Laser skin resurfacing to remove facial scars and wrinkles has become one of the most popular new cosmetic procedures. Remarkable results are commonplace with the use of high-pulse lasers, which selectively remove skin layers to reveal smoother, younger looking skin. The procedure is quite effective for wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and forehead, as well as facial scars from acne, chicken pox or trauma.
Laser resurfacing is typically performed on an outpatient basis with either local or intravenous anesthesia. Dr. Schusterman will first pre-treat your skin with specific creams for several weeks prior to the procedure to increase the impact of the laser treatment. The procedure can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes.
Facial wrinkling, scarring, and pigment changes also can be treated by the application of a chemical (chemical peels) or by using an abrasive instrument (dermabrasion). These procedures can also be performed either in Dr. Schusterman’s office or in an outpatient surgical facility and may take from a few minutes for isolated treatments to an hour for more extensive areas. Dr. Schusterman will assess whether minimal anesthesia or intravenous sedation should be used.
About a week of postoperative care is required, and most patients choose to avoid social situations because treated skin becomes pink. Cover creams can be applied after seven days to camouflage the pinkness and enable patients to return to their normal daily routine. Laser resurfacing procedures do not produce scarring, and results can last 7 to 10 years.
As with all cosmetic treatments, there will always be myths and misconceptions surrounding laser skin resurfacing. If you are considering this type of treatment, the best course of action is to talk to a specialist or board-certified plastic surgeon/dermatologist.
A myth which is currently growing in popularity is that laser skin resurfacing can actually cause new wrinkles. This myth primarily stems from patients who expect immediate results with minimal downtime. One of the causes is that most laser skin resurfacing techniques will temporarily dry out your skin which is why your physician will provide you with a cream or recovery regiment throughout the recovery period.
Any time that your skin becomes drier than normal, it may appear as more wrinkles are cropping up however this is a temporary issue which will resolve itself once your skin returns to its normal state. Another source for this myth is patients who are reporting results before their skin has completely recovered from their treatments. In most cases, some swelling and possibly bruising could exist for a week or more following certain types of laser skin resurfacing treatments. While your skin is swollen, it can appear as though more wrinkles exist, especially around the eyes. Once the swelling goes down, all of these perceived wrinkles will vanish.
The final myth is that laser skin resurfacing is primarily used to tighten skin. While some people do report tighter, firmer skin following their laser skin resurfacing treatments, this isn’t always the primary goal. Laser skin resurfacing is primarily used to correct sun damage, discoloration, fine lines, and acne scars. Skin tightening is definitely a positive outcome; however, it is not a predictable result when compared to the primary uses of this technique.
Another common myth is that all laser skin resurfacing techniques are essentially the same. While this may have been true a decade ago, it definitely isn’t today. There are a growing number of different types of laser skin resurfacing techniques which can be classified as either ablative or non-ablative.
Ablative laser skin resurfacing removes the top layer of your skin whereas non-ablative relies on wavelengths to penetrate the skin and stimulate deeper tissues. Within these two categories of laser skin resurfacing, there are a growing number of smaller subsets based upon the specific technology being utilized.
While laser skin resurfacing can be a one-time treatment, most people will see dramatic results after a minimum of two or three treatments. Additionally, it is important to note that prior to laser skin resurfacing you will need to utilize a series of creams and moisturizers in order to prepare your skin for the treatment. The same is true following the treatment. So while technically you could get a one-time treatment, the entire process can last several weeks per session.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the renowned plastic surgeon and breast & body specialist Dr. Mark Schusterman. Take your first steps to a more beautiful you.
1200 Binz St Suite 1198, Houston, TX 77004