- 1 Description
- 2 Options
- 3 Indications
- 4 Evaluation
- 5 Treatment Options
- 6 Procedure Descriptions
- 7 Recovery
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 8.1 What is laser resurfacing?
- 8.2 How is the procedure performed?
- 8.3 Is there much scarring with laser resurfacing?
- 8.4 At what age is laser resurfacing performed?
- 8.5 What will my skin look like after my laser treatment?
- 8.6 When will I be able to go out in the sun?
- 8.7 Will I have to have more than one laser treatment?
- 8.8 How much time do I need to take off from work?
- 8.9 What are some of the side effects of laser resurfacing?
- 8.10 What is the main advantage of laser skin resurfacing?
- 8.11 What are other skin care options are there besides laser rejuvenation?
- 8.12 Why is laser resurfacing a good choice?
- 8.13 Is laser resurfacing painful?
- 8.14 What does skin laser resurfacing do?
- 8.15 How long will my results last?
- 8.16 Why are laser treatments so effective?
- 8.17 Who is a good candidate for laser skin treatments?
- 8.18 Who is not a good candidate of laser skin treatments?
- 8.19 Is a laser treatment just for women?
- 8.20 What does laser stand for?
- 8.21 What is laser resurfacing?
The word “laser” is an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” A laser can be used to create high-energy beams of visible, infrared, or ultraviolet light that can selectively transfer its energy into tissue to treat the skin. Skin rejuvenation treatments utilizing lasers have become some of the most prevalent anti-aging treatments in the aesthetics industry. Laser rejuvenation procedures improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and discoloration of the skin with fast recovery time, minor discomfort and minimal bleeding. Lasers are able to efficiently remove the aged, wrinkled, and sun damaged layers of skin, uncovering a healthier and more youthful complexion. Laser skin treatments can benefit men and women of any age, and are typically used for the areas around the eyes and mouth, although they can also be used for larger areas of the face.
Numerous skin conditions can be addressed with a laser treatment; however, the key to achieving a successful outcome is to find a qualified physician who understands laser technology, and has the ability to perform the procedure safely and effectively. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, located in Beverly Hills, CA, Dr. Joubin Gabbay M.D. offers a wide variety of laser treatments, and will customize your treatment in order to address your unique skin characteristics, tone, texture, and aesthetic goals.
Laser skin rejuvenation treatments can treat wrinkles and other skin imperfections using either ablative or non-ablative techniques, and via the methods of either resurfacing or cutting. After conducting a thorough evaluation of your skin’s condition and your aesthetic goals, Dr. Gabbay will determine which laser treatment options will bring about your optimal results.
Laser skin rejuvenation technology is one of the most effective, minimally invasive, technological advancements that has come about over the last 25 years. Utilizing laser technology to stimulate collagen production and enhance the appearance of the skin has revolutionized the aesthetic industry, and we are proud to be able to offer this cutting edge treatment to our patients. If you are interested in learning more about laser rejuvenation treatments, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery today, and let us schedule your complimentary, one-on-one consultation with Dr. Gabbay.
Laser skin resurfacing is an excellent, minimally invasive option for patients suffering from a number of skin-related problems, including:
- Fine wrinkles
- Decreased facial volume and firmness
- Skin laxity (looseness, sagging)
- Broken capillaries
- Thin and transparent (crêpey) skin
- Dry, itchy skin
- Deep-set wrinkles
- Acne and acne scars
- Injury-related scars
- Liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines)
- Uneven skin tone or texture
- Non-responsive skin after a facelift
- Yellowish or grayish skin tones
- Enlarged oil glands on the nose
- Skin growths
- Visible veins and broken capillaries
- Uneven pigmentation
- Birthmarks and vascular lesions
- Moles and warts
- Unwanted facial or body hair
- Vitiligo or psoriasis
If you are interested in learning more about laser skin rejuvenation treatments, please call Gabbay Plastic Surgery and let us schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Gabbay. During your meeting, Dr. Gabbay will discuss your overall expectations and aesthetic goals, in order to determine whether laser skin treatment is a suitable option for you.
