Fort Lauderdale Laser Skin Resurfacing
Advances in the development of Laser Skin Resurfacing have forever changed the way we perceive our appearance. Though getting older isn’t a choice, with this dynamic new procedure, looking older is. For many people, laser skin resurfacing is now the preferred choice for eliminating or reducing:
- fine facial lines, such as crow’s feet and smile lines;
- age spots and hyperpigmentation;
- sun damaged skin; and
- acne scars and other skin irregularities.
Laser skin resurfacing can replace these common skin problems with smooth new skin that
offers an invigorating appearance.
Such dreams can now be a reality with CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) laser technology. Laser skin resurfacing can be performed on the entire face or just certain areas, such as around the eyes or mouth. Laser skin resurfacing can usually be performed on an outpatient basis. Take the next step: call us at (954) 565-7575 or toll-free at (800) 274-LIPO today to schedule your appointment at the South Florida Center for Cosmetic Surgery.
It works by focusing an intense beam of light energy on specific skin areas. The laser light is emitted from a wand that is passed over the treatment area — this light energy gently removes your outer layers of skin (the epidermis and portions of the dermis) so fresh new healthy skin can grow in its place.
While laser resurfacing will diminish deep wrinkles and facial skin irregularities, it is often used in combination with a weekend facelift when the mid face and neck are also sagging. The two procedures, used in combination, can help to restore both the tone and texture of aged and sundamaged skin.
In most cases you will experience some mild swelling and discomfort immediately following your procedure. However, with ice packs and medication prescribed by your surgeon, most of this discomfort can be minimized. When your laser skin resurfacing procedure is complete, your surgeon may apply creams or ointments to your skin until it is healed. Some surgeons will choose to place a protective covering over the treated areas to protect them during the first 5 – 10 days of your recovery.
After this period your surgeon will remove the bandage and may apply a thin layer of ointment to your skin. At this time your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions about how to wash and care for your treated skin. In the days immediately following your procedure, you may notice that some small crusts or flakes have developed on your treated area. It’s important not to pick these flakes off because it may leave scars. They normally will disappear by themselves after about 10 days.
In the weeks immediately following laser skin resurfacing, your skin will normally remain bright pink or red. Your surgeon may prescribe medication so this color will subside more quickly. The pinkness in your skin color can last to some degree for up to six months. However, most women are able to apply makeup after two weeks so the pinkness is less noticeable. In rare cases, your skin may be too sensitive to wear makeup. If this happens, ask your surgeon if he or she can recommend an alternative type of makeup that may not cause your skin to react.
You will want to protect your skin’s treated areas from the sun for several months following your procedure until your skin color has returned to normal. Using sun protection lotions will help you maintain the positive results you have achieved with laser skin resurfacing, and help you avoid any new damage to your skin.
If you must be in the sun, wear hats that will shade your face and use sun block lotions with an SPF of 15 or higher. If laser skin resurfacing was performed in the areas around your eyes, wear high-quality sunglasses with UVA and 100% UVB filters.
Final results from laser skin resurfacing treatments may take several months. However, once the pinkness fades away, most women notice dramatic improvements in the smoothness and fresh feel of their skin. Though your results will be long lasting, they may not be permanent. In the years following your treatment, you may still develop the lines and wrinkles that result from aging and natural facial movements.
Laser skin resurfacing treatments can usually be repeated throughout your lifetime. However, by taking basic measures to protect your skin, you should be able to make the results you achieve through your initial treatment last for many years.
As with any surgical procedure, Laser Skin Resurfacing has some potential risks and complications that you should be aware of. Complications tend to be minimal and infrequent when this procedure is performed by an experienced Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. However, because every one is different in regards to their body chemistry and ability to heal, it isn’t possible to predict the exact results you will obtain from laser skin resurfacing. Potential risks associated with this procedure include burns, scarring and noticeable lightening or darkening of the skin. Laser resurfacing also has the potential to activate herpes infections and, in rare cases, other types of infections. If your healing is abnormal or very slow, or you show greater than usual scarring, additional corrective treatments may be required.
