the tone and texture of aging, sun-damaged skin. There are different types of lasers that may be used for a laser skin resurfacing procedure: ablative and non-ablative. While both ablative and non-ablative lasers provide skin rejuvenation results by stimulating new collagen production, they operate in different ways. Ablative lasers work by essentially removing the outer layers of skin- the epidermis. Non-ablative lasers leave the epidermis intact and create controlled, precise injuries in the middle layers of skin- the dermis, to stimulate the production of new collagen. The type of laser that should be incorporated into your laser skin resurfacing treatment plan is dependent on your skin tone, skin type, and the skin condition that you would like to address. A board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green in New York, should be entrusted with determining which types of lasers to use for your skin rejuvenation.
What is fractional laser skin resurfacing?
Fractional lasers are used for non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment and work by delivering incredibly precise, controlled microbeams of laser light energy into the skin to stimulate new collagen production. With a fractional laser device, such as the Fraxel laser, only a “fraction” of the skin is injured, which helps to reduce the amount of downtime required while still improving the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, age spots, acne scars, and sun damage. A fractional laser device may be ablative or non-ablative. The primary differences between ablative and non-ablative laser devices will be described in the following sections.
What is ablative laser skin resurfacing?
Ablative lasers work by effectively removing the top layer of skin. The erbium laser and the carbon dioxide laser (also known as a CO2 laser) are examples of ablative laser technology. CO2 laser resurfacing works best to treat skin concerns such as warts, deep wrinkles, and scars. During this procedure, a high-energy light beam is utilized to create controlled, micro-injuries in the skin. As the skin heals, new collagen is produced. This restores lost elasticity and results in firmer, younger-looking skin. The downtime associated with the CO2 procedure is generally one to two weeks in duration.
What is CO2 laser skin resurfacing?
Carbon dioxide CO2 laser skin resurfacing is an ablative laser treatment procedure that removes layers of skin to treat such conditions as deep wrinkles, warts, sun spots, and scars. The CO2 laser works by removing outer layers of skin in the treatment area while heating the inner layer to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and the production of collagen. The CO2 laser can be used to address skin conditions of varying depth and scope, with the use of a higher setting requiring more downtime following the procedure.
Female treated with Restylane, Vbeam and eMatrix
Types of non-ablative lasers:
The second classification of fractional laser technology is “non-ablative”. These lasers work by heating the underlying layers of the skin, without damaging the surface of the skin. The VBeam laser, Fraxel Dual, and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) are all classified as non-ablative laser technologies and are used to treat a myriad of skin issues.
This laser is very flexible and can be used to treat a range of different skin conditions. The Fraxel Dual Laser operates on two different wavelengths. The 1550 wavelength can penetrate deeper layers of the skin and is used for treating fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. The 1927 wavelength penetrates the skin on a shallower level and is primarily used to treat problems with pigmentation and skin discoloration. The Fraxel laser can fine-tune skin rejuvenation treatment by targeting only a fraction of skin tissue at a time, leaving the surrounding skin intact. This fractionated method of skin resurfacing yields quick healing, allowing your skin to swiftly produce and remodel new collagen to reveal a more youthful complexion.
This laser is exceptional in its capacity to treat redness caused by an array of skin conditions, from acne to rosacea. The laser operates at a wavelength that exclusively targets skin cellsholding onto red pigment, making it a highly effective option for treating facial redness, broken blood vessels, and spider veins. For patient comfort, there is a Dynamic Cooling Device (TM) (DCD) that cools the skin before emitting each laser pulse, protecting the skin and preventing post-treatment bruising. The laser treatment itself only takes a few minutes to complete and since there is no downtime, you can put makeup on or return to work promptly after the procedure.
IPL treatment is not a laser, but is a technology that utilizes lights of various wavelengths to treat similar concerns that are addressed by lasers. IPL penetrates the dermis of the skin without causing any harm to the top layer of the epidermis. These beams of light work, depending on the setting used, to improve rosacea, even out skin pigmentation, and perform hair removal and skin tightening.
eMatrix Sublative Laser
The eMatrix is a unique laser system that uses bipolar radiofrequency energy to heat below the skin surface while keeping the top layer of skin intact. By bypassing the epidermis and delivering heat to the deeper dermal layer, it minimizes the problems associated with resurfacing lasers, including hyperpigmentation. Each pulse of the eMatrix laser delivers radiofrequency energy in the area of the electrode matrix, to induce skin injury and activate fibroblasts to signal a wound healing response and produce new collagen. The eMatrix laser improves the appearance of the skin by improving tone, texture, wrinkles, acne scarring, and stretch marks.
