Comprehensive Skin Rejuvenation Procedures
Laser Resurfacing (Wrinkles/Dented Scars)
Treatment for facial wrinkles and acne and chicken pox scars has always included the use of resurfacing techniques. Prior to the use of lasers, physicians used dermabrasion or strong chemical peels to smooth out wrinkles and dented scars. Although these procedures are still in use, there has been a shift to the use of lasers instead. Lasers vaporize the surface layer of skin, then tighten loose collagen and stimulate production of new collagen. The old sun damaged or aging epidermis is replaced with fresh new epidermis.
Laser Treatment for Scars
Depending on what kind of scar a person has, different kinds of treatment may be helpful. Scars may be large or small. They may be raised, dented or flat. They are texturally different from normal skin, harder or softer. Scars vary in color including red, purple, brown, almost black, or white. Scars generally represent a permanent textural, and/or color change of the skin.
There are pros and cons to all scar treatments, but there is one most important fact. Scars can always be improved but never completely eliminated. The skin cannot be made to look as though injury had never occurred. With lasers, most scars can be improved, but repeat treatment or a combination of treatments is commonly required for best results.
Best lasers for scars include:
- Pulsed Dye Lasers
- Fractional Lasers
- Q-switched Lasers
Types of Scars
Scars vary tremendously in appearance, and their treatment with lasers includes the use of a variety of different lasers depending on the kind of scar.
- Red Scars (Raised or Flat)
- Dented Scars (Acne, Chicken Pox, etc.)
- Brown Scars
- Raised White Scars
- Flat White Scars
Laser Treatment of Acne
Acne eruptions on the face, body, or extremities occur in adolescents and adults for a variety of reasons that are not always easy to identify or correct. Hormonal activity, diet, stress, age and genetics all play a role, and much individual variation exists.
Standard acne treatments include a variety of topical or oral medications. These treatments are often successful in controlling acne but not always. Sometimes concern regarding side effects may prelude the use of these medications, or treatment with medication may not be sufficiently effective.
Typically, a series of repetitive laser treatments to the entire affected area are required on a monthly basis. Lasers work by killing bacteria and normalizing the biology of the acne-prone skin.
Pulsed dye laser and pulsed light/conductive radio frequency: Depending on the individual circumstances, Dr. Chess will recommend one or another treatment for each patient. Dr. Chess consults with each patient prior to treatment so that he can explain all the details and answer any questions.
(Puts the Glow Back)
This type of laser treatment is beneficial for fine wrinkles, acne scars pore shrinkage, and textural irregularity of the skin. The amount of improvement varies, but the main benefit is that there is no downtime to interfere with business and social schedules. Treatments are repeated once a month, and improvement is gradual. There is minimal discomfort, and topical cream anesthetic can be used if one wishes. Each time treatment is done, the patient leaves the office a little pink, blotchy, or puffy. This blotchiness is usually gone in 1-2 hours, or sometimes longer. Use of makeup, sunscreens, or lotions is not interrupted.
Treatment of Brown Spots
Browns spots, also called liver spots, lentigos, permanent freckles, or age spots are usually caused by sun damage. They slowly get darker and larger with age. Q-switched lasers are an excellent method for treating these spots because the laser light selectively injures the pigment-containing cells, while sparing the normal skin.
If a brown spot does not fade with Q-switched lasers, it can be treated with resurfacing lasers (CO2, Erbium/YAG).
Other treatments that are effective for brown spots include freezing with liquid nitrogen, curettage (scraping), electric needle burning, and chemical peels. The Q-switched Alex laser hurts less, heals faster, and minimizes the chance of permanent white marks that these other treatments sometimes cause.
Laser Treatment of Birthmarks
There are many kinds of birthmarks, and lasers often play a role in their treatment. Birthmarks treated with lasers may fade partially, or substantially, but do not always disappear completely. Depending on the kind of birthmark, and what kind of laser is used, scarring can usually be avoided.
The purpose of your consultation with Dr. Chess is to allow him to tell you what kind of birthmark you have (if you don't already know) and to explain what kind if treatment you might have. Questions regarding the nature of laser treatment, discomfort, wound care, and side effects can be best answered after Dr. Chess has examined your birthmark.
Treatment of Broken Capillaries/Facial Redness and Rosacea Redness
Broken capillaries or spider veins on the face, as well as permanent facial redness, are best treated with yellow light lasers. Green light lasers can be effective too but are more likely to leave discoloration that may take a long time to fade. Yellow light lasers come in two varieties, and both yield as much improvement as possible without much chance of long-term discoloration. For larger deeper spider veins on the face, long pulsed infrared lasers may be most effective.
The laser center is equipped with both kinds of yellow light lasers as well as green and infrared lasers too. Depending on the clinical circumstances, Dr. Chess recommends and uses the laser that is best for each patient. Sometimes treatment can be done at the conclusion of a consultation appointment, or scheduled at the patient's convenience.
Laser treatment for broken capillaries requires no anesthesia and feels like tiny stings. Scarring virtually never occurs. The main alternative is electric needle treatment, but the lasers hurt less and are more effective.
Stretch Marks (Stria)
Stria, which are commonly called "stretch marks," occur for reasons that are not well understood. They most often occur during pregnancy or adolescence. They usually start out red and slowly fade to white and may be seen on the belly, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, legs, and breasts. Stretch marks can occur on areas of muscle enlargement (body builders), or in individuals who are obese.
The best option currently is to use laser treatment combined with topical creams. Dr. Chess recommends three monthly treatments with the laser, followed by a three-month waiting period to see the long-term benefit. Retin A, Renova or other topical agents are used throughout the six months.
Treatment of Spider Veins (Legs)
Spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy injections and with lasers. In the past few years several new more effective laser treatments have been developed. These laser treatments are variably effective, but represent alternative options for patients who wish to avoid injection treatment. Dr. Chess emphasizes that multiple laser treatments for spider veins on the legs are often necessary.
Thorough consultation gives the patient an understanding of the benefits and limitations of the laser and injection treatments. After consultation with Dr. Chess, patients can decide which treatment they prefer.
Laser Hair Removal
The removal of unwanted hair from various parts of the skin surface is something of importance to many men and women. The use of shaving, waxing, tweezing, and chemical depilatory creams are all temporarily beneficial, but offer no long-term benefit. Electrolysis is effective in destroying hair roots resulting in the possibility of long term hair reduction, but it is a very slow and painful process. Sometimes electrolysis may leave small marks or scars that are very long lasting.
At the laser center we use several different kinds of hair removal lasers because, depending on one's hair color, thickness, and skin color, one kind of laser may be more effective or safer than another.
Wrinkles, sagging skin, and visible signs of aging no longer require complex and invasive surgical procedures. Rediscover your natural beauty and achieve the beautiful, smoother skin of your youth with noninvasive skin rejuvenation treatments.--Dermatologic Laser Center of Connecticut