Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Using lasers to resurface the skin is a cosmetic procedure that is very popular. It helps to add a youthful look the skin and reduce effects of aging, facial wrinkles, sun damage and acne scarring, as well as blemishes. The treatments are effective, convenient and safe. In addition, the laser skin procedure to resurface the skin is less costly than many other rejuvenation procedures. You can find out more about laser skin resurfacing, also called laser peel and the way it helps to removed the damaged top layers of the skin and works to encourage collagen production and new skin cells to provide you with healthier looking, younger skin.

What is Laser Skin Rejuvenation?

Laser skin rejuvenation is where the skin is resurfaced by using lasers. It helps to reduce the look of the skin's imperfections. During this procedure, your doctor will use a laser to help the bonds of the skin cells that are damaged dissolve so that with each layer, you find smoother, more radiant look to the skin. This treatment is also called laser skin resurfacing because it can provide benefits for anti aging, it's also called laser peel because of the way that the skin damage is peeled off.
With the use of a hand piece that is like a wand, the skin cells that are damaged and have wrinkles will disappear with a mist puff so that fresh new cells can grow in their place. The laser's most notable advantage is that the treatment doesn't cause much bleeding. In addition, this procedure offers much more control when it comes to how deep into the skin surface the laser penetrates, which allows for more safety and precision for treatment of delicate facial areas.

What Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Treat?

Laser skin rejuvenation can help you to experience benefits that include:
  • The elimination of fine facial wrinkling and lines
  • Tighten and smooth the skin on the eyelids
  • Improve the look of crow's feet that occur around the eyes
  • Smooth frown lines and pucker marks
  • Remove uneven skin color and brown spots
  • Flatten and improve the look of scars
  • Repair fine lines around the lips
  • Improve overall texture and tone of the skin
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing - How It Works

    There are two main kinds of lasers that are most often used in a laser resurfacing treatment. They are CO2, or carbon dioxide; or erbium. Each of these lasers works to essentially vaporize the damaged skin cells at the top of the skin. This process eliminates many risks because they both work to limit how much heat the skin absorbs.

    Is This A Good Procedure for Me?

    If you want to help remove your damaged skin and reveal a newer, younger look, then this procedure might work well for you. A procedure might be done to help reduce the fine lines or wrinkles, abnormal pigmentation, and acne scarring. If your skin shows the signs of aging and you'd like to fix these issues as well as other skin issues, you might find that this is a good procedure for you.

    Your doctor will decide if you have the right skin type for a laser skin resurfacing procedure. Those who have darker skin might risk developing pigmentation changes to their skin. Those who are currently taking Accutane®, as well as other medications might have a higher risk of side effects. Those who have an active skin infection or are known to develop keloid scarring might not be right for this treatment. Your experienced doctor can help you to decide if a laser skin resurfacing procedure will work well for your individual case.

    Laser Resurfacing Price

    There are many different factors that will decide the cost of cosmetic laser skin resurfacing procedures. You will have to pay the doctor's fee, the anesthesia and facility cost and the cost of care before and after the procedure. When you decide to schedule a total patient consultation with your cosmetic dermatologist, you'll have a better idea of an accurate price for your procedure.

    What Kind Of Laser Will be Used in a Procedure?

    Most of the laser resurfacing procedures are done using a carbon dioxide (CO2) , Fraxel® laser, or erbium laser. All of these lasers have different uses for treatments and strength. For instance, a CO2 laser will offer quite a powerful effect and is used for the treatment of deeper wrinkles and lines. An erbium laser helps to treat wrinkles or lines that are more moderate and can also offer a shorter recovery time. The erbium laser has also been found to encourage the growth of new collagen, which can help to smooth and tighten the skin even more.

    Carbon Dioxide CO2 Laser Rejuvenation

    A CO2 laser has the highest intensity of these treatments currently. After a Carbon Dioxide CO2, the skin surface looks smoother and tighter because the heat that comes from it tightens the bands of collagen located in the lower skin layer.
    This treatment has been applied for many years to help treat some of the many skin issues including warts, birthmarks, large oil glands found on the nose, wrinkling, scarring and skin cancer in its earliest stages.
    The newest type of CO2 laser rejuvenation works with ultra-pulsed light energy or uses a continuous beam of light that is given in a scan like pattern to offer a very precise removal of the thin top layers while reducing the amount of damage to the skin from heat. It may take up to two weeks to recover from this procedure.

    It's important to talk to only doctors that have training and experience in this procedure that is well documented.

    Erbium Laser Rejuvenation

    Erbium laser skin resurfacing has been developed to help remove lines and wrinkles that range from light to moderate on the neck, chest, face or hands. The most notable benefit if this type of procedure is that there is very little burning of the skin. This particular laser has very few side effect that might include redness, swelling and bruising, so you will notice that your recovery time is significantly shorter than you would find in a CO2 laser rejuvenation and often takes only a week in most situations.

    Erbium laser resurfacing might be a good choice for you if you have a darker skin tone and with shorter recovery times, this procedure can be better for those who generally have healthy skin but want to treat fine wrinkles and lines. Your physician will decide which laser procedure will be most effective for you after your full medical history, desired results and current physical condition have been evaluated.

    Fraxel® Laser Rejuvenation

    Fraxel® laser skin resurfacing procedures tend to be much different than other types of rejuvenation methods using the CO2 laser or the erbium laser. Since the Fraxel® laser is non-invasive, you will notice very few side effects. There is no pain or tenderness and no necessary downtime. You should keep in mind that this treatment will require more than one treatment and the skin improvements you notice will gradually appear over a few weeks or even months.

