Aesthetic Institute
Aesthetic Institute

Terry Gillian, M.D., F.A.C.S., P.C. Email Dr. Gilliam
If you’re considering laser resurfacing....

In laser resurfacing, sometimes called "laser peel," a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is used to remove areas of damaged or wrinkled skin, layer by layer. The procedure is most commonly used to minimize the appearance of fine lines, especially around the mouth and the eyes. However, it is also effective in treating facial scars or areas of uneven pigmentation. Laser resurfacing may be performed on the whole face, or in specific regions. Often, the procedure is done in conjunction with another cosmetic operation, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery.

Laser resurfacing is still a very new procedure. However, it has been shown that in some cases, this surgical method produces less bleeding, bruising and postoperative discomfort than is typically seen with other resurfacing methods.

Laser resurfacing is performed using a beam of laser energy which vaporizes the upper layers of damaged skin at specific and controlled levels of penetration.

It’s clear that laser resurfacing may offer a number of advantages over other resurfacing methods: precision, little (if any) bleeding and less postoperative discomfort. However, laser resurfacing isn’t for everyone. In some cases, an alternative skin resurfacing treatment, such as dermabrasion or chemical peel, may still be a better choice.

The MicroLaserPeel is an intra-epidermal laser peel that precisely ablates the outermost layers of the skin. The peel modifies the epidermal and superficial dermal layers of the skin. This is a multiple stage treatment that produces less redness and scaring. The procedure is individually tailored to the nature of the condition to be corrected. For smoother, more vibrant skin with very "little downtime". This procedure can be combined with laser remodeling and ultrasound.

Unlike "traditional" resurfacing procedures, in which the epidermis is sacrificed, Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing utilizes light energy to stimulate collagen remodeling and/or irregular pigmentation which occurs at the deeper dermal layers. Because this technique does not injure the outer layers of the skin, there is no prolonged healing phase. Conditions that can be treated are facial rhytids (wrinkles), sun damage, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and minor surface irregularities. This procedure can be combined with MicroLaser treatment and ultrasound.

All resurfacing treatments work essentially the same way. First the outer layers of damaged skin are stripped away. Then, as new cells form during the healing process, a smoother, tighter, younger-looking skin surface appears. Laser resurfacing is a new method being used by plastic surgeons to remove damaged skin. However, a number of studies using microscopic examination have shown that the physical changes that occur to laser-treated skin are essentially identical to those that occur with either dermabrasion or chemical peel. Ask Dr. Gillian about the latest facts concerning long-term follow-up.

It’s also important to consider the length of recovery when choosing among the skin-resurfacing alternatives. In general, the more aggressive the resurfacing procedure is, the more prolonged the recovery is likely to be. "Light" resurfacing procedures, such as superficial chemical peels or superficial laser resurfacing, offer shorter recovery times. However, these lighter procedures may need to be repeated multiple times to achive results comparable to those achieved with more aggressive techniques.

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