I often think about surgery in layers. I start by preparing a youthful foundation, perform skin tailoring, and then top it off with skin resurfacing. To resurface the skin, chemical peels, microneedling, and lasers have emerged as the top options. Your aesthetic goals will determine which process is chosen.
Lasers are an excellent option to improve minor flaws. They help fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes, around the mouth and the forehead. They camouflage scars from chickenpox and acne. Lasers brighten skin, lightening dark spots, age spots, and sun-damaged skin. They can decrease the appearance of enlarged oil glands on the nose and smooth the texture of scars.
In the Works
Lasers are each a concentrated beam of light. When targeted against your skin, the laser will send short pulses of light aimed at irregular areas of skin, removing the outer layer of skin and heating underlying layers to stimulate collagen fiber growth.
It’s All in the Timing
Lasers have become ubiquitous in the cosmetic arena. The choice of laser and its setting will determine how aggressive it is and therefore how long your skin will be red. Downtime can be scaled according to your lifestyle.
Laser genesis is a comfortable procedure that will soften the appearance of rosacea, tighten and tone your skin by increasing collagen production, and decrease your pore size. Although your complexion will be more radiant after one treatment, to truly see collagen changing benefits, it is necessary to undergo six sessions spaced two to four weeks apart. During this time, the heat from the laser will trigger new collagen to develop. The treatment takes 30 minutes and you will experience mild redness for less than an hour. It is the perfect treatment for someone with no downtime!
Scar Go Away
The goal of every plastic surgeon is to minimize and hide scars, but scaring is inevitable if your skin is cut. After a scar has healed, the skin is often red and over a year, the redness fades and the scar becomes a skin-colored line. To help remove the redness quickly, it is possible to use a laser that will target the hemoglobin in the scar. The treatment takes 20 minutes. Most scars require one to three treatment sessions. The laser may be used within the first month of healing.
As a result of genetics, pregnancy, weight change, or your occupation, many patients present complaining of small veins on their legs. These veins can represent a larger vascular problem but often are a cosmetic concern. The veins can be easily treated by injection or laser depending on the diameter of the vessel. When using a laser, the treatment will take 20-30 minutes depending on the number of veins. You will often need one to three treatments. The veins will initially turn red, then brown and then fade away over a month. Who said mothers cannot wear miniskirts!
Brown Age Spots
Secondary to sun exposure and genetics, many of us will develop age spots on our faces, chests, and hands. They often make you look and feel older. The good news is that these spots can be removed using a laser. The 1064 laser will target the melanin in brown spots causing the protein to breakdown and be absorbed by your body. A changing lesion must be first evaluated by your dermatologist. But if the spot is discrete, homogenous and stable, laser therapy is an excellent choice. The laser will be applied in the office causing a small scab to form over the spot. Over a few days to a week, the scab will fall off leading to brighter, younger-looking skin.
Rosacea is a common condition that affects middle-aged women with fair skin. Often your face will appear swollen and red with visible small blood vessels. Although there is not a cure for rosacea, lasers can help lighten your skin and reduce the redness.
CO2 and Erbium Lasers
CO2 lasers have been used for many years. Newer technology introduced a fraxelated approach to skin resurfacing. This means that instead of all skin being lasered, a grid of skin is injured in a controlled fashion. Fraxelated lasers reduce downtime as less skin has to recover. Furthermore, a newer generation of CO2 lasers has the power to deliver very short-pulsed light energy or continuous light beams, which precisely remove thin layers of skin causing minimal damage to surrounding tissue. Erbium lasers are similar to CO2 lasers. They are useful for superficial and moderately deep wrinkles. Both have been shown to dramatically improve skin texture and pigmentation, leading to clearer more radiant skin. They help shrink pore size, improve the texture and tone of your skin, increase collagen, erase brown spots, smooth acne scars and fine wrinkles, tighten aged skin and rejuvenate the neck, chest, and hands. I often combine these lasers with surgical procedures, enhancing your overall result.
Patients often equate laser treatments with sunburns. Depending on the depth of the laser, the burn will be milder or more moderate. Most patients report that their face feels warm for the first two days. As the skin heals, your face can sometimes feel itchy. Your face is often red and swollen for the first two to three days and then scabs form over the lasered areas which will shed as the week progresses.
If you are considering having a laser procedure, please call our office at (212) 600-4109 to arrange for an appointment. Our New York City practice accommodates out of town and international patients who need to travel in for surgery as well as those who are local to Manhattan.
Ulthera is an advanced ultrasound device that is used to treat sagging skin in the face, neck, and brow. The treatment can result in higher eyebrows (which open tired eyes), a tighter jawline, and a smoother neck and chin. Ulthera is a wonderful tool for patients with mild to moderate laxity who are not ready for a surgical correction but wish to hide the signs of aging.
In the Works
Using a focused ultrasound to produce an image of the skin and underlying connective tissue, Ulthera delivers targeted ultrasound waves to the deeper layers of the skin to gently heat and tighten loose skin and stimulate collagen generation and restructuring.
It’s All in the Timing
Due to the non-invasive nature of the procedure, there is no downtime. The procedure takes two hours. Although there may be some initial lifting, maximal improvement occurs three to six months after treatment as the collagen gradually builds.
If you are considering having an Ulthera procedure, please call our office at (212) 600-4109 to arrange for an appointment. Our New York City practice accommodates out of town and international patients who need to travel in for surgery as well as those who are local to Manhattan.