Vivace is a non-surgical treatment that combines two of the best modalities, microneedling and radiofrequency (RF) energy. RF heats the dermis to stimulate new elastin and collagen production. This stimulation, in turn, tightens the the skin and reduces skin laxity. Microneedling utilizes microneedles to activate the skin’s natural wound healing process. This activation boosts collagen production, which improves the texture of the skin, improving the appearance of acne scars, minimizing pore size, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
What is the Resurfacing Laser Procedure?
Before having treatment, Dr. Michele Green will review your medical history and evaluate your skin to determine whether you are a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing. If there is a history of herpes simplex, pre-treatment is necessary with oral antiviral medication. Patients with a history of cold sores or blisters in the area surrounding the mouth should disclose this information to Dr. Green before treatment, as laser resurfacing treatment can lead to a flare and need pre-treatment with an oral antiviral medication such as Valtrex. A careful review of skin type and tone is important as darker skin types need to be treated more gently to avoid hyperpigmentation.
A topical local anesthetic is applied one hour before the procedure to the treated area to minimize any discomfort from the laser. Oral or intravenous sedation is not necessary for these laser skin resurfacing treatments. You can expect some skin erythema, swelling, and scabs to form during the healing process, which can range anywhere from a few days to two weeks, depending on the type of laser used and the depth of treatment. The result of laser skin resurfacing is smoother, firmer, tighter, healthier, and more radiant skin.
How much is laser skin resurfacing?
The cost for laser skin resurfacing treatment is dependent on several factors, including the experience level of the medical professional who performs the procedure, the geographic location of the office in which the treatment is performed, which type of laser is selected, and the number of treatment sessions required to achieve ideal results. The most recent statistics from 2019, as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, show the price of non-ablative laser treatments averaging at $1,500 and the cost of ablative laser treatments at $1,963. It’s important to choose a physician, like Dr. Michele Green, who has vast experience with laser skin resurfacing, and who can accurately determine which laser treatment is best suited for your skin tone, skin type, and skin concern.
Does laser skin resurfacing work?
Yes! Laser skin resurfacing procedures work extremely well to treat skin concerns such as fine lines, deep lines and wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, age spots, sun spots, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, and to help to promote overall healthy skin and even skin tone. Results may be seen after just a single laser skin resurfacing session. However, to optimize your results, you may want to plan two to three sessions for the treated area. You will discuss your expectations and desired treatment results with Dr. Green during your consultation where she will review the various laser treatments, chemical peels, and other skin rejuvenating treatments to address your specific concerns.
Before and after Vbeam: 2 months
How does laser skin resurfacing work?
Laser skin resurfacing works by damaging targeted skin cells in a controlled manner, creating microscopic injuries in the treatment areas while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. The lasers will either target the outer or deeper layers of the skin depending on whether it is for superficial discoloration or deeper acne scars to reveal new healthy skin. There are two different kinds of laser resurfacing treatments: ablative and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers have a longer recovery time and involve essentially removing the outer layer of skin. Non-ablative lasers, use wavelengths of energy to heat the inner layer of the skin. During the natural healing process, which is triggered as a result of the micro-injuries created on the skin, new collagen fibers and new skin cells form in the treatment area. These results are impressive, removing extensive photodamage, including wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and more without the need for cosmetic surgery.
How long does it take to see results from laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing treatments work to improve the skin tone and texture by stimulating the production of new collagen and the growth of healthy, new skin cells in the treated area. New collagen growth typically takes between 4-12 weeks. Since the type of laser used for your skin rejuvenation treatment may vary depending on your skin tone, skin type, and the skin condition you would like to address with laser skin resurfacing treatment, it is best to consult with the provider performing your laser procedure in regard to when your final results will be observable. When you consult with board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green regarding your laser skin resurfacing treatment, you will be provided with the pertinent aftercare information for your laser treatment as well as informed on what to expect in terms of results.
