What is Skin Retexturizing?
By using fractional ablative resurfacing technology, this procedure retexturizes the surface of your skin by vaporizing micro-columns of tissue. This process allows the formation of new, healthy skin cells and leads to a smoother complexion and more even pigmentation. Just one treatment can significantly improve the appearance of severe skin damage, such as deep wrinkles, enlarged pores, and pitted acne scars. Compared to traditional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, fractional ablative skin resurfacing shows similar results with far less downtime. Our retexturizing treatments produce significant improvement in skin texture, wrinkle reduction, and the appearance of acne scarring.
Another retexturizing procedure available to our patients is the Halo laser. The Halo laser is more customizable, using both ablative and non-ablative technology, which we can fine-tune to produce the most desirable results. Symptoms of aging and sun damage, which manifest in the epidermis, benefit most from the use of ablative treatment, while non-ablative is most useful in the lower layers or dermis. One of our board-certified dermatologists will walk you through the details of the procedure during your consultation and recommend which option would best fit your skin type, condition, and treatment goals.
What is the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers?
Ablative laser treatment uses a laser wavelength to vaporize microscopic columns of tissue deep in the skin. It is a more aggressive procedure used to treat more severe skin damage. The newest ablative lasers use a fractionated light beam that preserves columns of normal skin which aids in healing, and shortens the downtime.
Non-ablative laser treatment uses a different type of light beam which penetrates deep in the skin to stimulate new collagen production, such as in our 1550 fractionated laser. The surface skin is intact resulting in faster healing than ablative laser treatment, but usually requires a series of treatments.
How long does a treatment take?
Treatment of the full face with any of the resurfacing lasers takes about 40 minutes – 1 hour. Typically patients arrive an hour early for application of a topical numbing cream 1 hour prior to the procedure.
How many treatments are needed?
The ablative laser resurfacing usually only requires one treatment. As opposed to our non-ablative fractionated laser which typically requires 3-5 treatments for mild sun damage and 5 treatments for acne scars, depending on severity.
How long will it take to heal from the laser treatment?
Healing takes about 1-2 weeks for ablative laser resurfacing. After one week, patients can wear makeup and go back to daily exercise routine. You will see swelling the first two weeks after treatment but this is the immediate effect of the laser treatment. New collagen production does not begin for 3-6 weeks after your treatment and visible improvement is usually seen by an average of a month to 3 months post treatment. A non-ablative laser is usually back to normal in 48 hours and the Halo laser (combined ablative & non-ablative heals in 3-5 days.
What are the side effects of Skin Retexturizing procedures?
Most patients do not have any complications. In patients with darker skin types, temporary bronzing of the skin or brown spots can occur. The pigmentation usually resolves in 4 weeks or less. There can be a rare risk of skin infection with herpes simplex, if you are prone, or bacterial infection so follow your medical provider’s instructions carefully. You may be prescribed a medication prior to your treatment to virtually eliminate this risk.
When will I see my new skin results?
You will see initial results between 7-10 days after your laser resurfacing treatment, but your skin will continue to improve over time. Most patients see the greatest improvement in the first 2-3 weeks. This is followed by a dermal regeneration phase that continues to improve for months post your treatment.
Is it painful?
Most patients tolerate the procedure very well after application of topical anesthetic cream plus oral over the counter pain relievers (Tylenol). Patients who are anxious may benefit from a short acting anti-anxiety medication right before treatment. We can also provide nitrous oxide gas for those who request it.
How long will my results last?
Your laser results will last for years to come, but you should continue to keep your skin protected at all times using UVA/UVB sunscreen to protect your new, healthy skin.
How do I get started?
Reach out to us today by calling (206) 267-2100.
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