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Nov 14

Acne Scarring – Laser Resurfacing

Monday, November 14, 2011 @ 06:32 am Comments Off on Acne Scarring – Laser Resurfacing

by Dr. R. Genesis Most people recall some problems with acne as adolescents, while there are those who were afflicted with extreme break-outs through their most self-conscious years.  You may have “grown out of your acne”, only to realize that your face is permanently pitted and mottled with red-brown spots (hyperpigmentation).  The absence of active break-out at this point might be such a relief that the residual pitted scarring and hyperpigmentation is perceived as improvement.  By now, some patients may have inquired into “scar reduction” and have been told of a hospital Dermabrasion or CO2 Laser Peel, both under general anesthetic, and both of which are known to be very painful and are associated with approximately 30 days of home recovery.  There is a place for deep aggressive peels, however, there are other options that are also highly effective, performed as an outpatient without general anesthetic, and involve less recovery time. One such procedure is known as Erbium-Yag Laser Resurfacing.  Some might have heard the term Microlaser Peel.  The Erbium-Yag laser represents a great technological advance over traditional CO2 laser peels in that the effect on skin is neat and precise removal of a specified surface thickness with minimum heating to the underlying skin, leaving it vital and stimulated.  The result is removal of the rugged surface with rapid regeneration of the underlying dermal layer to produce a new skin surface, much smoother, more uniform in color, and brighter, within seven to fourteen days.   And that is not the end of it.  Over the next 6 months there will be continued “building” of the underlying skin further “plumping out” the depressed scars, and co-incidentally, the fine lines and creases of age!   The procedure has a good safety record, especially since there is no requirement for general anesthetic.   The patient participates in the decision-making about depth according to recovery time limitations and expectations.  The more superficial the peel, the shorter is the recovery, and vice verse.  Some would prefer to repeat light peels while others will do one moderate – deeper peel and be done with it.  Acne patients are generally very pleased with reduction of their scarring, without resorting to the frightening process that has been traditionally known to them.  The procedure is performed by a full-time cosmetic laser medicine doctor. This skin restoration treatment promotes the growth of newer skin cells while removing the superficial damaged layers. The laser light is absorbed by the water in your skin and instantaneously vaporizes a very small amount of tissue, of a precise depth. This stimulates, in turn, a cascade of growth responses within the skin that translates to much greater density of collagen, elastin, and water. The skin becomes more uniform in colour, brighter, smoother, and more toned. An anesthetic cream applied before the procedure numbs the surface of the skin to increase comfort, although the microlaser peel is not particularly uncomfortable to do, even without anesthetic. Using safe, proven technology, microlaser peels redefine what laser skin treatments are all about. The early benefit of the micolaser peel is due to dramatic exfoliation of the tough dull outer layer of the skin to reveal renewed smooth, bright and even skin beneath. The delayed benefit of the microlaser peel is due to intense stimulation of the underlying layer as a result of the peel, followed by rebuilding of the collagen fabric of the skin. This evolves gradually between 1 to 6 months. Years of sun damage, aging, genetics, and environmental insults resolve, turning the hands of the clock back in time. As mentioned, the treatment itself is not particularly uncomfortable, and neither is the downtime. The patient and doctor agree to an acceptable downtime, and the depth of peel is set accordingly. Downtime typically varies between 1 – 5 days of redness followed by a peel and normalization of appearance. Of course, it is best to avoid the sun for a few weeks afterward. The favourable cosmetic outcome after microlaser peel is a product of depth of peel and number of peels. As opposed to the deep peel with its inherent risks, the microlaser peel is much less risky, with much more practical post treatment downtime. The cosmetic improvement after a single deep peel parallels that seen after a short series of microlaser peels. The number of treatments required to achieve your goals is quite individual and flexible in number and time. The consumer has so many choices now in modalities of rejuvenation. The great trend to young looking attractive skin with minimal invasiveness and downtime has been the impetus for ever-more non-ablative options. These options are diverse and numerous, but the gold standard of skin rejuvenation remains the resurfacing approach. The novel and advantageous feature of the microlaser peel compared to historical deep peels is the realization that it is not necessary to ablate below the epidermis to bring about deep dermal rejuvenation. So the microlaser peel is the compromise between the old and the new. It does not disturb the boundary between the epidermis and dermis and hence it is dubbed the “non-ablative” peel, exploiting the powerful advantage of resurfacing while retaining a short, safe, and comfortable downtime. Sciton Inc.:Licence # 39385 Sciton Profile Laser System.  Indications: It is designed for use in surgical applications requiring the ablation, vaporization, incision, excision, and coagulations of soft tissue in medical specialties.

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