Skin resurfacing techniques, both chemical peels and lasers, have added a significant dimension of skin rejuvenation and a level of youthful results as never seen before. The CO2 laser remains the “gold standard” for skin resurfacing lasers, achieving very long-lasting results that are often not completely developed or appreciated for 12-24 months after resurfacing. The Erbium Yag laser is useful for a lighter smoothing effect with less redness and recovery, but also with less long-lasting results. The laser can be repeated at safe intervals to maintain or enhance the smooth youthful surface of the skin. Dr. Ptak has performed hundreds of these procedures with safe and predictable results.
Who is a Candidate?
The CO2 laser procedure is great for anyone who has ever wished that they could “renew” their complexion to make it smoother and more even-toned. Cosmetic laser resurfacing is a procedure that smooths the facial skin by using a laser to refinish damaged areas and shrink fine wrinkles. It also corrects areas of uneven pigmentation.
You may be a good candidate for laser resurfacing if you have any of the following conditions:
- Fine lines, especially around the eyes
- Vertical lines around the mouth (Dr. Ptak also performs the lip lift)
- Facial scars caused by injury or accident
- Scars caused by acne
- Areas of uneven pigmentation, such as “age spots”
- Lines on the cheeks caused by sun damage
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia only, sedation and local, or general anesthesia. The procedure usually takes less than one hour. Dr. Ptak will use the pulsed laser to remove the superficial (epidermal) layers of the skin. The advantage of the laser is that the depth of treatment is extremely controlled and predictable. In laser resurfacing, a beam of laser energy is used to vaporize the upper layers of damaged skin with accurate precision. As new cells form during the healing process, a smoother, tighter, younger-looking skin surface appears. The laser treatment also tightens the skin by heating and contracting collagen. When imperfections are deep, Dr. Ptak may recommend that the resurfacing be performed in two or more stages.
Dr. Ptak will provide you with specific written instructions before you go home. Depending on location, the treated areas are covered with a tape-like covering or with ointment. The treatment postoperatively will prevent formation of a crust or scab. Healing will be complete in 7-10 days. Redness (pink color) will usually last from 1-9 months. Makeup can be worn once healing is complete (7-10 days).
Other facial procedures can be performed at the same time.