Laser Resurfacing and removing of tattoos, spots and wrinkles
Laser Skin Rejuvenation – Treatment of Facial Wrinkles
“Wrinkles” about the face can be divided into three categories. Loose folds of skin are generally best treated with facelift, eyelidplasty and browlift procedures, whether performed open or endoscopically. Fine wrinkling or skin texture changes can be treated with microdermabrasion. This can be performed in the office with minimal, if any recovery time. Follow-up home skin care treatments help maintain these results. Deep wrinkles (frown lines, laugh lines) about the eyes, mouth or forehead have traditionally been treated with deep chemical peeling (phenol) or dermabrasion.
Laser skin resurfacing is a newer treatment for these deeper lines. An updated version of the carbon dioxide laser or Erbium:YAG laser is used which delivers extremely short pulses of laser light. This allows precise control of the tissue effect. The laser is used to plane away a thin layer of skin about the wrinkle lines to create a more even surface after healing. After treatment, the skin will be raw for 5-7 days and then red for approximately 2-4 weeks or sometimes longer. The response to the treatment varies with your skin type and the depth of lines treated. Advantages compared with traditional chemical peels and dermabrasion include a more predictable depth of tissue effect and much shorter recovery time. These lines are sometimes treated with collagen or fat injection which provides a temporary improvement. Forehead lines can also be treated with endoscopic brow lift or Botox injection for effective frown line removal.
The newer resurfacing lasers allow greatly reduced recovery time compared with older lasers and chemical peels while providing excellent improvement in wrinkle lines. Nonablative laser treatments, such as CoolTouch are also available. These allow reduction of early wrinkles in multiple treatments without recovery time.
Treatment is generally performed in the office under local anesthesia or local with sedation. You will feel well enough to return home after the treatment. The treated area is covered with ointment or a protective dressing. Starting the day after treatment, the area is washed several times daily. Usual activities are permitted so long as the treated area can be kept clean although most people avoid being seen until makeup can be applied. Approximately one week after treatment, makeup can be used to camouflage the treated area until redness subsides.
Decorative tattoos have a history dating back at least 5000 years. The desire to remove them has probably existed Just as long. Early attempts to remove tattoos have had less than desirable results. The use of dermabrasion or C02 lasers have left behind scars in place of the tattoo.
The advent of Q-Switched lasers has permitted the removal of most tattoo inks with a very low risk of scarring. The laser can significantly lighten or remove many tattoo inks, and is particularly advanced in the removal of blue, black, green and red inks.
The laser removes tattoo ink with the energy of light. Just as natural sunlight is made up of light wavelengths of many colors, a laser is a device which is designed to produce one or more specific wavelengths of light. These wavelengths are either absorbed, reflected or simply passed through objects. Tattoo ink is removed by using a specific wavelength which passes through the skin but is absorbed by the ink. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to destruct, where it is then removed by the body’s natural filtering systems. Medical research has taught us which wavelengths of light to use and specifically how to deliver the laser’s output to best remove tattoo ink.
The laser uses a light wavelength which passes through skin, but is absorbed by most inks. The laser also delivers the light in very short, high intensity pulses for maximum ink destruction. The use of this specific combination of wavelength and rapidly pulsed light results in minimal damage to the skin while providing maximum tattoo ink removal.