    What you Can Expect During the Procedure

    A laser skin resurfacing procedure is done on as an outpatient. During a laser peel, you will be given local anesthesia and sedatives, and your eyes will be covered so they can be protected from the light of the laser. The amount of time this procedure takes will depend on how large of an area you are having treated. Partial facial rejuvenation can take only a half hour, but a full rejuvenation can take as long as two hours.
    Both CO2 laser resurfacing and erbium are done as outpatients and use local anesthesia with sedatives that are administered orally or through an IV.
    A full facial laserabrasion might be done, or wrinkles that are found on the forehead or around the eyes and mouth might be done individually.
    Laserabrasion for only part of your face will usually take about a half hour to 45 minutes, and a full facial treatment will take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours.
    After a laser resurfacing procedure, you will have a sterile dressing applied to your treated areas. Usually after about one to three days the dressings will be removed and the treated areas will need to be cleaned for two to five times daily using a saline made with cool water or a vinegar solution that has been diluted.

    Risks of Laser Resurfacing

    Laser skin rejuvenation treatments are most often safe when a board-certified cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist performs the procedure. Patients need to remember that there is the potential for side effects such as abnormal healing and infection, although not common can happen. If you usually scar after you have a minor injury, you should avoid laser skin rejuvenation because you risk cosmetic damage. Acne, cold sores or other skin issues might increase the risk of certain complications which you should talk about with your doctor. Hyper-pigmentation or darkening of skin which is permanent is also a risk for those who have darker skin. While the use of a Fraxel® laser or erbium laser can offer a slightly lower discoloration risk than CO2 laser, you should still be aware of the potential. Your doctor might recommend that you use a bleaching agent before you have the procedure to reduce the chances of darkening. Permanent lightening of the skin is also possible, but it is less likely to occur.
    It's important to make sure that your dermatologist knows your whole medical history before you have laser skin resurfacing. Allergies to any drugs or medical issues such as immune and connective tissue disorders, past surgeries, prior skin treatments that include Accutane® or chemical peels and medications you might be taking are possible sources of complications with this type of procedure. If you are a smoker, your skin doesn't heal as well, so you will have to stop for at least two weeks before the procedure and two weeks after the procedure to ensure proper healing. Your physician will also provide you with pre and post procedural instructions to help you reduce the complication risks.

    Laser Skin Rejuvenation Benefits

    Choosing to have a laser skin resurfacing procedure can help to make you look younger and more beautifully. The laser skin rejuvenation benefits include reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as the correction of skin imperfections and scarring. Areas that are commonly treated include the corners of the eyes, lines that occur around the lips and mouth and the deeper lines that stretch from the nose to the mouth corners, also called the nasolabial fold. It can also help to improve the total texture of the skin which often becomes coarse and rough due to accumulating sun damage. Laser resurfacing treatments have also been found to reduce visible acne scarring, skin imperfections and uneven pigmentation. By taking away the damaged skin and revealing softer, younger looking new skin, laser resurfacing procedures have shown to be an effective way to reverse many of the common signs of aging. Laser skin rejuvenation treatments can also be used to help remove growths including warts, moles and can even treat skin cancer in early stages.

    Recovery from Laser Skin Rejuvenation

    The time it takes to recover after laser skin treatments will depend on your individual case. Much of these differences will depend on what type of laser is used for your procedure. When a CO2 laser is used, recovery will most often take about two weeks. With an erbium laser skin rejuvenation treatment to treat the smaller wrinkles and lines, the recovery time is usually about a week. Fraxel lasers will usually only take about three days, however individual recovery times will depend on you. The laser skin resurfacing recovery time will also depend on your lifestyle and health as well as how quickly your body heals.

    Patients should expect some discomfort and swelling while recovering from a laser skin rejuvenation procedure, the pain is often easy to manage. You can take pain medicine, use ice packs for swelling and treated skin wraps to help you have a beneficial and comfortable recovery from the procedure.

    Laser Resurfacing Treatment Side-effects

    After a laser resurfacing procedure, patients usually notice that their skin becomes red for many weeks. Other side effects that are temporary will depend on how extensive your treatment is. Laser skin rejuvenation treatments occasionally cause discomfort and swelling, but your physician will help you to get through this part of the treatment as painlessly as possible by offering pain medications. The skin may develop a crust after this procedure, which will often clear up in about ten days. As the side effects of this procedure begin to go away, you will start to notice healthier, younger skin.

    Alternative to Laser Skin Rejuvenation

    You should know that laser skin rejuvenation is not the only option for helping to reduce skin damage due to aging. Before you decide that your skin needs a cosmetic treatment, you should try to use some of the effective skin care products available to improve the overall health of your skin. You can see your dermatologist for these, as many of them have strong ingredients to help your skin look and feel better.

    If you decide to have a cosmetic treatment for your aging, there are many less invasive options that also require very little recovering time. One common injection product to treat fine wrinkling and lines between the brows and around the jaw is BOTOX® Cosmetic. Other types of Injectable dermal fillers including Restylane®, Juvederm®, or Radiesse™ have been found to help eliminate lines and help to provide a fuller appearance to the skin. Collagen injections or fat transfer procedures have been found to offer similar benefits.

    It is possible to have a younger looking appearance by choosing a procedure such as Laser skin tightening treatments that are non-ablative have been shown to cause less side effects that are painful than laser skin rejuvenation treatments.

    To treat sun damage, acne scarring and other issues with the skin texture, you might want to consider having microdermabrasion or chemical peel.

    Laser Skin Resurfacing Limitations

    Keep in mind that laser skin rejuvenation is not able to offer the benefits of a facelift and the procedure cannot get rid of extra jowls or skin. By working to make loose skin tighter, laser rejuvenations can help to improve the appearance of creases and folds. Laser rejuvenation can offer an effective alternative to some of the other methods of resurfacing such as dermabrasion, and has been shown to work well with treatments including chemical peels, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) or liposuction of the neck and face.

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