How many laser resurfacing treatments are needed?
The number of treatments necessary for laser resurfacing treatments depends largely on the condition being treated and what type of laser is being used. Patients receiving treatment with an ablative laser typically only require one treatment session to accomplish the desired results. It can take several weeks for the skin to fully heal following ablative laser treatment but once the skin has healed, the effects of the treatment can remain visible for years. Sun avoidance and daily sun protections are essential to maintaining the cosmetic results of the laser resurfacing procedure.
Non-ablative laser treatments may require three to six treatment sessions depending on the dermatologiccondition which is being addressed. The VBeam laser can effectively treat rosacea, red stretch marks, and general redness and generally requires five to six treatments, spaced one month apart. The eMatrix and Fraxellaser typically requires five treatments to help resurface the skin in patients with acne scars. The Fraxel laser usually requires three treatments, one month apart when used to remove sun damage and pigmentation. The number of treatment sessions is entirely dependent on the severity of your case and may take fewer or more than the typical number of treatment sessions. During your consultation with Dr. Green, she can help you make the best treatment plan.
CO2 laser treatment for Acne Scars
Is laser skin resurfacing permanent?
The results of laser skin resurfacing are permanent, provided you do not have new sun exposure or environmental damage. Of course, laser treatment will not prevent the aging process, but laser skin resurfacing can remove all of your current sun damage, sun spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, and leave you looking years younger.
How long does laser skin resurfacing last?
Results from your laser skin resurfacing treatment can last for many years. You can help maintain your results by limiting sun exposure and being sure to use broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. The results from laser skin resurfacing, such as removing brown spots, sun spots, and pigmentation, can be permanent, provided you do not have new sun damage.
Is laser skin resurfacing safe?
Laser skin resurfacing is safe provided that you are a good candidate for the procedure. Your provider must choose a laser that is safe to use on your skin color. Hypopigmentation (lightening skin pigment), hyperpigmentation (darkening skin pigment), scarring, and burning the skin are all possible side effects if the laser is not suitable for your skin tone. This is especially important for patients who have darker skin tones. This does not mean that you are not a good candidate for treatment with laser skin resurfacing if you have darker skin, but that extra precaution is needed in choosing the correct laser. Dr. Michele Green in NYC is an expert in treating patients with skin of color and is well versed in the different laser procedures.
Potential Side Effects of Laser Skin Resurfacing
The side effects of laser skin resurfacing can include:
- acne breakouts
- bacterial infection
- exacerbation of herpetic infection/cold sores
Ablative skin resurfacing lasers have a higher degree of potential side effects. These adverse side effects are minimized when seeking treatment at a skilled, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC. It is always best to consult an expert in laser procedures, over a MedSpa with inexperienced providers. Non-ablative lasers, such as the V-Beam, IPL, Fraxel, Vivace, and Thermage lasers generally have little or no recovery time.
Fraxel laser skin treatment, 3 sessions
Does laser skin resurfacing hurt?
No, fractionated laser skin resurfacing with Fraxel, Vivace or radiofrequency lasers with eMatrix or Thermage are not painful. Dr. Green will prescribe a topical, local anesthetic to be applied to the treatment area one hour before the procedure to help minimize any discomfort. Lasers, such as the VBeam laser, Thermage, or IPL do not require any numbing cream. Many patients compare the feeling of laser skin resurfacing treatment to the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin, which is very tolerable. However, CO2 laser resurfacing with an ablative laser, can be more painful and may require sedation.
How long does it take to heal from laser skin resurfacing?
The recovery time from laser skin resurfacing is dependent on which lasers are being used and whether they are ablative or non-ablative. Non-ablative lasers like VBeam, IPL, and Vivace have no downtime. Ablative lasers, like the CO2 laser typically have a downtime of up to two weeks. Since the CO2 laser is a more aggressive laser, there are more potential side effects. During the healing process and in order to maintain the positive effect of your treatment, it is of the utmost importance that you apply sunscreen with an SPF 50 or higher daily.
