If you have considered laser skin resurfacing treatments to remove facial wrinkles, old scars or to improve your complexion, then the next step is to find the right laser treatment for your condition. Most people assume that all laser therapy is the same, but there are some factors that you need to study before you start.
Laser Skin Resurfacing has come a long way since the early 1980’s when the first treatments were performed to repair facial flaws. While all lasers work by concentrating a beam of light to, in effect, burn off the damaged outer layer of skin, there are now various technologies available and each performs a bit differently.
The first lasers were called CW CO2 (continuous wave carbon dioxide) and were used to remove sun damaged skin or wrinkles layer by layer. This method was and is effective but there are some predictable side-effects that should be considered. Most common are skin redness, swelling, skin discoloration, and skin eruptions. Scarring, infections and eczema have also been reported following a CW CO2 procedure. So newer CO2 lasers were created which use pulsed and scanned light systems rather than a continuous beam to allow for a gentler, more controlled treatment.
Better yet is the Erbium: YAG laser that was developed to improve upon the older technology and help reduce recovery time. According to Dr. Dominic Castellano, a facial plastic surgeon in Tampa, Florida, the Erbium laser “is absorbed by the skin more effectively and so there is much less thermal injury, or heat damage, to the skin.” This laser only penetrates the top 3 layers of skin so there is far less bruising or swelling associated with this type of procedure. “This translates into less anesthesia requirements, more rapid healing, less redness, shorter duration of redness post procedure and less potential for any lightening (hypopigmentation) or darkening (hyperpigmentation) of the skin.”
The Erbium laser delivers light to the face to remove the top layer of skin (epidermis) while stimulating collagen growth in the underlying layers. This system provides a remedy for many different skin conditions such as:
• Removing fine lines and wrinkles
• Reducing brown spots, acne scars, moles or other skin lesions
• Erasing old surgery or trauma scars
• Improving the complexion by reducing large pores and tightening the skin
Besides the type of laser used, the other item to weigh is: Who is doing the work on your face?
Many types of offices can purchase laser equipment but that does not make them an expert in its use. It is highly recommended that you have a well-qualified medical professional handle the actual laser procedure. These experts know where the skin is thinnest so can back off the laser so as not to go too deep and end up scarring a patient. A qualified physician working in an accredited office has the tools and staff to provide the best care in the most sterile environment. When it comes to your face, do not take any shortcuts or put yourself at risk by having a non-professional do the work. Lasers are safe but only in the right hands.
If you would like more information, please call or set up a consultation at Elite Facial Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL.