You have a variety of options to rejuvenate your appearance. Laser resurfacing can reduce facial wrinkles, scars and blemishes. Newer laser technologies give Dr. Myint a new level of control in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision, especially in delicate areas.
Laser skin resurfacing is also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization or lasabrasion. Dr. Myint uses the laser to send short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This removes unwanted, damaged skin in a very precise manner one layer at a time. This targeted approach means there are fewer problems with hypopigmentation, or a lightening of skin for procedures such as laser acne scar removal.
When the laser beam removes your outer layer of skin, called the epidermis, it simultaneously heats the underlying skin, called the dermis. This heat stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers. As the treated area heals, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer.
Laser resurfacing can improve minor facial flaws, such as:
- Fine lines or wrinkles around or under your eyes, forehead or mouth
- Scars from acne or chickenpox
- Non-responsive skin after a facelift
- Aged or sun-damaged skin
- Liver spots
- Improve your complexion if you have yellowish or grayish skin tones
- Enlarged oil glands on the nose
Types of Lasers
The types of lasers most commonly used in laser resurfacing are carbon dioxide (CO2), erbium, and fractional CO2. Each laser vaporizes skin cells damaged at the surface-level.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
The newest version of CO2 laser resurfacing uses very short pulsed light energy (known as ultrapulse) or continuous light beams that are delivered in a scanning pattern to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. Recovery takes up to two weeks. This method has been used for years to treat different skin issues, including wrinkles, scars, warts, enlarged oil glands on the nose, and other conditions.
Erbium Laser Resurfacing
Erbium laser resurfacing is designed to remove surface-level and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, hands, neck, or chest. One of the benefits of erbium laser resurfacing is minimal burning of surrounding tissue. This laser causes less swelling, bruising, and redness -- so your recovery time should be faster than with CO2 laser resurfacing. In some cases, recovery may only take one week.
Fractional CO2 Resurfacing
The treatment uses a fractionated laser beam that delivers thousands of tiny columns of heat deep into the skin, ablating (destroying) old skin cells and inducing new collagen formation. Unlike old CO2 treatments that caused significant skin wounds, open sores and crusting, fractional lasers leave surrounding tissue unaffected and intact allowing the skin to heal much faster.
If you have a darker skin tone, erbium laser resurfacing may work better for you.