Below you will find a list of frequent questions about Laser Skin Resurfacing. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please write to us, be sure to include the procedure name and your question!
- Who is a good candidate for laser resurfacing?
- How does laser resurfacing compare with microdermabrasion or peels?
- How is the procedure done?
- How do I prepare for this procedure?
- How long does the procedure take?
- What form of anesthesia is used?
- Can I return home the same day?
- How long before I can return to normal activity?
Who is a good candidate for laser resurfacing?
The ideal laser resurfacing candidate will have moderate to significant wrinkles, but no significant sagging or jowls. While laser resurfacing treats the surface wrinkles, a full facelift or mini-facelift would be used alone or in combination with laser resurfacing to treat the sagging facial skin.
How does laser resurfacing compare with microdermabrasion or peels?
Laser resurfacing is more aggressive and addresses deeper wrinkles or scars than most other skin treatments. Light chemical peels and microdermabrasion treat fine wrinkles and surface irregularities.
How is the procedure done?
Using a CO2 laser, you surgeon will direct a beam of concentrated light on the facial lines, scars and/or wrinkles you’re having treated. As your surgeon moves the laser back and forth, it’s pulse gently vaporizes the upper layers of your skin and effectively wipes them away. The laser is absorbed by the water present in human skin, and essentially produces a mild, controlled burn. As new skin cells develop during the healing process, a smooth, fresh layer of skin slowly emerges. With a CO2 laser, surgeons can be very precise in terms of the laser strength and exposure time given to the treated areas. Although laser skin resurfacing is still a new procedure, it has shown to result in less bleeding, bruising and short-term discomfort than other skin resurfacing methods.
How do I prepare for this procedure?
Not every plastic surgeon who offers laser skin resurfacing has the same skill level. So it is very important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience with this procedure. One step you can take when choosing a physician is to find out if he or she has clearance to perform resurfacing procedures with a CO2 laser at an accredited hospital. Even if surgeons typically perform the procedure in a surgical suite located at their office, it’s still a good idea to find out if they have this certification.
Once you’ve selected a qualified surgeon, he or she will perform a thorough examination and speak to you about your medical history, your goals and expectations. Be sure to ask a lot of questions. Your surgeon should explain your procedure and recovery period to you in detail, as well as any potential risks. Depending on your individual procedure, your surgeon may or may not recommend a skin treatment routine for you to follow prior to your surgery.
You must stop smoking, taking aspirin or taking diet pills at least two weeks prior to the procedure. If you are at or over age 40, an electrocardiogram will be required.
How long does the procedure take?
The time required for laser skin resurfacing varies a great deal. For minimal resurfacing the procedure may take as little as a few minutes. For more involved procedures where a larger area of skin is being treated, the procedure may take up to 1.5 hours. If the skin imperfections being treated are exceptionally deep, your surgeon may recommend that your resurfacing be performed in two or more stages.
What form of anesthesia is used?
In most cases, laser skin resurfacing procedures are performed using local anesthesia and a sedative. This means you will be awake during your procedure, but very relaxed. Any discomfort you may feel will be very minimal. For more extensive and lengthy procedures, your surgeon may choose to use general anesthesia performed by a Professional M.D. Anesthesiologist.
Can I return home the same day?
Laser skin resurfacing procedures are typically done on an outpatient basis, which means there is no overnight hospital stay required and you can return home after your procedure. Be sure to make arrangements for someone to drive to you home after your procedure, because you will be recovering from the effects of local or general anesthesia and any sedatives your surgeon may have given you.
How long before I can return to normal activity?
You should allow yourself 7-10 days before returning to normal physical activity. During this period you may have facial bandages and be required to apply ice packs or ointments to your treated areas. Any scabbing or flaking of the skin is usually present during this 10-day period, so many patients choose to stay home. After this 10-day period most patients are able to return to their normal activities. However, your surgeon will recommend that you avoid exposure to the sun for some time after this period. If you must be outside for prolonged periods of time, it is recommended that you wear hats that shade your face and wear sunscreen lotions with an SPF of 15 or higher.