Laser Resurfacing

Restore your skin to a youthful, smooth, and healthy appearance with laser resurfacing at our Olympia practice. Dr. Chris Nichols provides this technologically advanced, minimally invasive treatment to address a number of skin conditions and rejuvenate and revitalize your skin.

WHAT IS LASER SKIN RESURFACING?

Laser skin resurfacing, also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization and lasabrasion, can reduce facial wrinkles, scars and blemishes. Newer laser technologies give your plastic surgeon a new level of control in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision, especially in delicate areas.

What laser skin resurfacing can improve:

  • Fine lines or wrinkles around or under your eyes, forehead or mouth
  • Scars from acne or chickenpox
  • Non-responsive skin after a facelift
  • Aged or sun-damaged skin
  • Liver spots
  • Improve your complexion if you have yellowish or grayish skin tones
  • Warts
  • Birthmarks such as linear epidermal nevi
  • Enlarged oil glands on the nose

How does laser resurfacing work?
It’s all about using beams of light. Your surgeon uses the laser to send short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This removes unwanted, damaged skin in a very precise manner one layer at a time.Laser skin resurfacing’s targeted approach means there are fewer problems with hypopigmentation, or a lightening of skin, for procedures such as laser acne scar removal.The laser beam used in laser resurfacing will remove your outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. It simultaneously heats the underlying skin, called the dermis. This action works to stimulate growth of new collagen fibers. As the treated area heals, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer

WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LASER SKIN RESURFACING?

You may not be a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing if you have:

  • Active acne
  • Very dark skin
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Excessive or sagging skin

Patients with darker skin tones have a greater risk of healing with darker pigmentation (hyperpigmentation). This may be minimized by use of a bleaching agent after laser skin resurfacing as well.

Caution: In the wrong or inexperienced hands, laser resurfacing can be dangerous. In addition to seeking a doctor who is trained and qualified in facial plastic surgery, make sure the physician has specific experience with this type of procedure. Even though the laser therapy may ultimately be delivered by another healthcare professional in the surgeon’s office, it will be with the surgeon’s close supervision.

HOW MUCH DOES LASER RESURFACING COST?

The average cost of laser skin resurfacing is $2,509 for ablative and $1,445 for non-ablative, according to 2020 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This average cost is only part of the total price – it does not include other related expenses. Please consult with your plastic surgeon’s office to determine your final fee.

Laser skin resurfacing prices will be based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the procedure, the type of procedure used, the time and effort the treatment requires, as well as geographic office location.

Most health insurance plans do not cover cosmetic surgery or its complications, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.

Laser skin resurfacing costs may include:

  • Surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication

Be sure to ask your surgeon about all costs involved in your procedure. Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a plastic surgeon for laser skin resurfacing, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the procedure.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF A LASER SKIN RESURFACING PROCEDURE?

For best results, your plastic surgeon may first start you on a series of skin treatments to prepare your skin for your laser procedure. Often these treatments begin 6 weeks or more before your scheduled procedure. These skin treatments are customized for your particular skin type to minimize complications and obtain the best result from your laser resurfacing.

Cosmetic laser resurfacing is usually done on an outpatient basis and typically takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

Managing your discomfort:
Laser skin resurfacing can be painful. This is why your doctor may numb the skin with local anesthetics. You may also receive a sedative to help you relax. If you are opting for extensive resurfacing, or if you’re having other cosmetic procedures simultaneously, your surgeon may use a general anesthetic. Afterwards, the doctor will provide painkillers to keep you comfortable. In preparation, your face will be thoroughly cleaned and you might be given eye protection.

Two types of lasers are commonly used in laser resurfacing: carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium. Both work to vaporize superficial, damaged skin cells.

 

ERBIUM LASER RESURFACING with SPECTRUM LASER

This type of laser wrinkle removal is typically used to remove superficial and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on your face, but can also be used on your neck, chest or hands.

What is unique about Erbium?


Because water is such a critical component in the epidermal and dermal tissue, the 2940 nm wavelength
produced by Erbium:YAG lasers is capable of rapidly vaporizing water residing in the skin. This unique
wavelength delivers an almost instant skin ablation while limiting heat damage in the surrounding area. Unlike
CO2, Erbium is a more superficial skin resurfacing tool for polishing the skin. The Erbium:YAG laser is capable of
achieving superior resurfacing results, while offering many advantages to the patient, e.g., reduced anesthetic
requirements, shorter healing time, reduced erythema, less risk of pigmentary change, and more flexibility for
facial skin resurfacing.

What are some indications for Erbium?
Erbium-YAG lasers have been used for laser resurfacing of skin. Example uses include treating acne scarring,
rhytids, skin texture, and melasma. An Erbium Laser Peel can be very successful at reducing or eliminating these
conditions, and, in fact, it is the best way to address the problematic lines that occur around the mouth and eyes

What does it do?
Erbium:YAG laser skin resurfacing is an effective technique for minimally invasive and effective management of
many cutaneous conditions and lesions. Its main indications include treatment of photoaging, rhytids, wrinkles,
and solitary benign and malignant cutaneous lesions.

How does Erbium differ from other laser treatments?
Unlike a CO2 laser, an erbium laser is a gentler approach to the skin, hence why it is named the “micro laser
peel.” The erbium laser is usually more of a superficial treatment than a CO2 laser and will help treat fine lines,
some hyperpigmentation, and mild scarring.

Does it help anti-aging / stimulate collagen?
Ablative and non-ablative Erbium laser resurfacing stimulate collagen reorganization and fibroblast activation
in photoaged skin. Ablative resurfacing, as on the Spectrum laser, will yield more significant results in a shorter
period of time.

What to expect?
Topical numbing cream is typically used to help mitigate any discomfort. Mild erythema (redness) can last a few
hours up to a few days depending on the severity of the treatment. Mild sunburn sensation that may include
some mild discomfort may persist for up to 24-48 hours. Patients may use ice to sooth areas of discomfort. A few
days after mild peeling of the skin will begin, do not pick.

AFTER Laser REsurfacing PROCEDURE

After laser resurfacing is completed, your plastic surgeon will apply specialized dressing to protect the treated tissues. Further dressing changes or specialized topical treatments may be needed to enhance healing.

WHAT RESULTS SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER LASER RESURFACING?

It’s possible that your skin may stay red or pink for up to several months after laser skin resurfacing. You may also be extra sensitive to sunlight for up to a year. Make efforts to minimize sun exposure and use that sunscreen liberally, every day.

Some people who have laser resurfacing may see an immediate difference in the treated skin. That will continue to improve for up to a year. While the effects of laser resurfacing can last for many years, the normal aging process means that wrinkles and expression lines will reoccur. You may repeat laser resurfacing as necessary.

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LEARN MORE

We’d love to chat with you about Laser Resurfacing. We will help you explore your Facial Rejuvenation options at Pearl Plastic Surgery. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!

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