Laser skin resurfacing is a procedure used to treat sunspots, improve facial scars and remove deeper facial wrinkles. It is ideal for reducing the photo-aging changes of the facial skin. It can be thought of as a combination of laser ablation or removal of the surface sun damaged portion of the skin, chemical peeling, and even dermabrasion – which is a mechanical sanding of the skin for deeper wrinkles and acne scars.
Dr. Perkins utilizes CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser resurfacing, as well as erbium laser fractionated laser treatment in combination with CO2 for further skin tightening and smoothing of wrinkles. Both work by emitting very controlled, quick bursts of light energy to “vaporize” away the upper layer of skin, similar to what a chemical applied to the skin does, creating a mild to second-degree level chemical burn (which helps to smooth out and reorganize the underlying collagen in the skin). Although one treatment is often all that is necessary, once in a while, a person may have more than one laser treatment to touch up an area and remove a greater degree (more) of the deeper wrinkles. Lasers offer an excellent way of varying the depth of treatment for each area of the face and fractionating the wounding to the deeper collagen layer, allowing a smoother surface and a shorter down time for healing. The type of treatment chosen varies from one area of the face to the next and is based on the depth of the wrinkle(s) or sun damage.
Medium chemical peel treatments, such as TCA and phenol peels, are used for skin tone improvement as well as removal of mild to moderate sun damage. The shortest down time for healing is from a TCA chemical peel. A phenol chemical peel and laser resurfacing take a slightly longer period of time, and dermabrasion often takes nearly two weeks to heal over. Almost all of the procedures Dr. Perkins uses to perform resurfacing require a degree of anesthesia, either sedation or a full anesthetic, due to the heat level of light energy.
Skin resurfacing in general causes redness, which lasts up to several weeks. Make-up coverage, good moisturizers and sunscreen can be applied as early as 10 days after the procedure.
Dr. Perkins’s medical spa, Spa 170 West, utilizes the Sciton Laser, which enables our licensed aestheticians to improve wrinkles and fine lines with a series of various treatments.