Skin Lasers Pasadena
Laser skin resurfacing has been used for decades to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne scars, and balance skin tone. Traditionally, the treatment was intense, with a long recovery period, and only patients with very fair skin could have the treatment performed.
Fortunately, advances in recent years have led to the next step in laser resurfacing, the Erbium YAG laser. It has less pain during treatment and has significantly faster healing times than other resurfacing lasers. These days, taking two weeks off to recover from a short laser treatment is almost impossible.
While results will vary depending on skin types and other considerations, laser resurfacing usually results in improvement in skin texture and quality. Common reasons for treatment include:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Irregular pigmentation (color) in the skin
- Sun damage
- Acne scarring
- Age spots
The Erbium YAG laser works by being absorbed by the water in your superficial skin cells, which causes them to vaporize. Because this is done in controlled fashion, only a tiny fraction of skin is affected. This allows for precise treatments to remove wrinkles and damaged skin while allowing new skin to regrow quickly in its place. Unlike CO2 lasers, it has fewer side effects and can work quite well on darker skin types.
If you have sun damaged skin, with poor texture and tone, or if you have acne scars, surgical scars, or traumatic scars, laser resurfacing might be the best treatment for you. In order to schedule a treatment, simply call (626) 447-3223 today or contact us electronically to see if Erbium YAG resurfacing is for you.
Preparation and Procedure
Laser resurfacing treatments are usually done outside the summer months in order to allow for greater comfort and safety. If you tan easily, laser treatments can cause pigmentation changes in the skin, and this risk is exacerbated by significant sun exposure. Therefore, sun protection is important before and after your laser treatments. Be sure to avoid exposure to sun and tanning beds prior to treatment.
Be sure to discuss and disclose any healing disorders you may have, such as those caused by diabetes, connective tissue diseases, or radiation and chemotherapy. In addition, if you have a history of herpes simplex virus cold sores around your mouth or on your face, be sure to disclose this prior to treatment so that you may be adequately treated. Other important medical history items to reveal to your provider include allergies to medications, a history of isotretinoin (Accutane) use within 12 months of treatment, and any history of keloids, scarring, or skin diseases you may have.
In order to maximize your results, you may begin a regimen including skin brightening cream(s) and retinol(s). You should always wear sunscreen, and this will be particularly important in the week before and weeks after each treatment.
The procedure itself is usually fairly quick, taking 15-30 minutes per session. By the time of your procedure, you will have had the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals, risks and benefits of the procedure, and expectations after your treatment. Most patients do not need any type of anesthesia for the mild discomfort during treatment. You will need to wear eye protection during the treatment, which usually consists of specialized goggles that are opaque. If any other forms of protection are necessary, they will be discussed with you.
Each pulse of the laser can feel like a rubber band snapping against the skin, often with a sensation of heat. Cool air will be used to help with any discomfort you may feel during the procedure. Once complete, your face will be gently cleansed and a layer of our treatment serum will be applied.
Immediately after your laser resurfacing procedure, your face will be carefully assessed and a post-treatment topical ointment applied. You will need to use this post-treatment topical to protect your skin and face for two days after the procedure. Most people experience a mild sunburn sensation Depending on your skin type and your cosmetic goals, additional skin care may be recommended.
Mild redness (erythema) will be present in the treatment area after the laser treatment, and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. A few days after the procedure, mild skin peeling usually begins. This is similar to the effects of a sunburn. Do not rub or scratch, and do not use exfoliants or loofah sponges. Avoid shaving the area for 48 hours after treatment.
Most patients can begin to wear makeup withiin 3 days, and can use almost any type of skin care within 10 days. Sun protection, with the use of sunscreen that is broad-spectrum SPF 30+, is critical to achieving the best possible result.
Typically, the procedure is repeated 3-5 times at intervals of 4-6 weeks.