Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Laser Resurfacing for the Treatment of Facial Imperfections

Did you ever look in the mirror only to see your facial imperfections, such as wrinkles, dark spots, blemishes and acne scars staring back at you?

We now have a new laser technology that removes the outermost layer of the facial skin very selectively. When the new skin grows back, in five to fourteen days, this skin is smoother and less likely to have such prominent surface irregularities.

The areas that are most effectively treated with this technology are wrinkles, pigment irregularities and acne scars. Other blemishes such as raised moles, broken vessels and large pores are better treated with surgery, other laser technology or skin care programs utilizing Retin A and glycolic acid. Usually a skin care evaluation by the plastic surgeon can effectively identify which techniques are best to correct the problem areas that are of most concern to you.

If laser resurfacing is recommended then often Retin A is applied to the facial skin each evening after removal of makeup, if worn, for several weeks prior to treatment.

Areas of the face to be treated are identified. Choices include the entire face, the cheeks, the area around the mouth and the area around the eyes. Treating large areas often requires anesthesia to sedate the patient. Local areas may be done without anesthesia in select patients.

After treatment, a tape dressing is applied and remains in place for three to seven days. Discomfort is minimal as long as this tape remains in place. Healing is usually complete in five to fourteen days although the skin must be protected from ultraviolet rays for several months after surgery. At first the new skin is more delicate and often reddish in color for two weeks to two months after treatment. Occasionally, this reddish tint may last up to six months usually with more extensive treatment in certain patients with skin types susceptible to this redness.

Laser resurfacing is safest in patients with fair skin and is more likely to have prolonged redness in patients with deep wrinkles. Creams can be used to decrease the redness and makeup can be used to camouflage the redness. Patients with olive or pigmented skin have a risk of discoloration of the skin that is resurfacing the face.

After the new skin heals and has time to mature, the surface is smoother and often has less pigment variations.

With the use of an effective skin care program to help maintain this improved skin surface and of course sun blocks to help prevent further sun damage to the skin, you can now face the mirror with a more vibrant and youthful appearance.

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