Laser skin resurfacing is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help rejuvenate the skin and reduce the effects of sun, aging and some facial skin disorders. Treatments are safe, effective, and convenient. Laser skin rejuvenation or laser peel as it is often called, removes damaged outer layers of skin with pin point accuracy, stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells in the underlying layers bringing about smoother, younger, healthier-looking skin.
Cosmetic laser skin resurfacing is a method for diminishing the appearance of imperfections on the skin’s surface. During the laser skin resurfacing procedure a laser is used to dissolve the molecular bonds of the damaged skin cells layer by layer until a smoother, more uniform skin appearance is achieved. The procedure may also be referred to as laser skin rejuvenation because of its anti-aging benefits, or laser peel because the damaged layers of skin are peeled away.
Laser skin resurfacing is appropriate for patients seeking treatment for discoloration, wrinkles, sun damage, acne marks, or other types of imperfections in skin appearance. The procedure does have limitations and individuals with severe scarring may need to use additional scar revision techniques to achieve the best possible results. For most patients the laser skin resurfacing procedure does an excellent job of diminishing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, scars, and irregular skin pigmentation however this treatment is not compatible with certain skin types, skin tones, and medical conditions. When considering any form of laser treatment it is important to first consult your doctor and a dermatologist to discover if you are a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing or any of the other laser related processes available.
There are various types of laser treatments that are used, the most popular being Fraxel® skin resurfacing treatment, Erbium, CO2 laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments.
The Fraxel® laser skin resurfacing treatment procedure is non-invasive, there are few post-treatment side effects, virtually no skin tenderness or pain after undergoing treatment and no downtime after the procedure. It should be noted however, depending on the type and extent of work to be done this is usually not a single session treatment. Improvements to the skin’s appearance will appear gradually over the course of weeks or months possibly with progressive treatments.
Erbium lasers are able to remove thinner layers of skin than the more powerful, but less precise CO2 laser. Erbium lasers are often a better choice for patients with dark skin because there is less risk of permanent changes to skin pigmentation. They are also better for patients with generally healthy skin who wish to treat only minimal fine lines and wrinkles.
The CO2 laser is the highest intensity laser treatment currently available. After being treated with the CO2 laser the surface of the skin appears tighter and smoother because the laser uses heat to restrict the collagen bands found in the lower dermis. The CO2 laser can eliminate or diminish the appearance of most wrinkles, scars, warts and birthmarks.
Many people can’t tolerate the downtime or may otherwise not be good candidates for laser skin resurfacing. In these cases, intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy may be an option. With IPL treatments there are no blisters, burns or long recovery periods so you can go right back to your life after your treatment is complete.
In a nutshell, IPL uses broad-spectrum light that filters out unwanted wavelengths as a means of treating a host of skin conditions and abnormalities such as: age spots, so called liver spots, fine lines and wrinkles, facial flushing, redness, broken capillaries, freckles, minor sun damage, port wine stains, tattoos, varicose veins, flat birthmarks, hair and large pores.
This IPL skin treatment goes by many other names, including: Computer Controlled Light Therapy, Light Laser, MultiLight, Photo Laser and various other brand names. There are several different machines that emit different wavelengths of IPL to penetrate different distances into the skin so it is best to discuss fully with your doctor or dermatologist the most appropriate treatment for you. Also discuss your candidacy for any skin treatments and your expectations with your regular doctor and/or a dermatologist who will examine your skin, any scars you have and may require you to have a patch test to see how you react to a proposed procedure. You are not a good candidate for IPL if you do not react well to burns or if you have diabetes.