How do I take care of my skin after laser resurfacing?
There are two different types of laser skin resurfacing treatments, which require different amounts of recovery time and, as such, slightly different aftercare procedures. Ablative laser skin resurfacing involves the elimination of the top layer of skin, which means the downtime will be longer following the treatment. Before you leave Dr. Green’s office after ablative laser resurfacing, she will apply ointment and a bandage to the treatment area to protect the skin from infection. In the first couple of days, the skin may feel warm, red, and itchy, and then in the days following, the skin may start to flake and peel. After one to two weeks, new skin will develop in the treatment area though it can take up to several months to see the full effects of the treatment. Patients are advised to avoid situations that may expose the treatment area to infection, including shared bodies of water.
The recovery time for non-ablative laser treatment is minimal and patients can generally return to their regularly scheduled activities immediately after treatment. There may be some swelling and redness at the treatment site for several hours post-treatment but these symptoms will resolve themselves quickly. After receiving either laser skin resurfacing treatment, patients must wear sun protection, such as a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, to reduce the risk of further damage to the skin. Additionally, patients can prolong the effects of the treatment by caring for the skin with moisturizers and other skincare products.
Is laser skin resurfacing worth it?
Laser skin resurfacing treatment is considered one of the most effective methods for removing evidence of sun damage and aging, promoting the generation of new collagen, encouraging the production of healthy, new skin cells, and rejuvenating the skin. When it comes to eliminating the appearance of a variety of skin concerns including fine lines, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and enlarged pores, among others, laser skin resurfacing is an exceptional non-surgical treatment option. For patients who are looking to revitalize their appearance and achieve long-lasting results without the need for extensive recovery time, laser skin resurfacing treatment is worth it.
Do dermatologists do laser skin resurfacing?
A board-certified cosmetic dermatologist is the ideal provider for a laser skin resurfacing treatment. In order to guarantee that the laser treatment is performed safely and effectively, it is important to select a provider with the expertise and experience required to recommend and properly utilize the type of laser that is most appropriate for your skin tone, skin type, and skin condition. Dr. Michele Green in New York City is an internationally renowned board-certified cosmetic dermatologist with over two and a half decades of experience providing some of the most discerning men and women from around the globe with the best non-invasive treatment options available, including laser skin resurfacing treatments.
How often can you do laser skin resurfacing?
The answer depends on which type of laser you are being treated with. Non-ablative fractional lasers typically require a short series of treatment sessions in order to produce ideal cosmetic results, and treatment sessions should each be scheduled about four weeks apart. Ablative laser treatments that remove the outer layers of the epidermis require a lengthier recovery time, and it is recommended that patients should not have additional treatment sessions for approximately 12 weeks following initial treatment in order to allow the healing process to complete. When you consult with board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green at her private office in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, she will work with you to establish a laser skin resurfacing treatment plan and timeline that is best suited to addressing your needs and achieving your results.
Will laser skin resurfacing treatment tighten the skin?
Laser skin resurfacing treatments are designed to improve the quality of the skin tone and skin texture. As part of the process, laser skin rejuvenation procedures stimulate the production of new collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein that naturally occurs in the skin and provides it with a firm underlying foundation and structural support. By triggering the generation of new collagen, laser skin resurfacing treatments can improve the overall elasticity of skin, making it tighter. For patients who are particularly concerned with skin laxity, Dr. Green often recommends treatment with Thermage. Thermage is a radiofrequency laser treatment that is meant for tightening skin. There is no downtime associated with Thermage, meaning patients can resume their normal daily activities immediately after their procedure has finished. Patients enjoy that their cosmetic results from Thermage last for up to two years, and most engage in a regular annual maintenance treatment in order to keep up the best results. Thermage can be used to tighten loose skin on the face, neck, chest, décolletage, abdomen, thighs, and upper arms in just a single treatment session.
Which laser is best for skin rejuvenation?
