Laser Skin Resurfacing

What is laser resurfacing?

The laser generates an infrared beam of light that
very precisely heats and vaporizes thin layers of skin instantaneously. When the skin is treated, a clean, layer-by-layer vaporization of skin occurs. The undesired skin literally evaporates due to its high water content.

What is laser resurfacing useful for?

Fine to moderate wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and cheeks can be significantly improved. However, wrinkles caused by facial expressions such as horizontal forehead lines and nasolabial folds are less responsive. Lines that are only visible during muscle contraction do not respond to laser resurfacing and alternate treatment such as Botox® injections should be considered.

Most acne scars can be improved with laser resurfacing. Deep acne scars (“ice pick”) should be first surgically removed before resurfacing.

Sun damaged skin including blotchiness, brown spots, yellowish discoloration, irregularity, keratoses (pre-cancers) can all be removed and replaced with younger-appearing skin.

How do I prepare for resurfacing?

?You may be prescribed a couple of creams to apply to your skin for several weeks to prepare it for resurfacing. On the day of the procedure, bring someone to take you home afterwards especially if any sedation is to be used.

What will happen during resurfacing?

?For treatment of limited areas, the procedure is done under local anesthesia only. When treating the entire face, we recommend doing the procedure with intravenous sedation. The areas are treated with the laser and a bandage is placed on them.

What will happen after resurfacing?

The skin will heal over in 5-10 days during which time there will be a lot of swelling, oozing and bruising. Patients may experience a mild to moderate burning sensation during the first 12-
24 hours. As the skin starts to heal, there may be a moderate amount of itching and a feeling of tightness which may last for several weeks.

Once the skin surface has healed over, there is a varying degree of pinkness to redness that gradually fades over several weeks to months. This redness can be covered with make-up.

The improvement in wrinkles or acne scars appears to be dramatic immediately after the procedure. As the post-resurfacing swelling subsides, the degree of improvement seems to be less dramatic. However, as new collagen is laid down during the 12-18 months after resurfacing, the wrinkles or acne scars gradually improve.

What are possible side effects?

Because the resurfacing lasers are so precise, the risk of complications is minimized. Even in the most experienced surgeon’s hands, the following complications may rarely occur: Infection, cold sores, skin darkening, skin lightening, demarcation lines or patches, persistent redness, skin depressions or scarring, flaring of acne, and eczema.

In order to minimize the risk of complications it is important to follow all postoperative wound care instructions completely.

How much will it cost?

The cost of laser resurfacing varies from several
hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the size of the area being treated and whether or not intravenous sedation by an anesthesiologist is needed. Insurance reimbursement is usually not available for laser resurfacing. You will be given a written estimate of the cost after your consultation.

BEFORE TREATMENT

  1. Apply Renova to proposed treatment area at night for 6 weeks before the procedure.
  2. Apply Epiquin Micro to proposed treatment area twice-a-day for weeks before the procedure.
  3. Avoid sun exposure for two weeks before treatment and after treatment for as long as area remains red.
  4. Purchase
    Large tube of Aquaphor Healing Ointment
    Bottle of white vinegar
    Box of 3×4” gauze
    Box of Vigilon (when only limited areas to be treated)
    Roll of 1” hypoallergenic paper tape (when only limited areas to be treated)
  5. Take the various medications as prescribed on the morning of the procedure.
  6. Take the various medications as prescribed on the morning of the procedure.
  7. Remove contact lenses if area around eyes will be treated.
  8. Wear clothing that buttons down front (no pullovers).
  9. Have someone come with you who can drive you home.

For emergencies at night or during the weekend, call (314) 878-3839, leave a message and the doctor will contact you shortly thereafter.