If you look in the mirror and are dissatisfied with the appearance of your facial skin, you aren’t alone. When it comes to feeling uncomfortable about our appearance, our face is something that is difficult to hide. Cosmetics can be helpful in some circumstances, but nothing beats the confidence of feeling happy with, and in, your own skin.
While there are many different products that claim to be able to transform the appearance of the skin on your face, any results tend to be minor and short-lived. There are invasive facial cosmetic surgery procedures that can address many complaints, but not everyone has the inclination or budget to undergo plastic surgery. Thankfully, there is an alternative – laser face resurfacing.
What is laser face resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a relatively new innovation, and one of the most advanced treatments for facial skin rejuvenation. Laser resurfacing uses beams of thermal energy to target problem areas of skin. It does this by removing the outermost layers and stimulating your body’s own natural healing process. In doing this, your body will be encouraged to replace the old, damaged cells with healthy new ones.
It is possible to treat the entire surface of the face, or just to target specific problem areas, such as the fine skin around your eyes or sagging jowls. Laser resurfacing is also now used on other parts of the body, including the neck and hands.
Types of lasers for face resurfacing
There are two different types of laser resurfacing currently available. These are known either ablative or non-ablative resurfacing.
Ablative laser resurfacing. destroys the outermost layer of your skin, known as the epidermis, so that the underlying layer, the dermis, is exposed. The laser then focuses on this layer, which will encourage your body to produce collagen, the protein that gives the skin strength and elasticity. The new skin that will be stimulated to grow will be smoother, softer, and less lined than before.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing. works similar to ablative laser resurfacing, but does not destroy the epidermis in the process. This type of face resurfacing is usually more suited to patients with darker skin. This is because dark skinned individuals are at higher risk of skin discoloration when subjected to damage to the epidermis, as is seen with ablative laser resurfacing.
New lasers for face resurfacing
There are several different lasers that can be used for face resurfacing. Ablative lasers include:
CO2 lasers. This conventional type of laser has been used to treat skin problems for many years. It uses either short pulsed light energy or continuous light beams to remove the top layer of skin with minimal heat damage.
Erbium lasers. The erbium laser is designed to remove both surface level and moderately deep lines and wrinkles.
Types of non-ablative laser include:
Not all facial resurfacing professionals offer all types of laser. At East Bay Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we will recommend certain laser treatments based on your unique skin condition.
Lutronic Lasers at East Bay Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
At East Bay Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we are proud to offer laser resurfacing treatments using the latest laser resurfacing technology by Lutronic, including:
eC02. Lutronic's eC02 treatment is an ablative laser that allows us to resurface the skin, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, remove pigmented lesions, and more with minimal downtime.
LaseMD. LaseMD rebuilds and rejuvenates pigemented skin and resurfaces fine lines and wrinkles for all skin types. LaseMD is a non-ablative laser for treating actinic keratosis, face, neck and low neckline wrinkles, benign lesions, lentigos, and freckles. Unlike previous laser resurfacing treatments, LaseMD works on most skin types with minimal downtime afterwards.
Infini. Infini technology is an effective skin resurfacing treatment for all skin types, including tanned patients. Infini treatments allow us to customize the depth and energy frequency of the treatment for an effective multi-layered treatment.
What problems can laser face resurfacing improve?
Lasers used for skin resurfacing can address a number of cosmetic problems and complaints, including:
Evening out areas of darker or lighter pigmentation
Smoothening rough skin
Improving the appearance of scars, such as shallow acne or chicken pox scars
Removing fine lines and wrinkles
Tightening your skin to reduce sagging
Am I a suitable candidate for laser face resurfacing?
Even if you have some of the problems listed above, this does not automatically make you a suitable candidate for laser face resurfacing. We will need to perform a thorough examination of your face, as well as taking into account your medical history and any medications that you are currently taking, before you can be approved for the procedure. This is because some conditions and their treatments can affect on how well your skin heals after laser resurfacing. For example, many over-the-counter drugs like aspirin can increase the likelihood of post-procedure bleeding.
Will I need more than one treatment?
This is a common question asked by patients considering laser face resurfacing. Unfortunately, the answer depends on your individual case – what you wish to address, and how well your body responds to the treatment. It is entirely possible that a single treatment will be able to significantly improve the appearance of your facial skin. However, in some cases multiple treatments are needed to produce the best results.
How long will it take me to recover from laser face resurfacing?
The downtime for laser face resurfacing is significantly shorter than any invasive type of facial cosmetic surgery, which is one major benefit of the procedure. The exact time it takes your skin to heal varies from patient to patient and depends on whether you have ablative or non-ablative resurfacing. Non-ablative lasers require virtually no downtime, whereas skin subjected to ablative resurfacing can take two or three weeks to fully heal and for the results to become apparent.
Will I still be able to go out while my face heals?
There is nothing to stop you leaving your home or even going to work while your skin heals. However, you can expect it to look red and sore, while the healing process takes place, and this might make you feel uncomfortable going into work. In some circumstances, your employer might prefer you to take time off in case your presence breaches health and safety rules in your workplace. You will also have to avoid activities that could put you at increased risk of developing an infection while the wound heals, such as swimming.
If you are looking to turn back the hands of time on the aging process, or if you are simply dissatisfied with the appearance of the skin on your face and would like to achieve a cosmetic improvement, facial resurfacing using laser technology could be the solution for you. To find out more about this revolutionary treatment, or to arrange your consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team today at 510-451-6950.