As one of the most exciting and innovative scientific achievements of the decade, laser technology is being utilized throughout the healthcare community. We use 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, reducing the risk of scarring or pigmentation problems. The goal of this procedure is to leave you 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, and may be used to treat the entire face or only affected areas.
Benefits of Treatment
Laser resurfacing can be used as an alternative to chemical peel and dermabrasion.
Prior to surgery, we 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 general anesthetic is usually used to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. The area is cleansed and draped. The laser beam is directed toward your skin imperfections. The laser quickly and accurately vaporizes the outermost layers of skin just 4 or 5 cells in thickness. What can be expected?
In most cases, only one treatment is needed. The initial redness usually starts to fade in a few weeks to a light pink, which can be concealed with makeup. The discoloration usually disappears in 1-3 months, although this process may take longer in some cases. 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.