Is Laser Skin Resurfacing for You?

At Arrestage Clinics we have been using Lasers to treat, fine to moderate wrinkles, liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines), uneven skin tone, sun-damaged skin as well as acne or chickenpox scars.

Laser resurfacing has limitations though. By itself, it can't remove deep wrinkles or eliminate excessive or sagging skin (jowls). In addition, the effects aren't permanent because as you age, you continue to acquire expression lines, lines that result from the natural movement of your face, such as when you squint or smile. Repeated treatments may be necessary.

Laser Resurfacing is a medical procedure and there can be risks. Complications of ablative laser resurfacing can include:

  • Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation — skin tone that turns darker or lighter than normal. It may start three to four weeks after surgery and can last several months. You may be at increased risk of hyperpigmentation if you have a darker skin tone.
  • Herpes virus infection — the virus that causes cold sores. In most cases, the herpes virus is already present but dormant in the skin; laser resurfacing can cause the virus to flare up. If you have a history of frequent or severe cold sores, shingles in or near the area of treatment, or a recent outbreak of herpes, your doctor can prescribe a medication to prevent these infections after laser surgery.

Other complications include:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Acne flares
  • Small white bumps (milia)
  • Scarring
  • Burns
  • Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis)
  • rolonged redness

Erbium laser skin resurfacing is a procedure specifically designed to remove superficial and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face. It works ablatively removing the other layers of the skin to reveal newer, healthier, more youthful skin. The Erbium laser light works by gently vaporizing the skin layer by layer. Our most recent studies have shown that the Erbium laser best stimulates the production of collagen, creating a tightening and smoothing of the skin.

Ablative laser resurfacing involves an intense beam of light energy (laser) that is directed at the area to be treated. The laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis). At the same time the laser heats the underlying skin (dermis), which stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers. As the wound heals, new skin forms that's smoother and tighter.

My favorite treatment for the right candidate is an in-office fractional CO2 peel. This has about one week of “downtime” where your skin is red and you really need to be home. After that you can typically wear makeup and go back to your normal routine. Your skin may stay red or pink for up to several months following laser resurfacing. In addition, your skin may be sensitive to sunlight for up to a year after the procedure, so it's important to minimize sun exposure and to use sunscreen liberally. The result is smoother, younger, healthier skin that with proper care will continue to look great for years.

You may notice an immediate difference in your skin quality and appearance. And gradually during the next six to 12 months, you'll likely see continued improvement. Although the effects of laser resurfacing can last for years, wrinkles and expression lines eventually recur as skin ages. Repeat procedures may be necessary.

Many types of lasers exist for wrinkle treatment, so talk to your doctor about your options. Newer lasers produce less chance of scarring and pigment changes, create less discomfort, and require a shorter recovery time than do older lasers. For example, nonablative (nonwounding) lasers avoid injury to the surface skin and treat the underlying layer. This technique still stimulates the production of collagen, but requires less recovery time because the upper layer of skin isn't damaged. Because these lasers are less powerful, however, they usually require multiple sessions, and it may take longer to notice the results.

For a good complement to lasers, additional firming benefits are achieved with our procedures using radiofrequency energy for tissue tightening. Currently, we are using the Asclepion Dermablate Effect system from Germany. Asclepion has been the leader in laser manufacturing for many years. The Asclepion-Dermablate Effect radio frequency procedure, if it's deemed appropriate for you, is where the results in the chin area can be dramatic.

At home, after a laser procedure use the Arrestage products that contain ingredients like niacinamide, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and hexamidine that provide skin firming. Arrestage Chin firming creams will contain retinoids, peptides, hyaluronic acid, growth factors. For facial wrinkles the Arrestage ingredients such as retinoids (retinol, retinyl propionate, and others), peptides, vitamin C, niacinamide, caffeine, and grape seed extract, marine extract, and other antioxidants offer very noticeable results over time, when used as directed by your physician or aesthetician.

Copyright © 2010 Dr. Roy Shapiro "Is Laser Skin Resurfacing for You?"

* If you are a physician or a skin care expert, call 480.710.2229 to find out more about ARRESTAGE Laboratories Corp. programs. Naturopaths and estheticians skin care products training available.