What is Ablative Laser Resurfacing?
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Laser treatments are a modern solution for common skin concerns. There are two basic types of laser treatments: ablative, meaning the top layer of the skin is removed, and non-ablative, which works by heating the underlying tissue without damaging the skin’s surface. Ablative laser resurfacing is an incredibly effective treatment for signs of aging, as it offers you a fresh, rejuvenated, new surface layer of the skin.
Ablative laser treatments are suitable for a wide range of skin types and concerns. Typically, patients choose this treatment as a solution for various signs of aging. Ablative laser resurfacing can be used for:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Age spots and sunspots
- Uneven skin tone or texture
- Scars (including acne scars or chickenpox scars)
While the treatment is effective for these concerns, it will not improve loose or sagging skin.. Renuvion helium ion plasma treatment may also be used for resurfacing, like a laser. It will tighten the skin more than a laser does while improving wrinkles.
Before you undergo ablative resurfacing treatments, Dr. Angelchik will evaluate your skin and health history to make sure that it is a safe and suitable treatment for you. People with darker skin types may not be candidates for ablative laser resurfacing and alternative treatments may be recommended in order to avoid skin pigmentation abnormalities. You will be asked to follow instructions before your procedure, such as taking antiviral medication and minimizing sun exposure.
Anesthesia is administered prior to the procedure to ensure your comfort, and protective eyewear will be worn. General or local anesthesia may be used depending on the type of treatment and patient related factors such as health history and concomitant procedures being performed at the time of resurfacing. Dr. Angelchik will then direct the laser to the treatment area. Ablative laser treatments are very precise, so the energy may be directed to specific targeted areas. Dr. Angelchik most commonly uses the Sciton erbium: YAG laser or the Renuvion device both of which use thermal (or heat) energy to remove the damaged upper layer of the skin. The laser works with light energy. The Renuvion uses a Helium ion plasma beam. The procedure takes between 30– 90 minutes, depending mostly on the size of the area being treated and the technology being used.
After the procedure is complete, antiseptic ointment will be applied to the treatment area, and you may return home to rest and recover.
The skin will be red and sensitive, comparable to a severe sunburn. Dr. Angelchik will provide instructions on caring for the skin as you recover, including methods to clean and moisturize the healing area and to help manage discomfort. Pain medications and ice packs are typically used. It’s important to avoid picking or scratching the skin during the initial healing process.
In 5-10 days usually, the open areas will heal and the skin barrier is restored. .. Redness is typically present after resurfacing and may last weeks to months depending on a number of factors. It’s important to avoid sun exposure after resurfacing in order to avoid hyperpigmentation. You can apply makeup to conceal any remaining redness after about the first two weeks have passed.
Because signs of aging, especially fine lines and wrinkles, continue to progress as you age, ablative laser resurfacing is not considered permanent. This is true of most anti-aging procedures, including surgical treatments such as a facelift. To help maintain results, minimize sun exposure and follow a suitable skin care routine. You may receive repeated treatments or utilize other non-surgical procedures such as dermal fillers or Botox to maintain a youthful appearance.
To learn more about ablative laser resurfacing, call Dr. Angelchik to schedule a consultation. He will help determine if this procedure is the right solution for your concerns. Call our Glendale, Arizona office at (602) 517-0077 or request a consultation online.