(Treatment of facial wrinkling and scars)
The development of laser technology is one of the most exciting and innovative scientific achievements to have come along in the past few decades.
The principles of the laser were originally presented by Albert Einstein in the early 1900’s. Since that time, scientists have developed several types of lasers which are used for a variety of purposes. One of the most recent is the ultrapulse carbon dioxide (CO2) laser that is used to treat sun-damaged skin, facial wrinkles and scars in a procedure called laser skin resurfacing.
WHAT IS A LASER?
The word “laser” is an acronym which stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation or light that is produced in a certain way. A surgical laser such as the CO2 laser is a beam of light capable of removing unwanted tissue. These lasers vaporize skin cells by emitting bursts of radiation that are absorbed by water in these cells. Skin imperfections are rapidly and accurately treated one layer at a time without bleeding, while the underlying skin tissue is preserved. The result of this treatment is a smoother, more attractive skin surface.
WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED THROUGH LASER RESURFACING?
The laser is used to reduce tiny wrinkles, acne scars and other minor skin imperfections, especially around the mouth and eyes. It can improve sun-damaged and acne scarred skin, problems which often cause concern to both men and women.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS TYPE OF TREATMENT?
Laser resurfacing can be used as an alternative to chemical peel and dermabrasion. The benefits of using this technique are that there is less pain and a faster recovery time. In most cases, it is also less costly.
Prior to surgery, Dr. Gilmer and his staff will discuss with you the goals you’re seeking for facial improvement. After determining the most appropriate procedure to use, we will fully describe the procedure, what results to expect and the costs.
Laser resurfacing is usually performed in our office. A local anesthetic is given to ensure that you will be comfortable throughout the procedure. The area is cleansed and draped. Dr. Gilmer will direct the laser beam toward your skin imperfection. The laser quickly and accurately vaporizes layers of skin just four or five cells in thickness.
WHAT RESULTS CAN BE EXPECTED?
In most cases, only one treatment is needed. The initial redness fades in a few weeks to a light pink which can be camouflaged with cosmetics. The discoloration usually disappears in one to three months. The goal of laser resurfacing is to enhance facial appearance.
Your expectations must be realistic, and results should be anticipated as improvements rather than total corrections. Results of the surgery depend on many factors such as the size, shape and location of the imperfection and your heredity, age and general skin condition.
WHAT RISKS ARE INVOLVED?
Complications following laser resurfacing are rare; however, there are certain inherent risks connected with every surgical procedure which will be addressed by Dr. Gilmer and his staff. You can minimize complications by carefully following directions given.
If you are interested in learning more about laser skin resurfacing, please contact our office and we will be happy to answer your questions.