When it comes to aging skin, all wrinkles, blemishes, and irregularities are not created equally. Some wrinkles are caused by a loss of supporting tissue and gravity, while others are "dynamic" — created by laughing, smiling, talking and other repetitive motions. Some blemishes are right on the surface, while others are born deeper into the skin's layers. Skin can have irregular pigmentation, freckles, moles, pre-cancerous growths, broken capillaries.. The list goes on and on, but despite all of the variables, one thing is for certain: people want younger looking skin and that usually means a smoother surface with even pigmentation and an absence of pocks, marks, and spots.
Sound like a tall order? Fortunately there are many treatments available for the many skin problems people face. Resurfacing the skin is a popular treatment for removing or minimizing pesky dynamic wrinkles (such as those around the eyes and lips), uneven pigmentation, acne scars, pre-cancerous growths, and many other telltale signs of aging.
About Laser Skin Resurfacing
The use of lasers to resurface the skin has continued to gain popularity. The technology and exactness of lasers allows physicians to control the area and skin depth treated, reaching both confined, small areas as well as complete faces, necks, chests, and arms.
Lasers consist of precise beams of light that cause the upper layers of the skin to vaporize - resulting in a dramatic reduction of bleeding, bruising, and swelling associated with other types of skin resurfacing. Physicians can control the depth of the treatment area, removing only a top layer of skin, or several layers of the epidermis, so that fine lines as well as deeper wrinkles can be treated.
About the Procedure
There are several types of lasers available for Laser Skin Resurfacing. Dr. Volshteyn will discuss the laser-treatment available to you for your skin needs during your consultation. Most Laser Skin Resurfacing treatments are done on an out-patient basis. You may have local anesthesia and a sedative, or, especially if you are having a large area treated, you may have general anesthesia.
The laser beam is passed back and forth over the skin until the correct depth has been reached. The skin is literally vaporized, minimizing bleeding that is often associated with other forms of skin resurfacing. Most treatments last between thirty minutes and one hour.
After the treatment your skin may be dressed with a protective ointment and bandaged and you will be instructed on how to care for your post-treatment skin. Once the needed skin layers are removed, the treated area will scab or crust over. This usually lasts about a week and a half, with new skin appearing around the tenth day. This new skin will look pink for several weeks to a couple of months - this is normal and just part of the healing process. Often, the skin is cleansed twice a day and special ointments are applied. New skin is especially vulnerable to the sun. It is extremely important that the skin is diligently protected with sunscreen for a minimum of six months after the treatment.
Risks and Complications
Lighter skin responds better to Laser Skin Resurfacing, so not all skin types and colors are appropriate for this treatment. All procedures come with some level of risks and Laser Skin Resurfacing complications include burns, swelling and skin unevenness, but these rarely happen when administered by a licensed physician.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Laser Skin Resurfacing is very effective in removing or minimizing wrinkles, fine lines, and other skin irregularities, but it isn't appropriate for all people. People with dark or olive skin may experience uneven skin pigmentation following Laser Skin Resurfacing.
It is important that people undergoing Laser Skin Resurfacing meet the following criteria:
- Have no history of severe sun burns
- Have not taken accutane in the 6 months leading up to treatment
- Have no fever blister, cold sore, or active herpes outbreak
- Have no history of keloid scarring
- Have lighter skin color
Laser Skin Resurfacing is very effective in removing dynamic wrinkles, smoothing out skin and removing blemishes, marks, scars and unevenness. The results can make a person look years younger, but it does not stop the aging process from moving forward after the treatment. Skin care is important and sun protection is paramount. So let Laser Resurfacing erase any telltale signs of aging that you may currently have and let it help you start new again.