Laser Skin Resurfacing

One of the first parts of our body to show aging is our skin. It starts to look dull and tired and present textural changes. There is a wide variety of skin resurfacing treatments such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, and lasers that are designed to improve the quality of the aged skin, creating a more rejuvenated appearance. Of these, laser skin resurfacing treatments at our Austin practice are, without a doubt, the most precise way for our patients from San Antonio and cities in the surrounding area to attain younger-looking skin.

What Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Treat?

Laser skin resurfacing is a versatile approach capable of treating multiple skin concerns, including:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Age spots, freckles, sun spots (brown spots)
  • Sun damage
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Acne scars
  • Loss of collagen
  • Rough texture
  • Acne scars
  • Scarring

Which Is Better Erbium or CO2 Laser?

The two main types of ablative lasers are Erbium and CO2. Erbium is widely regarded as a superior laser for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The ablation and heat each can be tailored to the patient’s skin type and needs independently.
  • CO2 is always ablative and hot, while we can fully control the ablation and heat with Erbium lasers. This feature of the Erbium laser is extremely important to recognize—secondary heat caused by CO2 lasers is usually associated with a longer period of redness after the procedure and a higher risk of both hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation.
  • Erbium lasers do not leave the skin looking waxy because the glands in the skin are preserved.

The customizable and refinement features of the Erbium laser allow for a wide array of choices in how gentle or aggressive the treatment will be. Each level provides a different result, adjustable to fit the lifestyle needs and end desires of the patient.

What Is the Erbium Laser Used for?

In general, the Erbium laser is used for the following resurfacing treatments:

  • NanoLaserPeel™ is the lightest peel and removes about 4 microns of the epidermis for improved light reflection and skin health. This treatment has virtually no downtime.
  • MicroLaserPeel® is a mild removal of the epidermis raging from 10 to 30 microns in depth; it is often combined with Profractional® Erbium because the healing times are simultaneous. Compared to chemical peels, the laser is more predictable and more customizable for different parts of the face and patients of different skin types. The downtime is about 3 to 5 days.
  • ProFractional® Erbium is the most sophisticated way to put an array of small holes into the skin for a wide variety of purposes. The holes induce remodeling in scars and can be used to introduce helpful medications into the skin to speed healing times and aid in collagen stimulation. ProFractional may be done as a series. The downtime is about 3 to 5 days.
  • Contour TRL™ provides full-field Erbium laser resurfacing. This option removes the entire epidermis and part of the dermis for more aggressive wrinkle reduction and skin tightening. Age-related brown spots and pigmentation from sun damage can also be addressed with this treatment. The Contour TRL Erbium laser is often compared to CO2, but Erbium is a much more sophisticated laser. Patients can wear makeup in 7 to 10 days. It takes a few to several weeks for the redness to resolve.

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Can You Benefit From a NanoLaserPeel or MicroLaserPeel?

The Sciton NanoLaserPeel and MicroLaserPeel are ideal treatments for patients who want a result that is better than a light chemical peel or microdermabrasion with a fast recovery and little downtime. The Erbium laser is the most advanced and precise laser available today used for these treatments because the depth of treatment can be determined very accurately.

What does a NanoLaserPeel/MicroLaserPeel do?

These laser peels remove the superficial layer of the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmented spots, leaving behind vibrant and youthful skin.

The NanoLaserPeel usually goes up to about 4 microns, while the MicroLaserPeel goes from 4 to 50 microns. Both of these treatments are confined to the epidermis—the outermost, superficial portion of the skin. One micron is equivalent to 1/10,000 of a centimeter or 1/2,540 of an inch.

Does a NanoLaserPeel/MicroLaserPeel hurt?

Because they are so superficial, these procedures are quick and virtually pain-free, although we apply a topical cream for enhanced comfort.

What happens after a NanoLaserPeel/MicroLaserPeel?

The healing process usually ranges from 2 to 5 days, depending on the depth of the peel. Following the procedure, we recommend the application of a protective ointment for a few days and then a soft moisturizer after that.

How often should you get a NanoLaserPeel/MicroLaserPeel?

