Skin Care and Laser Resurfacing Procedures

Laser skin resurfacingLaser skin resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing, commonly called a laser peel, removes the outer, often damaged layer of skin for a smoother, younger look. Laser resurfacing can reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, uneven pigmentation and superficial scarring, usually on the face. A carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beam of intense, precisely focused light vaporizes the surface skin and reveals the undamaged layer beneath. Procedure time varies depending on the size and severity of the area being treated and whether it is combined with other procedures, such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery for even more dramatic results.

Non-ablative skin resurfacing

Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing is one of the newest and, perhaps, most exciting of the aesthetic laser procedures. Non-ablative means that the epidermis or outer layer of the skin is not removed by the laser during the procedure. Thus, no healing of the skin is required after the procedure. Patients can go back to work or about their normal activities immediately after treatment. On the other hand, non-ablative skin resurfacing treatments require a series of treatments.

Hair & mole removal

Excessive hair growth may arise from puberty, pregnancy, menopause, heredity, medication, diseases or many other causes. Whether for hygienic or cosmetic reasons, the patient who is tired of temporary, often painful methods of removing unwanted hair – from depilatories, epilators and shavers to waxing and electrolysis – may welcome laser and intense pulsed light therapy with relief.

Lasers produce highly focused, intense beams of light that are absorbed by dark pigments in the hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface and converted to heat, destroying the follicles and preventing hair growth for up to two years. Multiple treatments are required for complete hair removal because the follicle must be “active” at the time of treatment, and not all follicles are active at the same time. Treatments are needle-free and anesthesia-free, with most patients feeling nothing more than a slight sting like the snap of a rubber band.

Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular nevi, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:

  • Larger than six millimeters.
  • Itches or bleeds.
  • Rapidly changes in color, size or shape.
  • Has multiple colors.
  • Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.

Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient’s skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.

Spider vein treatment

Many adults suffer from spider veins (small, superficial, often red or purple vessels visibly spreading like a web beneath the skin). These veins are not only unattractive, they can also be detrimental to your vascular health. The non-invasive VascuLight system provides swift and painless treatment for these unsightly veins, with dramatic and long-lasting results.

During treatment for spider (surface) veins, light energy – not a laser – is similarly absorbed and converted to heat, destroying the blood vessels, which then disappear. Because of the nature of the VascuLight technology, none of the surrounding tissue is harmed. Results are visible right away, but multiple treatments over several months are usually required for full effect. Normal activities may be resumed immediately.

Chemical peel

Chemical peels remove damaged outer layers of skin on the face to smooth texture, reduce scarring and remove blemishes and pre-cancerous growths to produce healthy, glowing skin. There are three types of chemical peels, ranging from mild to strong – alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), tricholoroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol – and formula strengths are tailored to each patient. Peels can be combined with other procedures such as facelifts for a younger look. They may be covered by insurance if they are performed for medical rather than cosmetic reasons.