FRACTIONAL LASER SKIN RESURFACING
Laser skin resurfacing is one of the most powerful tools available to surgeons to rejuvenate the skin. It can be used to treat sun damage, wrinkles, age spots (dyschromia), melasma, and several other skin conditions. It involves using a laser that is absorbed by water, either a CO2 laser or Erbium YAG laser, to treat the skin with high energy pulses. When the water in the skin absorbs the energy from the laser, it is ablated, or vaporized, and eventually replaced by new skin that is of a better quality. One of the problems with the first generation of laser skin resurfacing treatments was that in order to get this great result, patients had to wait for 3 months while maintaining a meticulous skin care regimen.
The advent of fractional laser resurfacing addressed this problem of excessive healing time, by treating columns of the skin rather than the entire surface. By treating only columns of skin, the distance that the skin had to migrate into the ablated area of skin was greatly reduced, as was the healing time and risk of scarring. However, the result was also compromised compared to the traditional skin resurfacing.
We address this particular issue by using a fractional laser to create columns of deeply treated tissue followed by an ablative laser to treat the entire surface, so that even the “untreated” areas from traditional fractional laser resurfacing get treated. This gives us the advantages of both the traditional and fractional laser resurfacing.
Our fractional laser skin resurfacing patients are some of the most satisfied patients that we have, which makes it a very rewarding procedure to perform. Visually, we see skin with fewer fine wrinkles, more fullness, and with markedly reduced age spots and discoloration. Patients that have had laser resurfacing are some of the most satisfied patients, having younger looking skin and lasting results.
This first model patient had fine lines and wrinkles, large poress, and sun damaged skin. After a single treatment of fractional and ablative erbium resurfacing, she showed a dramatic improvement in her fine wrinkles as well as general skin thickness and tone.
Our next patient had stubborn sun damage and pigmentation that had been treated with topical retinoids, hydroquinone, and Vitamin C. After a round of fractional and ablative erbium resurfacing, she showed a dramatic improvement in her skin quality, thickness, and pigment changes. We have had great success in the treatment of skin conditions using a combination approach of medical and laser therapy.