Laser Skin Resurfacing
- Length of treatments: 30-90 minutes depending on size and condition of treated area
- Number of treatments: Noticeable change after 1 treatment, some patients require multiple staged treatments.
- Conditions & Indications: Wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scarring, injury scars, blemishes and warts. (for men and women)
- Results & Benefits: reduction or elimination of scars, wrinkles, blemishes and other skin conditions
- Recovery & side effects: Recovery can take up to 10 days. Patients will experience mild pain and some scabbing and weeping as the skin heals
Laser skin resurfacing is one of the fastest growing trends in anti-aging and cosmetic treatment because it shows dramatic results with less discomfort and shorter recovery time than traditional treatments. Millions of men and women have used laser skin resurfacing to treat a wide variety of conditions
Who can benefit from Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser Skin Resurfacing is safe and proven for men and women of all ages, and while the face is the most commonly treated area, it can also be used on the neck, chest, hands, arms, legs and back.
Patients with the following conditions may be candidates for Laser Skin Resurfacing:
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Sun Damage
- Acne Marks
- Large pores
Types of Laser Skin Resurfacing
CO2 Lasers: CO2 lasers are still the gold standard for skin resurfacing. Today’s lasers use short bursts of light energy (known as ultrapulse) in a predetermined pattern to remove thin layers from the surface of the skin with minimal heat damage.
Fractionated Lasers: Many people confuse the term “fractionated laser” with the brand name Fraxel. Fraxel is actually a type of Erbium Laser (see below). The term “fractionated” simply means that the laser beam is split into many smaller beams to minimize heat damage. Fractionated lasers can be CO2, Erbium or other.
Erbium Lasers (Not Offered at Newvue): A type of laser that offers medium to deep level resurfacing. Can have shorter recovery periods than CO2 lasers, but is generally less effective at removing scars and other surface-level skin conditions.
Fraxel (Not Offered at Newvue): Fraxel is the brand name of a line of erbium lasers that use fractionated laser technology.
The Newvue Approach to Laser Skin Resurfacing
We have 2 dedicated suites in our Bellevue office with highly skilled aestheticians, led by Jennifer Gamble. For laser skin resurfacing, we use the AcuPulse™ Laser from Lumenesis. It delivers delivers outstanding results and has the versatility to be custom configured for a variety of different skin conditions and types.
With SuperPulse technology, AcuPulse has the ability to deliver high energy in short pulse durations. SuperPulse technology has an optimized ablation/coagulation ratio. Because AcuPulse uses minimal energy, there is less thermal damage thereby reducing the risk of side effects and resulting in a more comfortable treatment and recovery experience for the patient.
Dr. Min and his staff take a conservative approach that is focused on setting realistic expectations, preserving patient safety and delivering outstanding natural results.
How it works
As skin ages, the collagen fibers become damaged and tangled, resulting in wrinkles and loose skin. The goal of laser resurfacing is not simply to “burn away” blemishes, but to restore the skin’s natural elasticity and tone.
The CO2 laser short but intense pulses of light that create microthemal zones: small areas of intense heat on and just under the skin. These microthermal zones selectively destroy dead and damaged skin cells. This effectively jumpstarts your body’s natura healing process.
New skin cells are produced, which push up and replace the dead and destroyed cells. With these new cells comes new collagen. The appearance of wrinkles, lines and scars is dramatically improved, and the results are lasting, because they come from the body’s own healthy collagen.
Your Initial Laser Skin Resurfacing Consultation
Your doctor and aestheticians will discuss Laser Resurfacing as part of your skin consultation at our Bellevue clinic. Our goal will be to understand your desired outcome and provide you with clear expectations around the details of the treatment and the results you can expect.
Your Newvue team will let you know the approximate duration and number of treatments it will take to achieve your goals based on your skin type, the nature of your skin condition, and the size of the affected area.
Certain skin types, such as deeply tanned or black skin may be noticeably lightened and require 6-9 months to regain normal skin pigmentation. Your aesthetician will also advise you of certain conditions that may prevent you from getting VBeam or prevent it from being optimally effective, such as:
- Certain skin disorders
- Candidates taking certain medications
- Patients prone to scarring
- Metal Screws in the treatment area
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Skin Trauma
- Very dark skin tones (may be better suited to Erbium or other types of laser resurfacing)
Safety & Risks of Laser Skin Resurfacing
The AcuPulse by Lumenesis is FDA approved for all skin types. Dr. Min and his staff have years of experience performing laser skin resurfacing, and patient safety is always our number one priority. However, we want to ensure that our patients are fully appraised of the potential risks and side effects that can result from this procedure:
- Burns or other injuries from the laser’s heat
- Changes in the skin’s pigmentation, including areas of darker or lighter skin
- Reactivating herpes cold sores
- Bacterial infection
Prior to Your Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
You may want to shave the area you want treated a day in advance of your treatment to minimize any discomfort from razor burn, and you should avoid intense sun exposure or tanning.
Your Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
A small area can be treated in minutes, and even large areas rarely take more than an hour. After your arrival at our Bellevue office, you will be shown into our private Laser suite. If necessary, the treatment area will be shaved (you can also shave it yourself prior to arrival). The esthetician will provide you with eye protection and may apply a cold gel to the area that will be treated and your treatment will begin.
Pain is minimal. You will feel a sensation like a small rubber band being snapped against your skin followed by a gentle, warm sensation.
After Your Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
You will wake up in the recovery room with a bandage on your face that should be worn for the first 24 hours. You will be given detailed instructions for postoperative care which will include regular cleaning and application of an ointment such as petroleum jelly. Treated areas generally heal completely within 2-3 weeks.
It’s normal to have swelling after laser skin resurfacing, which Dr. min may manage with steroids. Ice packs can also help reduce swelling, which generally peaks 48 hrs after surgery.
You may feel itching or stinging for 12 to 72 hours after the procedure, and your skin will likely peel. It is important to avoid scratching or picking scabs and to avoid makeup until skin heals.
The most important parts of your recovery involve avoiding sun exposure (wear hats and use sunscreen) and keeping the new skin moisturized.
You can expect all redness to resolve after 2-4 months.
Here’s a timeline of a typical recovery:
First 24-48 hours:
- Mild discomfort (treatable)
- Avoid activity and sun exposure
After 5-7 days:
- Side effects dissipating
- Return to activities, but minimize sun exposure, use of makeup or harsh lotions
After 2-3 week:
- Skin is healed
- Resume all normal activities
- Continue using sun protection
- Redness fades
- Results completely visible
You can expect dramatic results that are worth waiting for. As your skin naturally repairs itself and replaces dead and damaged cells with new cells that have healthy collagen, your skin will feel smoother, tighter and more vibrant. Your skin tone will be radiant and even, allowing your true beauty to shine through.