You should come to your consultation prepared to discuss your medical history (including any past surgeries), present medical conditions, allergies, and medications. It is imperative that you are honest and provide complete information, as numerous medical conditions can potentially increase the risks and complications associated with cosmetic procedures. If Dr. Gabbay feels that you are a good candidate for laser skin treatment, he will explain the different techniques, costs and potential side effects before scheduling your procedure. When choosing Dr. Gabbay, you can be assured that you are in the hands of a surgeon who has undergone extensive training and is highly esteemed by his colleagues and patients alike.
There are a number of options for laser skin treatments, including:
Ablative Lasers: ablate literally means “to remove,” and ablative lasers utilize carbon dioxide to remove the top layers of skin, effectively correcting surface skin problems such as: blemishes, scars, wrinkles, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation. Ablative lasers can be divided into two categories: fully ablative (traditional CO2 and Erbium lasers) or partially ablative (fractional CO2 and fractional erbium lasers). After treatment with an ablative laser, patients may experience redness and/or blistering.
Non-Ablative Lasers: non-ablative lasers do not remove layers of skin as ablative lasers do. Instead, non-ablative lasers utilize thermescent fibroblast stimulators to heat the skin and treat skin laxity and wrinkles from the inside out. The laser beam of a non-ablative laser penetrates deep within the epidermis, and encourages the regeneration of skin cells, thereby rejuvenating the appearance of the skin. Non-ablative laser treatments require little downtime, although they do require multiple treatments, while ablative lasers usually only require one.
Q-switched ND (YAG) Laser: this YAG laser can remove uneven skin pigmentations and darker pigments (such as professional tattoos); however, it may take several sessions to achieve the desired results.
Long-pulsed ND: YAG laser (Versa Pulse®): this laser system is appropriate to treat vascular lesions and other cosmetic issues, such as: facial flushing, redness, broken capillaries, telangiectasia (purple or blue veins on the face), and strawberry hemangiomas (red, purple, or blue blood vessels resembling a blister).
Photofacial (Intense Pulsed Light): photofacials, also known as intense pulsed light (IPL), restore skin health and alleviate sun damage and age-related skin through the use of a broad spectrum of light that targets pigmented and vascular lesions. Photofacials are typically very well tolerated, and patients may resume their normal routine immediately following treatment.
Vascular Lasers: vascular lasers are primarily used to treat visible veins (such as spider veins); however, they can also be used to treat red vessels and broken capillaries on the face.
Hair Removal Lasers: hair removal lasers can stop unwanted hair growth anywhere on the face or body through the use of rapid heat pulsation that passes through the skin and stops the follicles underneath from producing hair. The treatment works best when the laser catches the follicles during an active growth phase, so you may need several office visits to ensure that all of your follicles have been treated.
Before undergoing laser skin rejuvenation, Dr. Gabbay may recommend an antibiotic to prevent infection, and antiviral and antifungal medications to prevent complications from any potential dormant viruses that may be awakened by the procedure. Prior to the treatment, your skin will be numbed and you may be given a sedative and/or IV sedation to relax (deeper skin issues may require general anesthesia). Your face will be cleaned, and you will be required to wear protective glasses or goggles during your treatment.
For non-ablative laser resurfacing, Dr. Gabbay will apply a cryogen spray (a water-based gel or cool air) to the treatment area before using the laser. For ablative laser resurfacing, Dr. Gabbay will aim an intense beam of light energy (laser) at various areas on your skin that need correcting, and as he passes the laser over your skin you may feel a slight stinging sensation, similar to a gentle rubber band snap. The laser beam will destroy the outer layer of your skin (epidermis) while at the same time the laser warming and treating the underlying skin (dermis).
