Laser Skin Resurfacing
Facial skin resurfacing procedures are able to revitalize the facial skin by minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, lines, age spots, melasma, and freckles. There are several different skin resurfacing procedures including chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and dermabrasion. Good candidates for skin resurfacing include healthy patients who are looking to improve the appearance of aged or damaged skin.
Dr. Kulak performs skin resurfacing procedures in her office and in INOVA system hospitals which include Fair Oaks Hospital, Loudoun Hospital, Fairfax Hospital, and Mt. Vernon Hospital. Resurfacing procedures generally take less than thirty to forty-five minutes to complete and may be performed with MAC (monitored anesthesia care) or local anesthesia.
Chemical Peels, Dermabrasion, Skin Resurfacing
Chemical peels use a chemical solution which peels away the top layers of skin in order to smooth and rejuvenate the skin. There are three different chemical peels including alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peels which are the mildest, Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels which may be used in varying strengths, and phenol peels which are the strongest.
Dermabrasion uses a method of controlled surgical scraping with a high speed rotating brush to remove the top layer of skin. Dermabrasion can smooth out and improve the appearance of deeper scars and wrinkles.
Laser skin resurfacing uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device to vaporize the top layer of skin. Laser resurfacing can improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne scarring, and sun damage. You may have heard of Fraxel and Erbium lasers which are newer but less effective lasers used for resurfacing.
Recovery after a milder skin resurfacing procedure such as an AHA or TCA peel usually takes about three to five days while deeper resurfacing procedures may take about ten days. Swelling and redness may occur. Redness may last up to four weeks. Patients need to wash their face and apply ointments to the treatment area to prevent scabbing or crusting during the recovery period. Most patients can return to work within one to two weeks. Direct sun-light must be avoided prior to and after treatment for several weeks. Skin bleaching creams or skin lightners may need to be used as a “prep” for the skin several weeks before the procedure.
Q – What is skin resurfacing?
Facial skin resurfacing refers to several different procedures, including chemical peels, laser resurfacing and dermabrasion, which are able to revitalize the skin. These procedures can improve the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, melasma and freckles.
Q – What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a procedure which uses a chemical solution to peel away the top layers of skin. The skin is left smoother and rejuvenated. There are three main types of chemical peels which include, from the mildest to the strongest, alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peels, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels, and phenol peels.
Q – What is dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is a procedure which mechanically removes the top layer of skin through a method of controlled surgical scraping with a high speed rotating brush. Deeper scars and wrinkles can be treated.
Q – What is laser skin resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a procedure which uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device to vaporize the top layer of skin. Wrinkles, sun damage, acne scarring and pre-cancerous skin can be treated.