Laser Skin Resurfacing
As the facial skin ages, the cumulative effect of sun damage and genetics lead to many undesirable changes; facial skin becomes thinner, less hydrated and loses elasticity, leading to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and deeper skin folds as well as a dehydrated, crepe paper-like appearance. Many of these unwanted changes in texture, thickness and elasticity can be attributed to the gradual loss and disorganization of collagen, which is the major supporting substance found within the dermis, or deeper layer, of the skin. As a result of this process we often see the appearance of smile lines, parentheses, vertical lip lines or lipstick lines, marionette lines, horizontal forehead lines, and deepened nasolabial folds. Sunlight may also cause further damage to the epidermal skin cells and lead to the formation of pigmented age spots and pre-cancerous lesions such as actinic keratoses.
Laser Skin Resurfacing in Cleveland, OH
Harmych Facial Plastic Surgery specializes in laser skin resurfacing. Laser resurfacing is a non-invasive treatment used to improve the appearance of the skin by removing the epidermis, or superficial layer, and by causing a collagen-enhancing stimulus to the dermis, or deep layer. The result is smoother facial skin with improved texture, tone and elasticity.
Who is a Candidate for Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Healthy men and women who do not smoke and have realistic expectations who are bothered by poor skin tone, texture, fine lines, wrinkles or facial scarring, including acne scars, may be excellent candidates for CO2 laser resurfacing or other facial skin resurfacing procedures such as chemical peel or dermabrasion. Laser resurfacing may be performed as an adjunct procedure to compliment the effects of other facial plastic surgery procedures such as eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty, facelift, neck lift, and scar revision. Patients who smoke, have underlying severe medical problems, a history of poor wound healing or frequent cold sore outbreaks and patients who have recently used isotreninoin (Accutane) may not be candidates.
How is Laser Skin Resurfacing Performed?
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive procedure performed either in the office or the operating room, depending on the nature and extent of the problem. Local anesthesia and topical numbing cream is used. Moderate sedation or general anesthesia may be required for more complicated cases. The most frequent laser used for skin resurfacing in a CO2 laser. However, depending on the nature of the problem a different laser may be used. Laser settings are optimized and tailored to each patient’s unique problem and skin type. The laser is used to carefully remove the superficial layers of skin cells.
What is the Recovery like from Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing is performed on an outpatient basis with most patients returning to the comfort of their own home within several hours. Prescription pain medication is may be required for 2 or 3 days. Healing time is dependent on the depth and extent of treatment. Until the skin is completed healed, a layer of ointment is applied to the face several times every day – usually about one week. Make up may be worn at that time to conceal any residual erythema or redness. Downtime is usually between 7 and 10 days, depending on the extent of treatment. Most patients feel comfortable returning to their work and social lives in about 7 to 10 days.