Ablative resurfacing treatments are sometimes preceded by a six-week course of tretinoin (a prescription cream designed to treat fine wrinkling, roughness, and pigment changes). Nonablative laser resurfacing typically takes between 30 minutes to one hour to complete, while ablative laser treatments take between 30 minutes and two hours, depending on the technique used and the size of the treatment area.
After your laser skin treatment is completed, Dr. Gabbay will cover your face with a thin layer of ointment and/or synthetic sheeting to aid in healing. During recovery, you should keep your skin moist with protective creams until the new skin is formed. When necessary, pain medication and ice packs can help to reduce swelling and pain following laser skin treatments. Recovery from laser skin treatments varies, depending upon the type of laser used and the size and scope of the treated area.
Superficial laser treatments usually do not require any downtime, and patients experience only mild redness for a few days after treatment; however, when the deeper layers of skin are treated, the recovery period may last up to a couple of weeks, and patients may experience more intense redness and skin peeling. Although rare, potential complications of laser skin treatments include: burns, scarring, changes in skin pigmentation, reactivating herpes sores, bacterial infection, and milia (small white bumps on the skin).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is laser resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing (also called laser peel) is a cosmetic skin treatment that, depending on the type of laser used, can remove layers of sun-damaged or wrinkled skin; and stimulate the growth of collagen, which is the main structural protein that gives your skin its elasticity.
How is the procedure performed?
In general, Dr. Gabbay will apply the necessary anesthetic, before passing the hand-held wand or paddle that transmits the laser light beam over the problem areas of your skin to be treated. Once the procedure is over, he will apply an antibiotic cream to the treated skin, and the entire procedure takes between 30-90 minutes.
Is there much scarring with laser resurfacing?
Scarring is not typical with laser resurfacing unless a person tends to form keloids or excessive scarring, and this will be determined during your consultation.
At what age is laser resurfacing performed?
Laser resurfacing can be done at almost any age, on people with skin damage from aging, sun exposure, and acne scars, or those who want to eliminate birthmarks, lesions, tattoos, unwanted body hair, and skin conditions like vitiligo or psoriasis.
What will my skin look like after my laser treatment?
This depends on the type of laser used and the size of the treated area. In general, you can expect your skin to look like it is badly sunburned and puffy, and it is imperative that you take care of the treated area as directed by Dr. Gabbay.
When will I be able to go out in the sun?
Your skin will be pink for several months after your laser resurfacing treatment, and very susceptible to sun damage. You will have to wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 35 SPF or higher, as excessive and direct sun exposure will eliminate everything that your laser resurfacing accomplished.
Will I have to have more than one laser treatment?
It took years for your skin to age and while laser resurfacing is a very effective tool in the rejuvenation of aged skin and other skin imperfections; depending on the severity of your skin you may need more than one treatment to see the results you are hoping for.
How much time do I need to take off from work?
A successful laser resurfacing causes a partial thickness cutaneous burn injury, that has to undergo a process of wound healing that typically occurs over a 7-10 day period. After your procedure, your skin must be cared for, and kept moist, and that is why most patients plan a two-week recovery period. During that time, you will apply a smooth layer of Vaseline at regular intervals and during the first 7-10 days, the lasered skin will ooze fluid and crust over. Once re-epithelialization is complete, your new skin will be smoother and younger looking, but will appear pink to red and cosmetics can be applied at this stage to hide the discoloration, allowing most people return to work. The discolored skin will return to a normal color, varying in time from 3 weeks, to 3 months in 98% of patients; and it is impossible to tell when this will happen as every patient is different.
What are some of the side effects of laser resurfacing?
Although rare, the risks and complications associated with laser skin resurfacing include prolonged hyperpigmentation (dark skin spots) or hypopigmentation (pale skin spots), allergic reaction to anesthesia, burns from the laser, abnormal scarring, or keloid formation, and redness.
What is the main advantage of laser skin resurfacing?
