Facial Resurfacing

 
 

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.

Before Surgery

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.

The Procedure

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.

 
 

First Day After the Fractional CO2 Laser Procedure

Procedure performed by Dr. Kim

 Day 1 CO2

Fifth Day After the  Fractional CO2 Laser Procedure

 Day 5 CO2

Tenth Day After the Fractional CO2 Laser Procedure

 Day 10 CO2

 
 
Before the Fractional CO2 Laser Procedure
 One Week After the Fractional CO2 Laser Procedure
 Before Full face laser D
 After Full Face Laser Day 7 D
 Before Full Face Laser
 After Full Face Laser Day 7 (2)
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any difference in a Fractionated CO2,  a traditinal CO2, or Carbon Dioxide (C02) Fractional Laser Resurfacing ?
There is a difference between traditional CO2, fractionated CO2 laser and fractional laser resurfacing. Essentially CO2 lasers are very penetrating, require much more downtime, and by today’s standards are just too invasive. Fractionated CO2 still uses the carbon dioxide laser source but spreads out the beams such that the thermal damage to the skin is much less than traditional straight CO2. Fractional laser resurfacing refers to treating the skin with fractionated CO2 laser and essentially burning the “old” skin off to generate the “new” fresher more youthful skin.
 
 
 
Do I need someone to drive me home and stay with me the day of the procedure?
I recommend having a driver on the day of the procedure if you are you are put under anesthesia. Otherwise if you just utilize the numbing cream and are not sedated at all, driving yourself home is definitely an option.
 
 
 
Is it okay for me to smoke right after the procedure?
I absolutely do not recommend smoking after a laser resurfacing procedure. What we don’t want is to compromise healing- both quality of healing and time of healing. Smoking will put the resurfaced skin in direct contact with the smoke which could lead to undesirable results.
 
 
 
I am of Indian decent and have darker skin, am I good candidate for this procedure?
If you have darker skin, the laser resurfacing is not a good idea. Darker skin types have a high potential of developing skin pigment color changes after laser resurfacing.
 
 
 
I am pregnant, is it safe for me to have this procedure?
As long as you are not out under sedation anesthesia, you can have a laser resurfacing procedure if you are pregnant.
 
 
 
I am getting married in 6 weeks, have I waited to late to have this procedure done?
Six weeks before your big day should be plenty of time to heal before you walk up to the altar. You should really plan on three weeks minimum of healing time after laser resurfacing.
 
 
 
How many treatments will I need for the fine lines I have around my eyes and mouth? How long can I expect the treatment results to last before another treatment is needed?
For the fine lines around the mouth and eyes it depends on the amount of lines and depth of the lines. It could take up to three treatments or as few as one. Results should last a good 4-5 years or more after the lines are adequately treated.
 
 
 
How long should I stay out of direct sunlight?
You should wait 8 weeks before exposing your face to direct sunlight. Remember you are thermally burning the skin with laser treatment and it needs to heal.