When it comes to visible aging, our skin is our biggest betrayer. When we are younger, rapid and consistent production of collagen and elastin helps to keep it soft, supple, and tight against the contours of our face, giving us a fresh and youthful appearance. However, as we age this production slows down. When this is combined with the effects of sun damage and other environmental factors, as well as habits like consuming alcohol and smoking, it can cause our skin to age too. Not only does it become drier and less elastic than before, but it can also develop lines and wrinkles as well as areas of discoloration.
While cosmetics can be used to hide many of these issues, many people don’t want to use makeup to cover imperfections and, in many cases, too much can cause skin problems as well as making you look even older than you really are. There are also many treatments that claim to be able to address the effects of aging, but one of the most effective is laser skin resurfacing.
Laser skin resurfacing is a new approach to targeting aging skin with a view to eliminating problems and creating a fresher, rejuvenated appearance. It works by utilizing the thermal element of laser technology. Firstly, the laser is used to destroy the outermost layers of the skin which bear the most significant effects of the aging process, such as lines and patches of hyperpigmentation. Removing this skin reveals fresher, newer-looking skin beneath which automatically gives you a more youthful appearance. However, laser skin resurfacing goes a step further. The thermal energy used in the laser treatment also penetrates the deeper layers of the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, so that the new skin that forms is firmer, stronger, and smoother.
Laser resurfacing is non-invasive and highly effective. It is most often performed on the skin of the face, though an increasing number of patients are now choosing to target other highly-visible areas of the body, such as the neck, decolletage, and the back of the hands. Some patients find that a single treatment enables them to achieve a satisfactory result. However, patients with more significant damage to their skin may require a course of laser resurfacing appointments to make the difference that they desire. How many sessions you will be recommended to have will be discussed with you at your consultation appointment.
Laser skin resurfacing is a significant procedure, and patients should be prepared for their recovery to take a number of days. Before you leave, the targeted areas will be bandaged to protect them, and you’ll be given instructions on how to change these. 24 hours after your laser skin resurfacing treatment you will need to start cleaning the targeted area and again, you will be given instructions on how to do this. You should expect to have to clean the area between 4 and 5 times each day.
Swelling and discomfort are normal, and you may be given medications to help you manage these. However, around 5 days after your procedure the skin will start to become very dry and peel away, and this will reveal the new skin beneath. Overall, healing time after skin resurfacing can take up to 21 days and during this time, it’s essential that you follow the post-procedure instructions given to you by our cosmetic surgery team.
For more information about laser skin resurfacing, don’t hesitate to call Kenneth Bermudez, MD in San Fransico at (415) 712-1800 for more information on cosmetic surgery.