The main advantage of laser skin resurfacing, over other modalities, is the control over the depth of tissue injury.
What are other skin care options are there besides laser rejuvenation?
Dermabrasion, chemical peels, and facelifts are some alternatives to laser resurfacing. In dermabrasion, the top layer of your skin is literally sanded off, and it is best for scars and very thick areas of skin. In chemical peels, mild acidic solution is applied to remove the surface tissue. The depth of a chemical peel is influenced by many variables, including the type and concentration of the agent used, your skin type (dry or oily), the skin preparation, and your facial anatomy. Facelift surgery can improve contours and remove excess tissues, but it cannot alter the texture and elasticity of the skin.
Why is laser resurfacing a good choice?
Laser resurfacing creates a superficial skin wound, and your dermis will naturally react with a healing response by forming new collagen. As your skin heals, a smoother surface (epidermis) along with a realignment of collagen, and new collagen in the dermis, will give your skin a younger appearance
Is laser resurfacing painful?
Laser skin resurfacing is performed as an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic that is infiltrated into the tissue to be lasered, and oral or intravenous (IV) sedation, can be used for larger areas on the face. Once you are relaxed and the tissue to be treated is frozen, the laser procedure is pain free, although postoperatively, the most common complaint is that the lasered tissue gives a burning sensation, and this can be relieved with cool face cloths and Tylenol.
What does skin laser resurfacing do?
A successful laser resurfacing causes a partial cutaneous burn injury, which has to undergo a process of wound healing, and this typically occurs over a 7-10 day period. During the healing process, your skin has to be monitored carefully and kept moist, so you should plan to take off work at least 10-14 days. During the first 7-10 days, the lasered skin is red, oozes and crusts, and once it is healed; new skin will appear smoother and younger, but it will still be pink to red. Cover-up cosmetics can be applied at this stage to hide the discoloration, and the larger the area of resurfacing, the more care required.
How long will my results last?
Results vary (depending on the patient) but most effects last 5-10 years. It is important to understand that continuing exposure to sunlight as well as the natural aging process will contribute to the overall results and your skin’s appearance.
Why are laser treatments so effective?
Skin resurfacing and other rejuvenation procedures have improved tremendously over the years and a skin laser is a precision tool that can target specific cell types in different skin layers. A laser can remove surface skin cells or penetrate deeper into the skin, and this control allows treatment of a variety of skin imperfections, with little to no risk of scars.
Who is a good candidate for laser skin treatments?
If you have fine lines or wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or forehead; and you have shallow scars from acne or non-responsive skin after a facelift, you may be a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing.
Who is not a good candidate of laser skin treatments?
If you have active acne or very dark skin you may not be a candidate for laser skin treatments. This technique is also not recommended for stretch marks and during your consultation with Dr. Gabbay this can be determined.
Is a laser treatment just for women?
Both men and women can benefit from laser treatments, especially those who experience skin conditions or aging skin issues, such as: uneven pigmentation, melasma, age spots, redness, broken capillaries, rosacea, acne, scarring, skin laxity, wrinkles, fine lines, and crêpey skin.
What does laser stand for?
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, and it is technically defined as “a device that utilizes the natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between energy levels for generating coherent electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet, visible, or infrared regions of the spectrum.”
What is laser resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing (also known as a laser peel, laser rejuvenation, or laser surgery) involves using a carbon dioxide (CO2), erbium, pulse dye, or other types of lasers to remove wrinkles, discolorations, age spots, and sun damaged skin and/or to stimulate your body’s fibroblasts to form collagen, to treat the wrinkle from within. The laser is passed over the treatment area and resurfacing with a laser is considered ablative or non-ablative. Ablative literally means to remove and non-ablative uses the heat-induced fibroblast stimulation, to thicken the underlying collagen structure. With ablative lasers, the skin surface will require more recovery time as the top layer of skin has been removed, and with non-ablative resurfacing there is little downtime and minimal swelling or redness.