ANTIAGING FACIAL TREATMENTS
Lasers are currently the most effective exfoliation tools
for eliminating wrinkles. This is , mainly due to the
lasers unique ability to tighten the skin. Successful
laser resurfacing procedures can result in patients looking
10 - 20 years younger, lasting up to 10 years.
Types of Lasers Using in Resurfacing
Various types of lasers are used in resurfacing treatments,
depending on skin type and severity of the condition:
The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is the
most powerful laser treatment and is used for deep wrinkles
and skin imperfections. NOTE: Do not use over areas which
have had silicone injections as the laser can burn and
scar the skin over the implanted area.
The erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) pulse laser
is gentler than the CO2 and is effective for mild wrinkles
although many physicians claim it can be as effective
in removing deep wrinkles as CO2 when used to sufficient
depth. It generally has fewer side effects than CO2 laser
The non-ablative laser resurfacing (NLite) is
the gentlest of all laser procedures. Also known as photo-rejuvenation,
NALR is approved for the treatment of all facial wrinkles
using light energy to gently stimulate new collagen, and
possibly elastin, without removing the skin tissue itself.
Its effects are less pronounced than those of other
laser procedures, however, it can be used on delicate
skin areas, such as the neck and around the eyes and causes
very little irritation afterward.
Hence, the laser type used and the effect of the procedure
varies depending upon the facial area in which it is used.
Type of Resurfacing Laser Used for Each Facial Area
- Around the mouth and eyes - CO2 lasers may be better
than Dermabrasion for the upper lip.
- Around the nose, laser resurfacing is slightly less
- Laser resurfacing does not eliminate crow's feet,
broken blood vessels, or dark circles under the eye.
- Laser resurfacing is too harsh for thinner skin layers,
such as on the neck. Newer and gentler laser techniques,
however, stimulate collagen without taking off skin
layers and may prove to be useful for necklines.
- Acne scars – the benefits of laser resurfacing
on acne scars are as yet unknown.
The Laser Resurfacing Procedure
- The Laser pulses painlessly penetrate the skin quickly,
vaporizing water and surface skin without damaging the
- New top skin grows, and if enough heat is applied
to shorten collagen fibres, it also restores some elasticity
to the skin.
- Some surgeons are using combination techniques that
employ more than one laser technology in one session
to achieve different effects. For example, one combination
technique uses CO2, YAG, pulsed-dye laser, and one other
laser technology to both improve wrinkles and clear
under-eye dark circles and acne scarring.
Pre-treatment of Botox [botulinum] injections can be
used, especially effective in the treatment of crows feet.
Post Laser Procedure Recovery
Redness and irritation occur during the healing process,
and can be severe. (Non-ablative laser resurfacing does
not have the same severe after effects as other laser
For 8-10 days, the face is raw swollen, requiring continuous
moisturizing. A certain degree of redness and sensitivity
can persist for one to four months, hence the patient
must refrain from sunlight exposure during this period.
Silicone dressings may be used to reduce post-procedure
pain and crusting.
- Scarring and infections can occur in about 1% of
laser resurfacing procedures, with risk increasing or
decreasing depending on the experience of the surgeon.
- People with a history of herpes simplex may experience
flare-ups of fever, facial pain, and flu-like symptoms
for five or six days afterward.
- Laser resurfacing can cause unpredictable and dramatic
lightening of the skin in darker skin types.
Other skin resurfacing treatments include:
Dermabrasion and Microbrasion