LASER FACIAL RESURFACING FOR WRINKLES
Lasers use light energy at various frequencies to vaporize facial lines, wrinkles, certain pigmented skin defects, old acne scars and other scars - significantly reducing these defects. The laser gently removes sun-damaged skin, layer by layer, smoothing out the surface of the skin, while stimulating the regeneration of deeper, healthy skin - tighter and more youthful. It is a relatively bloodless procedure and is performed on an outpatient basis. The ideal laser candidate has fair, healthy, non-oily skin. Patients with olive or more deeply pigmented skin may be at increased risk for post-laser pigmentation changes - no matter what type of laser system is considered. Therefore, in some highly pigmented patients, laser treatment may be contraindicated. Dr. Kohn will evaluate your skin characteristics and make recommendations accordingly. Additionally, patients who have taken Accutane in the past 12-18 months are at risk of abnormal keloid-like responses to the laser and may not be appropriate candidates.
Laser resurfacing may be performed on the whole face or in specific regions and may be performed in conjunction with other cosmetic and/or reconstructive procedures on the face or eyelids. Light energy is used to penetrate to a very precise, controlled depth, making the procedure safe and predictable, reducing the risk of resultant scarring or pigment problems. The light energy frequency of the various lasers, along with their multiple surgeon-controlled settings selectively achieves the results necessary to accomplish the desired result. All treatment modalities involve the sequential pass of the laser over the area undergoing treatment. The number of passes is dictated by the laser system in use and by the type and extent of the condition undergoing treatment. All laser surgery is performed in an outpatient setting. The type of laser and the extent of treatment determines whether local or general anesthesia is applicable.
Lighter laser resurfacing yields a more superficial result with a shorter recovery time. Such lighter procedures may need to be repeated multiple times to achieve the desired result. Heavier laser resurfacing yields a more significant and longer lasting result with a somewhat longer recovery time. Such deeper procedures less frequently need to be repeated. In the case of the ultrapulse CO2 laser, wrinkle reduction in the treated area may restore the appearance of the treated area to its status 15 to 20 years earlier.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Complications are uncommon even after full face CO2 laser facial resurfacing as patients are pretreated with Retin-A, Topical Vitamin C, Melanex (to inhibit excessive pigmentation), Cipro (an antibiotic agent), Valtrex (an antiviral agent), and the use of a postoperative Silon protective dressing. Because of these steps, patients rearely experience infection, hypopigmentation (reduced pigmentation), hyperpigmentation (increased pigmentation), scarring.
Laser facial resurfacing can effectively and safely restore a more youthful appearance to the treated areas.