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Laser Skin Resurfacing

Posted on: March 1st, 2017 by California Skin Institute

When patients visit California Skin Institute for laser skin resurfacing treatments, they often have many questions about the procedure. Can these treatments get rid of hyperpigmentation? Can laser skin resurfacing reduce wrinkles? Is there any down time? These are all very important questions, and in many cases the answers will depend on the specific treatment you choose.

Let’s see how laser skin resurfacing works and what you can expect when you visit us for treatment!*

What can Laser Skin Resurfacing Treat?

At the core, laser skin resurfacing works by using controlled skin damage to stimulate your body’s natural repair processes.* The end outcome is the growth of new, healthy skin at the treatment site.* Here are just some of the things that laser skin treatments can address*:

  • Wrinkles:  Fine lines and wrinkles form because of gradual weakening in the skin’s collagen support structure.* Mainly, collagen production decreases as we age, and UV radiation damages existing collagen and elastin fibers.*
  • Rough skin texture:  Another issue that comes with age is an inefficient skin shedding cycle.* Our skin goes through a renewal process about every 28 days. Over time, however, skin texture can become rough because the body’s natural skin renewal processes become less efficient with age.
  • Hyperpigmentation:  Characterized by dark, red or brown spots on the skin, hyperpigmentation is the clustering of melanin pigment. It can be caused by UV damage as well as hormonal shifts.
  • Scars:  Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat scars caused by trauma or acne.*

The controlled damage of the laser resurfacing causes the body to produce more collagen at the treatment site and normalizes the skin shedding process.* This can create a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles as well as smoothing the texture and contour of the skin.* Using laser energy to break of the clusters of melanin pigment and scar tissue targets the hyperpigmentation and improves the appearance and feel of scars.*

Fully Ablative vs. Fractionalized Laser Skin Resurfacing

One of the key differentiating factors in laser skin resurfacing treatments is whether the procedure is fully ablative or fractionalized.

  • Fully ablative:  This type of resurfacing targets virtually all the surface skin cells at the treatment site.* The laser is used to heat up the cells to the point of irreversible damage.* This produces a more dramatic outcome after just one treatment.* However, it requires more down time for the skin to heal.*
  • Fractionalized:  In this variation, only a fraction of the skin cells at the treatment site is heated.* The laser beam is delivered in a grid pattern, so that a portion of the skin is left undamaged.* This variation carries less down time (because less skin has been damaged by the laser), but the patient will typically need several treatments to achieve outcomes comparable to a fully-ablative procedure.*

So it’s really about how much down time you’re willing to accept. If your social calendar is clear for the next few weeks, and you have the ability to take about a week off work, then the fully ablative procedure can be a great choice.*

Regardless of which procedure you choose, when you visit California Skin Institute your treatment will be performed by providers who are experts in skin resurfacing and who will take time to understand your unique aesthetic goals and needs*:

  • Our providers are highly trained when it comes to the latest techniques in laser skin resurfacing.*
  • Dr. Greg Morganroth is considered to be one of the top experts in the country when it comes to fully ablative resurfacing.*

Laser Skin Resurfacing Side Effects

As with most skin treatments, laser skin resurfacing comes with several common side effects:

  • Fully ablative side effects:  The most common side effects of fully ablative treatments are oozing and crusting.* Thus most patients choose to take several days off work to give their skin time to heal.*
  • Fractionalized side effects:  The fractionalized treatment is less aggressive and the side effects include tenderness and redness in the area but less oozing and crusting than the fully ablative laser.*

UV Radiation and Laser Skin Resurfacing

Your skin’s natural defense mechanisms will be significantly weakened after laser skin resurfacing. This is vital to remember, and patients are strongly advised to stay out of direct sunlight for a few weeks after the procedure.

As such, many patients choose to undergo laser treatments in March and April, to give their skin time to heal before summer travel and vacations.*

Your Laser Skin Resurfacing Consultation

The best way to see if laser skin resurfacing is right for you is to speak with an expert provider at California Skin Institute. To schedule your one-on-one consultation, simply call a CSI practice near you or use the online scheduling portal now!

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.