Laser Skin Resurfacing
Whether we acknowledge it or not, one of our main calling cards when we interface with others is the appearance of our skin. If we intend to make our best impression, our skin must look as good as it can be. Laser skin resurfacing is a way to rejuvenate the health and youthful vitality of the skin without the need for invasive surgery. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Eric Okamoto, MD, can evaluate your concerns and determine whether aesthetic laser therapies are the ideal option to help you reduce signs of age and skin discoloration, tighten and tone the skin, and enhance your appearance with exceptional results.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Benefits
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Results
- Caring for Your Skin After Laser Skin Resurfacing
What Are the Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing?
We all start out in life with unblemished skin, but self-induced abuses, environmental challenges and, of course, aging all impart varying degrees of change to our appearance. It discolors, thins, wrinkles and sags. Sometimes it shows scars from trauma or from skin ailments, like acne. At some point we look in a mirror and notice our weathered skin and wonder if there is something that can be done to make it look better… healthier… younger.
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Recent advances in laser technology have provided improved methods for treating aged and damaged skin. However, this treatment option is limited, and often ill-advised, for more darkly pigmented individuals where depigmentation or uneven pigmentation complications are more likely to occur. Laser skin resurfacing is capable of improving skin in many ways with its ability to:
- Reduce signs of hyperpigmentation
- Reduce signs of large pores
- Diminish signs of acne scarring and other facial scars
- Reduce signs of facial wrinkles
- Thicken skin by inducing collagen production
- Tighten loose skin for a firmer look and feel
All of these changes manifest themselves in varying degrees with a singular treatment. However, there should be no doubt that multiple treatments render even greater results by piggy-backing upon previous improvements. With this in mind, the cosmetic results from this technology should not be compared to the expectations achieved from surgery. Since laser skin resurfacing usually targets different things, the expectations can’t be the same. While laser therapies can be effective standalone therapies for patients wishing to address specific concerns, they can also serve as an adjunct to other advanced cosmetic treatments, giving us another tool to achieve the best results for our patients.
What Does the Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure Involve?
Of the many lasers available on the market today, Dr. Okamoto has selected the Lumenis® UltraPulse® Encore laser for office use because of the many advantages it offers. We believe it is the most effective laser capable of revitalizing skin. Due to its flexible programming, the Lumenis® laser system offers considerable range in individualizing treatment protocols for a wide spectrum of skin problems. We also believe it is safer than its predecessors due to technical advancements that have been incorporated into this new generation carbon dioxide laser.
Two treatment platforms are available with Lumenis® UltraPulse® Encore laser. The ActiveFX™ (AFX) treats skin superficially while the DeepFX™ (DFX) stirs changes more deeply. When both are applied in a singular session, the treatment is called TotalFX™ (TFX). During the procedure, laser energy will be precisely delivered into the areas of skin targeted for rejuvenation, stimulating collagen and the emergence of healthier skin layers.
Both platforms, AFX and DFX, address the skin surface and increase the amount of its collagen, thereby thickening the skin. This is a process that takes months to fully develop after one treatment. Hence, a final result cannot be assessed for as much as six months; however, the initial results should become noticeable soon after treatment, with steady improvement in the months that follow.
Whether AFX, DFX, or TFX is chosen depends upon the presenting conditions and the goals established. Dr. Okamoto will make a recommendation once he meets with you for an initial consultation and has the opportunity to examine your skin and discuss your unique treatment goals.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Some degree of redness, soreness, swelling, and skin peeling can be expected following the laser skin resurfacing procedure. These effects should dissipate as the skin continues to heal and new, healthier layers of skin emerge. Many individuals liken the after-effects of laser skin resurfacing to feeling like a severe sunburn and sometimes worse. Ice packs and prescription pain medicine can often be helpful for controlling swelling and alleviating discomfort during recovery. Our team will provide you with detailed instructions that can help you obtain a smooth recovery process.
The length of downtime is dependent on the depth of treatment. As a rule of thumb, the more aggressive the treatment, the greater the change that can be achieved, but the longer it will take to heal. If a minimum downtime is requested, healing can take place in just a few days. On the other hand, it might take as long as 10-14 days or longer when more aggressive treatments are rendered for greater results.
How Long Do the Results of Laser Skin Resurfacing Last?
Improvements in the skin’s appearance are often noted very early after the initial treatment. However, the final results of laser skin resurfacing typically cannot be appreciated for months since it takes time for increased collagen to fully develop. With good at-home skin care routines, adequate sun protection, and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, many patients can experience the results for years.
How Do I Care for My Skin After Laser Skin Resurfacing?
It is very important to practice thorough skin care routines following laser skin resurfacing treatment. Keeping the skin regularly moisturized and using a high-SPF sunscreen is necessary to protect the skin and maintain its health. A selection of high-quality gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and sunblocks are good items to have in your daily skin care regimen. In our post-treatment care instruction packet, we will provide you with additional details on proper care of your skin after laser skin resurfacing.
If you would like more information on the many laser skin rejuvenation treatments we offer, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Okamoto to talk more about these procedures, please contact us today.
*Individual results may vary
*Individual results may vary