Typically, these procedures can be repeated 2 to 3 times, spaced 3 months apart. However, patients may see results after only one procedure. In some cases, a single treatment could be adequate for a full year.

Can You Benefit from a ProFractional Erbium Laser Treatment?

The ProFractional treatment uses Erbium laser energy to create small channels in the skin to stimulate the production of new collagen while preserving the surrounding skin with areas of healthy, untreated skin. These areas of untreated skin create a significant advantage during the healing process by facilitating quick epithelialization.

What is ProFractional laser good for?

ProFractional laser treatments, typically performed on the face, neck, and décolletage, provide the following benefits:

  • Improving skin quality
  • Reducing pore size
  • Smoothing wrinkles
  • Softening scars and other irregularities

These quick treatments take about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how many areas are treated.

How painful is a ProFractional laser treatment?

For most patients these treatments involve moderate pain, although pain tolerances vary. A topical anesthetic cream may be applied prior to treatment to improve the comfort level.

What happens after a ProFractional laser treatment?

Afterward, redness and swelling will vary in degree, depending on how deep the laser treatment was done. Following the procedure, we recommend the application of a protective ointment for a few days and then a soft moisturizer after that.

How long does ProFractional laser take to heal?

Return to normal activities typically takes about 3 to 5 days, depending on how deep the treatment was carried. Most patients need 7 to 10 days of social downtime.

Can ProFractional laser be combined with other treatments?

While the ProFractional laser works very well as a standalone procedure,  it’s often combined with other treatments, which include: 

These combination treatments can add deeper tightening and wrinkle-reducing effects without extra downtime.

Can You Benefit From a Contour TRL Laser Treatment?

Contour TRL (Tunable Resurfacing Laser) is the most advanced laser available on the market. It is completely customizable in terms of depth of ablation on the skin’s surface and the heat delivered to the deeper portion of the skin. Treatments can be tailored individually based on the patient’s skin type and need.

What does Contour TRL treat?

This unique capability enables this laser to be used for a very wide array of treatment indications, including:

  • Mild to deep wrinkles around the mouth and face
  • Acne scars
  • Post-traumatic and surgical scars
  • Pre-cancerous lesions on the skin
  • Pigmented spots on the skin
  • Poor skin texture

Contour TRL treatments usually take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how many areas are being treated.

Is Contour TRL painful?

Anesthesia is achieved with a nerve block and sedation for improved comfort.

What happens after a Contour TRL treatment?

After treatment, redness and swelling will vary in degree, depending on how deep the laser treatment was done. Return to normal activities also will depend on the depth of treatment. Following the procedure, we recommend the application of a protective ointment for a few days and then a soft moisturizer after that. We follow patients very closely after the procedure to make sure they are healing well.

Is Laser Skin Resurfacing Painful?

For the more superficial lasers, treatment is quick and virtually pain-free, although we apply a topical cream for enhanced comfort. For the lasers that target the deeper layers of your skin, a topical anesthetic or local anesthetic will be applied prior to your treatment session to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible during the treatment process.

What Is the Difference Between Laser Skin Resurfacing and Chemical Peel Results?

While chemical peels are often beneficial for creating a smoother skin texture, treating sun damage, and more, laser skin resurfacing is typically a better investment. This is especially the case for those with deep wrinkles, prominent dark spots, and scarring. Laser treatments penetrate further into the skin and create more dramatic changes in its structure, leading to better and longer-lasting results.

Can Laser Treatments Be Combined With Other Nonsurgical Treatments?

Combining laser skin resurfacing with other procedures is an excellent way to refine your results and complete your ideal look. Popular enhancements include:

  • BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®: These injectables smooth away lines caused by repeated muscle movements or facial expressions over time.
  • Dermal fillers: Injectable fillers add volume below the skin to replace fullness lost during the aging process. They can restore or maintain your face’s youthful contours.
  • Forever Young BBL™: Once you achieve your ideal results, regular sessions with this gentle light-based treatment will maintain your results and preserve your skin’s youthful look for as long as possible.

Austin residents considering laser skin resurfacing and other med spa treatments can request an in-person or virtual consultation using the online form. We’ll discuss your cosmetic goals and create a customized treatment plan to achieve them. You can also call our office at (512) 288-8200.

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