In recent years, the popularity of non-surgical cosmetic treatments has continued to grow. Among these treatments, one of the most frequently performed is laser skin resurfacing.
Wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, precancerous growths, acne scarring, and uneven texture are just a few concerns that can be addressed with laser skin resurfacing. Learn more about the benefits of this procedure in this guide.
WHAT IS LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure designed to improve the appearance of your skin. It aims to resolve some of the most common skin care concerns, such as wrinkles, dark spots, precancerous skin lesions, and acne scarring.
The treatment works by delivering thermal energy into the skin and breaking down the outermost layer. This process removes the surface of the skin to reveal healthier skin underneath.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
Many people who seek resurfacing treatments are older clients with more mature skin. Some younger people also choose this procedure because laser skin treatments can address acne scarring.
Many people can benefit from laser resurfacing, especially those with the following complexion concerns:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne scarring
- Uneven skin tone or texture
- Sun damage and age spots
- Reduced collagen production
The only way to know whether you would make a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing is by having a consultation with a cosmetic medicine provider like Dr. Apostolakis. Having your skin assessed by a professional can allow you to determine whether laser resurfacing treatment is the best course of action to meet your needs.
HOW IS LASER SKIN RESURFACING PERFORMED?
Dr. Apostolakis provides two types of skin resurfacing procedures: Traditional Laser Skin Resurfacing (Sciton) and Fractionated Resurfacing (Matrix).
TRADITIONAL LASER SKIN RESURFACING
Traditional resurfacing is a more intense procedure for more advanced skin aging. The procedure is done under IV sedation, meaning that you will be asleep for the procedure, but will still be breathing on your own without a breathing tube. After falling asleep, the skin of the face is fully anesthetized with injections of local anesthesia. These injections last about 8 hours.
Using the handheld Sciton dual-mode Erbium laser, Dr. Apostolakis will then remove the top layer of the skin with laser energy in the “ablation mode”. Ablation mode will “vaporize” the top layers of skin to reduce age spots and other surface imperfections. Additional passes of the laser follow in the second or “coagulation mode”, creating a controlled burn in the dermis of the skin that stimulates new collagen growth. This will improve the fine lines, tighten the skin, and improve texture and pores. The amount of the two modes can be adjusted to the patient’s needs, using different settings from patient to patient and on different parts of the same patient’s face.
This procedure takes about two hours to complete. The local anesthetic will last for about six hours after your procedure, meaning your skin will be numb when you return home from your procedure. By the time the numbing wears off, the pain has subsided, and thus there is minimal post treatment pain. For about five days after Laser Skin Resurfacing, you’ll need dressings and ointment on your skin.
After these dressings are removed, you will need to continue applying ointment for five more days. There will be some pinkness to the skin, which will gradually subside over the next three months. It takes about 10 to 14 days before makeup can be worn. At this point the skin is quite smooth, but has irregular pinkness. With proper makeup application, the color can be fixed and patients can look quite good.
The Matrix Laser procedure is another type of resurfacing treatment, but it differs slightly from traditional laser skin resurfacing. It is a less intense procedure intended for the younger patient who desires something more than a spa treatment but something less than a traditional resurfacing. Commonly, a Matrix patient is in their 40’s or 50’s. The laser does not treat the full surface of your skin, rather it lases dots, much like pixels in a picture. The dots are very small and closely spaced. Because there is still untreated skin left between the dots, the skin heals much quicker.
Before starting the procedure, a topical numbing cream will be applied to the skin. For increased comfort, you can ask for nerve block injections or IV sedation.
Once your topical numbing cream has taken effect, Dr. Apostolakis will use the handheld Matrix Laser device to emit thermal energy into your skin. Unlike traditional laser resurfacing, the Matrix Laser lays down small patterns of laser injuries in the skin. This leaves some untreated areas between the patterns, making healing much more manageable.
After a Matrix Laser session, you will be able to return home and resume many of your normal activities. The intensity of the treatment can be adjusted to the patient’s desires, but typically the treatment requires about 10 days to fully heal. Typically, ointment is worn for a few days and then makeup can be applied. To achieve optimal results, you may want to return for three to four additional treatments, spaced weeks to months apart.
LASER SKIN RESURFACING BENEFITS
So many people enjoy laser skin resurfacing due to its numerous benefits. The following are just some of the most common cosmetic benefits you can experience with this rejuvenating treatment:
REDUCED FINE LINES AND WRINKLES
As you age, you will experience a natural decline in collagen that reduces your skin’s elasticity. Decreased elasticity makes your skin more susceptible to forming wrinkles, such as fine lines around the eyes.
Laser skin resurfacing is a great way to resolve these age-related changes. The laser energy emitted during skin resurfacing can stimulate collagen production in your skin’s deeper layers, boosting elasticity and reducing your fine lines or wrinkles.
IMPROVED TONE AND TEXTURE
Uneven tone and texture are among the most common skin care concerns. While there are so many products that claim to improve your skin’s tone and texture, very few of them deliver real results.
Improving the tone and texture of your skin should start below the surface. During your laser skin resurfacing treatment, strong thermal energy will destroy damaged skin cells and remove the top layer of the skin to create a more pure complexion.
MINIMIZED ACNE SCARRING
It is very common to have scarring on your facial skin, especially if you struggle with acne breakouts. Previous acne blemishes can leave behind noticeable scarring that is hard to get rid of with topical products.
Laser skin resurfacing can dive beneath the surface of the skin to directly target damaged skin cells that comprise the scars in your complexion. The result is a clearer complexion, with a significant reduction in the appearance of scarring. There is no cure for acne scarring, but this is a way to see significant improvement.
DIMINISHED SUN DAMAGE
Too much exposure to UV rays or prolonged time in the sun can lead to imperfections like sun spots, freckles, and creases in the skin. Laser skin resurfacing can reduce the appearance of sun damage and improve your overall skin tone.
By breaking down the outermost layer of the skin, this procedure removes skin cells that have been damaged by the sun. When used in conjunction with daily sunscreen use, laser skin resurfacing can help your skin remain clear and free of sun damage.
MORE YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE
Laser skin resurfacing can help produce a more youthful appearance overall. When laser energy is emitted into the lower layers of your skin, it kick-starts new collagen production.
Increased collagen within the skin improves elasticity, reducing the formation and appearance of fine lines. Collagen also makes your skin look plumper and suppler in areas like the cheeks and under the eyes.
YOUR LASER SKIN RESURFACING RESULTS
When you have laser skin resurfacing treatment, you can look forward to a major change in the way that your complexion looks. With that being said, you should still have realistic expectations.
Severe or pronounced imperfections may not be resolved with one resurfacing treatment. It may require multiple sessions spaced out over time to see an improvement in issues like deep scarring or significant dark spots. Dr. Apostolakis will discuss your potential results at length during your consultation appointment.
LASER SKIN RESURFACING IN AUSTIN
If you are looking to improve your skin’s tone and texture and improve your complexion concerns, laser skin resurfacing may be the answer. Dr. Apostolakis offers laser skin resurfacing in Austin, TX, and our team of experts will work with you to help you achieve your aesthetic goals and feel better than ever. Contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation appointment.