How does laser skin resurfacing work?
Lasers work by emitting a specialized light that passes through the skin and is preferentially absorbed by water in the collagen of your skin. The resulting heat generation evaporates very fine layers of skin, diminishing the look of wrinkles and other unwanted textures. Older skin is transformed into newer skin. As new cells form in the healing process, the skin becomes smoother, more evenly colored and softer. Several lasers and light sources are available today for skin resurfacing. Alternatives to full laser resurfacing include fractional C02. In our office Dr. Sikorski offers the nonsurgical MiXto fractional laser for less downtime and lesser degrees of resurfacing needs.
A Laser Resurfacing procedure
After anesthesia is administered, your eyes will be protected with safety shields or glasses. The laser beam will be delivered through a computer-controlled device that automatically scans the area of your skin being treated. You may hear a snapping or popping noise as the laser gently removes the outer skin cells. Your procedure may take a few minutes to half an hour depending on the size of the area to be treated and the depth of your peel.
Laser Peel Depth
The various penetration levels allow the treatment of specific spots, scars or wrinkles. The laser can be limited to the epidermis and papillary dermis for superficial or medium resurfacing. The upper levels of the reticular dermis can also be removed for a deeper resurfacing. Laser resurfacing offers a number of advantages over other resurfacing methods: precision, little (if any) bleeding and less post-operative discomfort. Deeper peels are about the only procedure that has profound effect on upper lip wrinkles and lines around the mouth.
Are you ready to improve your appearance?
What aftercare will I need?
It is important to follow instructions. Dr. Sikorski will thoroughly explain what you will need to do following your procedure. You will be given some skin care products and instructions on how to use them. This will minimize your risk for infection and ensure the shortest healing time. The top layer of your skin will re-grow and can be covered with make-up in about one week. Your new skin will be very sensitive to ultra-violet light and you must avoid sun exposure until fully healed. You need to cover your skin, wear a hat and use a good sun screen if your have to go outdoors.
How long will it take me to recover?
Your healing time will depend upon your actual treatment depth, and you may experience erythema (redness) which may last several weeks. Healing time does vary among individuals. Dr. Sikorski will answer any questions about temporary changes to your skin appearance and how it may be camouflaged.
What should I expect after treatment?
It will take a few days for your body to regenerate a new surface layer of your skin. Redness is common and swelling may be present in the areas treated, however, this should subside in a few hours. Dr. Sikorski will instruct you on how to effectively care for your healing skin. Your skin will have a residual pink or red color that will dissolve over time.
After Laser Resurfacing
You will likely experience some mild swelling and discomfort after laser resurfacing. However, this can be controlled with ice packs (frozen peas) and medications prescribed by Dr. Sikorski. Dr. Sikorski will also provide instructions on how to gently wash and care for your healing skin. During the healing process, it is very important that you not pick the crusts off the treated area or scarring may result. Most OC patients will be free of crusts by about 10 days post-operatively. Redness may persist for several weeks. Your new skin will usually remain bright pink to red in the weeks following the procedure. Dr. Sikorski may prescribe medications to make this color subside more rapidly. After about two weeks or so, most patients can safely apply makeup to conceal this temporary color change. However, some pinkness may remain for up to six months.
Getting back to normal
It is rare, but some Orange County patients may find that their healing skin is unusually sensitive to the makeup that was used prior to treatment. In such instances, makeup should be avoided until a substitute can be found or until the healing progresses to a point at which the makeup no longer causes a reaction. Above all, in the months following treatment, it’s imperative to protect the treated area from the sun until all the color has returned to normal. Using sun protection regularly will help maintain your results and reduce the chance of any new sun damage to your skin. If you must be in the sun, apply a strong sunblock with an SPF of 50 or higher and shade your face with a large-brimmed hat or visor. If resurfacing was performed around your eyes, it’s recommended to also wear good quality sunglasses with UVA and UVB 100 percent filters.
Will healing be uncomfortable?
The amount of discomfort varies from patient to patient. Dr. Sikorski will discuss your anesthesia options to properly manage any discomfort from the treatment.
Is there infection risk with laser peels?
Following the correct aftercare procedures prescribed will reduce the risk of infection. You will return the office for follow-up visits to ensure excellent healing.
Is the resurfacing procedure painful?
You will be given either a topical or local anesthetic during the procedure for lesser depths. Sedation can also be provided and is offered to all patients if they desire. Most Orange County patients describe the post-procedure feeling as a bad sunburn; this feeling will subside in a few days. Cold compresses will also help subdue the discomfort.
Related Cosmetic Surgery and Non-surgical Procedures
• Liposuction for removal of excess fat or “double chin”
• Buccal Fat Pad Removal
• Jowl lift to tighten and contour the jowl area
• Chin Augmentation with Implant
• Chin Augmentation with Injectable Radiesse
• BOTOX® Cosmetic injections to relax the parts of the platysma that are responsible for the “band” appearance.
Costs of Cosmetic Surgery
At Natural Image OC in the Orange County area, we maintain a top-level integrated, AAAHC accredited outpatient surgery center. This helps reduce the costs of cosmetic surgery because we are not tied to the additional costs of a satellite surgical center, nor do any “overtime” costs that can accrue from extra surgery time or anesthesiologist fees. In the end, this can save up to 25% over what many surgeries might cost elsewhere.
Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology for the Greater Orange County Area.
Dr. Sikorski offers cosmetic & dermatology procedures to patients in all Orange County communities, including Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano. Schedule your own consultational appointment today!