Patients often ask us which is the best laser for skin rejuvenation. The answer is that there is not one laser that is inherently better than the others for revitalizing skin. Different types of lasers serve their own unique functions and are best-suited to targeting distinct concerns. Additionally, different laser devices and settings are required for safely and effectively treating patients of different skin tones and skin types. For this reason, it is imperative to have a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist who has had extensive training in laser skin resurfacing, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Upon your initial consultation with Dr. Green at her private dermatology office, located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, you will have the opportunity to discuss with her in-depth regarding your unique concerns and personal aesthetic goals. A thorough medical history will be collected and she will physically assess the treatment area in order to determine which type of laser treatment is best suited to your needs.
Combining laser skin resurfacing with other non-invasive treatment options
Laser skin resurfacing treatments can be combined with other non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections and dermal fillers, as an amazing alternative to a facelift or other plastic surgery.
Dermal Filler Injections
Dermal filler injections have skyrocketed in popularity due to the immediate cosmetic improvement, ease of the procedure, minimal side effects and relatively no downtime involved. For patients seeking pan-facial skin rejuvenation, Dr. Green often recommends combining laser skin resurfacing treatments with Botox and dermal filler injections. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, are among the most commonly used for reducing the appearance of deep wrinkles, enhancing facial contour, and replenishing lost volume in key areas, such as the lips, nasolabial area, jowls, and the midface. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance in the body that provides the skin with essential hydration and plays a role in stimulating collagen production. Using dermal fillers, Dr. Green can target specific areas of the face to restore lost volume, smooth out fine lines, and plump the skin for a natural-looking, youthful appearance that lasts.
Botox is often referred to as “liquid gold” and is one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic treatment options around the world. Botox is ideal for reducing the appearance of dynamic fine lines that develop as a result of repetitive facial expression. Laser skin resurfacing treatments improve the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles that develop unrelated to facial expression and are instead caused by the natural aging process or sun damage. Many patients choose to combine their laser skin resurfacing treatment with Botox injections in order to effectively target the different types of wrinkles that develop. While the cosmetic effects of laser skin resurfacing procedures are considered to be permanent, the results of Botox typically last for 3-4 months. Most patients choose to engage in regular maintenance sessions in order to keep up the best results. Dr. Michele Green in NYC is an Allergan Platinum injector and offers her patients what has been described as the “best Botox injections in New York”.
Thermage for non-surgical skin tightening
Thermage is a skin tightening laser that utilizes radiofrequency energy to induce new collagen production in the skin. During a Thermage treatment, a handheld device is applied to the surface of the skin on the treatment area. The device delivers heat to the dermal layers of skin, where it causes existing collagen to contract as well as stimulates the production of new collagen. There is zero downtime involved with Thermage treatment whatsoever, meaning that patients can resume their normal daily activities immediately upon completion of their treatment session. The most common side effects of Thermage include a mild amount of redness and swelling in the treated area, which typically resolve on their own shortly after treatment. Since there is no downtime associated with Thermage, many patients choose to have their laser skin resurfacing treatment after their Thermage appointment for a “non-surgical facelift”. Thermage works wonderfully to produce firmer, tighter skin while laser skin resurfacing treatments improve the appearance of skin tone and texture, allowing patients to engage in pan-facial skin rejuvenation.
How to get started with laser skin resurfacing treatment today
Laser skin resurfacing treatment can be used to target a host of skin conditions including fine lines, deep wrinkles, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and sun damaged skin, among others. In order to guarantee that your laser skin resurfacing treatment produces optimal results and is safe and effective, it is always recommended to seek treatment from a board-certified dermatologist with extensive training and expertise, such as Dr. Michele Green in New York City. Dr. Green is an internationally renowned leader in the field of cosmetic dermatology with over 25 years of experience treating some of the most discerning men and women from around the world with the best non-invasive cosmetic treatment options available, including laser skin resurfacing procedures. Dr. Green has helped countless clients from San Francisco to New York City and everywhere in between achieve their ideal cosmetic results so that they look and feel like the absolute best version of themselves. Her holistic approach to skin rejuvenation, ‘less is more’ philosophy, and dedication to her patients and expertise are among the reasons why she is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in New York by New York Magazine, Castle Connolly, and Super Doctors. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Green and start developing your customized laser skin resurfacing treatment plan for skin rejuvenation today, please call our office at 212-535-3088 or contact us online.