Laser resurfacing treatment enhances the appearance of the skin. It uses a laser to deliver brief pulses of high-energy light. Water and substances in the skin, known as chromophores, absorb this light. This light is converted into heat energy.
The heat destructs (vaporizes) thin sections of skin in a layer-by-layer manner. As the injured area heals, new skin grows to replace the compromised skin that was eliminated through the laser treatment. Certain lasers only firm up the skin by delivering heat to it but do not destroy it.
The most common laser type used for skin resurfacing is known as the CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. Also, the erbium laser is commonly used as well.
Laser resurfacing is usually quite targeted and causes minimal damage to the nearby skin and tissue. It is most often undertaken on the face. However, it can also be done on the skin in other body areas, such as the neck, hands, and chest.
Texas Surgical Dermatology, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen, provides advanced skin care procedures to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding communities.
Newer Laser Methods
Advanced methods of laser resurfacing lead to fewer issues and offer faster healing times. Some of these methods are as follows:
Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing
This treats microscopic skin columns. The treated skin areas are surrounded by untreated areas. The outcome is noticeable skin improvement without much scabbing or bleeding.
Plasma Skin Resurfacing
Plasma skin resurfacing involves the use of plasma energy to destruct the deeper skin layers, and it does not impact the uppermost layers of skin. This topmost layer protects the lower layers of skin as they heal.
Superficial Erbium: YAG Laser Resurfacing
This is a mild laser treatment that is most effective for minor lines and other skin issues.
Infrared Laser Resurfacing
This treatment targets the deeper skin layers with heat to smooth and firm the skin.
Why It Is Done
Laser resurfacing can eliminate or improve the appearance of:
- Superficial acne, trauma, or surgical scars
- Pigment (color) changes or skin defects, such as port-wine stains, liver spots, or café-au-lait spots
Individuals who have lighter skin and do not get much sun exposure following the treatment often have the best outcomes. Darker skinned people may also benefit from laser resurfacing. However, their skin may not heal properly.
How it is Done
The treatment areas are cleaned and marked with a pen. Prior to the treatment, a nerve block or a local anesthetic is typically administered to numb the treated area. The patient may also be given medication to help them relax.
If the entire face is to be treated, they may require sedation, pain relievers, or a stronger anesthetic. At times, general anesthesia may be administered.
The patient may need to wear goggles to protect the eyes from damage during the treatment. The provider may also place wet towels around the treatment area to absorb excess laser pulses.
The provider will pass the laser over the skin, sending out pulses. Each pulse will last for less than a millisecond. They will wipe the skin with water, or a saltwater solution between the laser passes. This helps cool the skin and remove the tissue that has been destroyed by the laser.
The extent of the treat and type of skin will determine the number of passes necessary. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Tri H. Nguyen receives patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for skin treatments.
For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.