Laser Treatments and Resurfacing
Some of the most modern techniques for dealing with unsightly blemishes and wrinkles involve the use of lasers. There are a wide variety of lasers available. Some lasers are excellent for reducing wrinkles, such as the CO2 and Erbium YAG lasers. Some lasers, such as the Argon and Pulsed Dye lasers, are good at eliminating spider veins, birthmarks, and pigmented or vascular lesions. Q-Switched lasers are especially suited excision tattoo removal, depending on the size of tattoo and the available skin for closure. And there is a whole new breed of lasers that are designed to help remove unwanted hair.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
As our skin ages it loses elasticity and begins to form permanent wrinkles and etchings. With increasing age the skin loosens and begins to sag into folds. Surgical procedures like facelifts and browlifts can eliminate the deep folds and have a “smooth the bed sheets” effect on larger wrinkles. However, finer wrinkles can be more difficult to eliminate with surgery, especially around places on the face less affected by lifting procedures, such as the lips and “crows feet” areas. In younger faces, where skin laxity is not even an issue, lifting procedures have no role in improving skin wrinkling and texture problems. These problems require “resurfacing” technology.
Resurfacing the skin to make it look more youthful can be done in several ways, including “dermabrasion” and “deep” chemical peels. The more modern method of skin resurfacing involves the use of certain lasers—particularly the CO2 laser.
At Heartland Cosmetic Surgery we currently rely almost exclusively on the CO2 laser for resurfacing the face. Although other lasers and devices have been developed to perform this procedure, to date, nothing has been able to improve upon the dramatic long-term results achievable with the CO2 laser. This tried and true technology not only resurfaces the skin, it also literally tightens the skin as well! Unlike other lasers or devices, the CO2 laser is able to do this because it exerts such a deep penetrating effect on the skin. This is the beauty of the procedure.
Laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure. Full face treatments require sedation anesthesia while area treatments, such as around the eyelids or lips, can be done with local anesthesia only. Recovery requires about a week of healing. After laser resurfacing the skin is smoother, softer, and more youthful looking.
How long do I need to be off work?
Most patients will plan to take 1 to 2 weeks off from work. The skin resurfaces within 5 to 7 days and makeup can be used to hide any residual redness at that time.
How long will I have redness?
This varies from patient to patient and is very dependent on your skin type and genetics. Most redness fades after 2 to 6 weeks, but in some individuals can persist as long as 6 months. We have an excellent line of cosmetics that can be matched to most skin tones and will hide any pinkness completely.
Will my skin be lighter in color after resurfacing?
Yes, for most people, the new skin will be faintly lighter in color than adjacent, untreated skin. With time this color difference disappears.
I have very dark skin - can I still have laser resurfacing?
Generally speaking, black and very brown skin are not good candidates for laser resurfacing. The risk of healing with patches of “hypopigmentation” (loss of pigmentation) is too great. Hypopigmentation is an uncommon complication of any resurfacing procedure, but is more common in dark skin individuals. Once it occurs it is permanent and irreversible.
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200 South Fifth Street
Salina, KS 67401
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