Most people have some sort of skin blemishes or imperfections that they wish they could correct. Oftentimes they are effects of aging, such as wrinkles, lines, and furrows from years of smiling, frowning, and wrinkling our brows. Other times they are unfortunate scars from acne, broken blood vessels, or damage from sun exposure. Laser therapy is a breakthrough in cosmetic medicine that can correct these blemishes quickly, effectively, and safely.
Laser resurfacing is a skin procedure that uses a laser to improve skin and correct minor facial flaws. An intense beam of light is focused on the target area to vaporize skin tissue, softening wrinkles and minimizing scar tissue and fine lines. There are two types of laser that can be used for skin resurfacing: ablative and nonablative. An ablative laser actually removes layers of skin, while a nonablative laser only tightens the underlying skin by stimulating collagen growth.
The ideal candidate for laser resurfacing is a physically and mentally healthy individual who wants to reduce the appearance of winkles, liver spots, correct uneven skin tone or texture, repair sun-damaged skin, or reduce scars caused by acne. Laser resurfacing does NOT eliminate or fix sagging jowls.
Ablative laser resurfacing is generally performed as an outpatient procedure at Dr. Fiorillo’s clinic. Your face will be cleaned and eyes covered while the doctor numbs you with local anesthetics. Extensive resurfacing sometimes require sedation. The procedure consists of an intense beam of light that is focused on your skin, destroying the outer layer of tissue. The laser simultaneously heats the underlying skin, causing your collagen fibers to shrink. New, tighter, and smoother skin forms as the wound heals. The procedure generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the extent of the resurfacing.
For nonablative laser resurfacing, the laser stimulates new collagen growth, which tightens skin and improves skin tone and appearance. No skin is removed and the procedure takes about 15 minutes to one and a half hours, again depending on the extent of the treatment area.
When recovering from ablative laser resurfacing, you can expect the treated skin to be raw, swollen, and itchy. The treated skin may ooze a yellowish liquid that crusts – to avoid scarring, do not pick at it or the treatment area in general. Dr. Fiorillo will apply an ointment and may dress the area. Over the counter pain killers will help manage any pain. Dr. Fiorillo will provide you with care instructions for when you return home. You can expect new skin to appear over the treated areas in approximately one to two weeks.
After nonablative laser resurfacing you can expect red, swollen skin that you can apply ice packs to as needed. Immediately after treatment you will be able to use cosmetics over the treatment area and resume normal activities.
The risks of laser resurfacing are relatively mild, but it bears to mention that you could experience any or all of the following after the procedure: itching, swelling, irritation, acne, infection, changes in skin color, or scarring (ablative resurfacing only). This list is not comprehensive, and you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Fiorillo before making the decision to undergo laser resurfacing.
If you think laser resurfacing may be the key to a youthful, revitalized new you, contact Dr. Fiorillo online or by phone at 866-537-0954.