Laser Skin Resurfacing: As one of the most exciting and innovative scientific achievements of the decade, Laser technology is being utilized throughout the health care community. Dr. Schmid and Dr. Kim 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, making the procedure safe and predictable, while reducing the risk of scarring or pigmentation problems. Laser skin resurfacing is bloodless, and is performed right here in our office, under light sedation. As a result of this treatment, you are left 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.
Benefits of Treatment
Laser resurfacing typically will give superior results compared to peels and dermabrasion. The downtime may be a little bit longer, but it is an extraordinary treatment for correcting skin issues such as pigmented age spots, wrinkles, and acne scars. Depending on the severity of the skin issues, 1-3 treatments are usually required for optimal results.
Prior to surgery, Dr. Kim and Dr. Schmid and you 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 may be pretreated prior to surgery to improve the healing time.
A local anesthetic is given to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. The area is cleansed and draped. Dr. Kim or Dr. Schmid directs the laser beam toward your skin imperfections. The laser quickly and accurately vaporizes the outermost layers of skin just four or five cells in thickness.
What can be expected?
In most cases, only one treatment is needed. The initial redness fades in a few weeks to a light pink, which can be concealed with makeup. The discoloration usually disappears in one or three months. 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.
Below is a series of photos showing the progression of healing that takes place in a 10 day span. Following the 10 day span photos are some of Dr. Kim’s patients before the procedure and one week following the procedure. If there are questions you may have on the Factional CO2 Laser procedure they may be answered in the section at the bottom of the page that is a section addressing some common questions.