We were all born with smooth, baby-soft skin. Over the years, the constant bombardment of ultraviolet light from the sun gradually breaks down the orderly arrangement of the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, which play important roles in the skin’s structural support and elasticity. This so-called photoaging process is primarily responsible for the lines, wrinkles, and pigmentary changes we associate with facial aging. Laser skin resurfacing has revolutionized the treatment of wrinkles caused by sun damage and other environmental factors by removing the sun damaged fibers and causing a renewal of collagen and elastin within the skin. This exciting technique can cause a long-lasting correction of wrinkles without requiring any cutting, lifting, stitching, or scars.
How does the laser resurfacing work?
Fractionated laser skin resurfacing is the most advanced treatment available for improving lip lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, and generalized sun damage as well as acne and chicken pox scars. During the procedure, high-energy columns of laser light are applied to the skin surface. The term “fractional” refers to the way a fraction of the skin is treated, while many small areas are left untouched. This innovative method provides the benefit of quick recovery, allowing the patient to return to their normal routine sooner.
What problems can be corrected with laser resurfacing?
A treatment can markedly reduce the fine lines, wrinkles, and pigment changes associated with facial aging. Laser resurfacing with Active FX is particularly useful in smoothing wrinkles around the eyelids, laugh lines, crow’s feet, and creases around the mouth. Deep laugh and frown lines can be minimized. Even lingering effects of chicken pox and acne scars can be successfully treated.
What are the treatments like?
An Active FX treatment may be performed in the clinic for a lighter laser peel or in our surgery suite for a more in-depth laser peel. Your provider will review the options and help you choose which treatment is best for you. Lighter laser treatments or smaller areas may be comfortably treated following a local anesthetic applied topically. More extensive procedures are performed with IV sedation under the supervision of our board-certified anesthesia personnel. Treatment time ranges from a few minutes for a small area up to 45 minutes for full-face resurfacing with multiple passes.
What is the recovery process like?
Recovery time for most patients is about 4 days to 1 week. During recovery, patients exhibit pink skin, similar to a sunburn. Makeup and normal skin care can usually be resumed after 7 days. Initial results become visible upon healing, while other more gradual effects related to collagen formation become more evident over time. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for patients to look even better 3-5 months after the procedure! Remarkably, there is only minor discomfort following the procedure with few patients needing anything stronger than Tylenol.