Skin Resurfacing

Skin resurfacing is an effective procedure for patients with lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, or superficial facial scars such as acne scarring that does not respond to gentler treatments. Milder therapies produce more modest results with minimal risk and discomfort. More dramatic therapies produce more pronounced and longer-lasting benefits, but with greater risk, discomfort and recovery time. Fortunately, there are several technologies and techniques delivering good wrinkle-erasing results.

Pacific Coast Cosmetic & Laser Medical Center, Inc. offers the following skin resurfacing options:

Non-wounding (nonablative) laser resurfacing: (IPL™) Heat energy from the laser damages the collagen beneath the skin and stimulates the growth of new collagen, which tightens underlying skin and improves skin tone and appearance. This approach requires a series of treatments. A topical skin-numbing agent may be used for pain control, or none may be needed. The skin may be temporarily red or swollen. Patients may be able to resume normal activities right away.

Wounding (ablative) laser resurfacing: (C02 Laser Resurfacing) The laser destroys the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, and heats the dermis underneath, leading to collagen destruction and regrowth. The treated area is numbed; anesthesia is sometimes used. After the procedure, the skin will be raw, swollen, itchy and painful for a few days. Recovery at home may require one to two weeks. The results often are dramatic and can last for many years.

Fractional laser resurfacing: (Fraxel™) The laser destroys the skin in thin, tightly spaced columns instead of over broad areas. This approach helps speed the healing. Results often are nearly as good as with nonfractional laser resurfacing, but several treatments may be necessary to achieve those results.

Chemical peel: (Obagi® Blue Peel) A chemical placed on the skin destroys the top layers. The depth of the treatment usually matches the results, with deep peels providing the most dramatic, long-lasting results. Deeper treatments also require longer recovery, perhaps a week or two at home.

Dermabrasion: A small motorized device with an abrasive wheel or brush is used to remove the outer layers of skin. When the skin grows back, it’s usually smoother and younger looking. This procedure may require numbing the skin. Recovery time depends on the extent of the procedure.

At your consultation with Dr. Heinrich he will examine your areas of concern and with your input determine the best treatment method based on your aesthetic goal and the amount of downtime that works for you. A patient’s attitude and expectations about skin resurfacing results are important. You will be most satisfied with the results if you have realistic expectations.

Recovery time varies for each treatment. Results vary depending on which procedure is performed.