Question: Are there any laser treatments in which I could go back to work the next day? I am 60-years-old and can’t really take any time off.
Answer: There are lights and laser treatments that are considered nonablative that have absolutely no downtime and this would include intense pulsed light or broadband light treatment. They are very good for improving skin discolorations and can also improve some mild textural irregularities. If you get into the lasers that create wrinkle reduction the far majority of those are going to give you at least a few days of downtime, but the results are going to be much more significant for wrinkle reduction and textural character.
Question: Should laser skin resurfacing be considered to treat severe acne in a teenager?
Answer: Laser skin resurfacing can certainly be considered to treat severe acne in a teenager as long as the acne has been adequately controlled and is no longer active. I would also want to wait until that teenager is finished growing and has gone through puberty before consideration of this. Other things to consider would be whether or not the teenager has been placed on Accutane in the recent past as I would want to wait about a year after the Accutane has been discontinued before we would want to do any sort of laser resurfacing on that patient. If all of these criteria are met then we can certainly consider a laser resurfacing and I would typically, at this point in time, recommend a ProFractional Laser, which is fractionated Erbium resurfacing where only a small percentage of the actual skin is injured, but it is injured in tunnels that go down deep into the skin and lay down extra heat to create a large amount of new collagen deposition which in turn can really significantly improve the appearance of acne scarring. At this time, I recommend three separate treatments spaced at least a month apart, but we can provide very significant improvements in acne scarring with this regimen.
Question: How long should a scar mature before performing scar revision?
Answer: The answer to that question really depends on the person’s age as children can have immature scars for years and many will take until they go through puberty before the scar matures, whereas in adults it is usually six to twelve months and the scar is essentially mature.
Question: I’m 33, female, and I just got laser skin resurfacing treatments three weeks ago. I know I’m supposed to wear sunscreen constantly, but when I’ve put it on to go outside, the skin has gotten red and itchy, so I’m embarrassed to go out. Why is the sunscreen irritating my treated skin?
Answer: Certain sunscreens can be irritating to very sensitive skin and due to the fact that you have had a laser skin resurfacing, your skin is very sensitive. I would recommend a physical block style of sunscreen that has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These mineral-based sunblocks do not irritate even freshly lasered skin yet provide an excellent protection against the UV radiation of the sun.
Question: What are the side effects of laser skin resurfacing? Are they potentially deadly?
Answer: Potential side effects of laser resurfacing include scarring, infection, and loss of pigmentation, none of which should be potentially deadly. In fact, the risk of complications in experienced hands is exceptionally low but, due to your concern, I would highly recommend that you discuss this with your physician that would be performing any sort of laser skin resurfacing.
Question: I’ve heard that laser resurfacing is the best way to treat rhinophyma. Is this true? How does it work?
Answer: Laser resurfacing is certainly one way to treat rhinophyma though, in advanced cases, I feel that it is extraordinarily time consuming and I, therefore, prefer to simply use a scalpel to shave off the excess glandular tissue of the nose and reshape a more aesthetically pleasing nose with a simple surgical sculpting. Any bleeding can then be either treated with standard electrocautery or laser resurfacing. If someone has very early rhinophyma, there may be some advantages to using a laser but, overall, I certainly cannot say that laser resurfacing is the best way to treat rhinophyma.
Question: Can laser skin resurfacing remove birthmarks?
Answer: Most birthmarks are not able to be removed with laser skin resurfacing but certainly some are. It really depends on the type of birthmark, the amount of pigmentation, and the depth of the pigmentation as to whether or not this would be improved with laser skin resurfacing, and frequently we really do not know until we try to remove these with laser skin resurfacing, and frequently we are successful and yet other times we are not.
Question: I have chickenpox scars on my face from when I was six years old. I am now 30. Is there any kind of chemical peel that would work now or is it too late?
Answer: For the most part, chemical peels are really not the best option for chickenpox scars though, theoretically, a very deep chemical peel could certainly improve their appearance. I personally am partial to the ProFractional Laser by Sciton as the fractionated Erbium laser treatments spaced a month apart for about three treatments can do a wonderful job of improving textural and surface irregularities due to problems such as chickenpox scars, traumatic scars, surgical scars, and acne scarring.
Question: I am interested in a deep strength laser skin resurfacing treatment. Will this remove deeper wrinkles? How long will my face be red?
Answer: A deep ablative laser treatment, whether it is CO2 or Erbium laser treatment, will definitely improve upon deep wrinkles and depending on what laser is used and how deep it is performed as well as your skin type will determine how long your skin will be red. My personal opinion is that the Erbium laser does not tend to create as much redness as the CO2 laser and that the redness tends to dissipate faster, but I have had a handful of patients, especially those that are redheads, that tend to hold on to this pinkness of their skin for several months. Most other patients, however, this pinkness is gone typically in about three to four weeks and during the time _____ the healing has occurred it can be covered up with makeup.
Question: I am 48 years old but really have an older woman’s face. I have too much sun damage to begin with. This makes my skin look blotchy in coloration. I have wrinkles around my eyes and remnants of old acne. I would love to have a Fraxel laser treatment. What will my face look like after this procedure? Will I be able to drive home afterwards or is there too much pain?
Answer: I personally do not have the actual Fraxel laser but have a form of fractionated laser treatment that is called ProFractional Laser by Sciton. Any fractionated laser whether it is a nonablative treatment such as Fraxel or an ablative treatment such as ProFractional Laser, which is an Erbium laser, or fractionated CO2 laser treatments all can be performed in an office setting and you could drive yourself home though, if you have a relatively long distance to travel, you may want to consider getting a driver just to make it easier on you. Ultimately, fractionated laser treatments can improve on discolorations and wrinkles and the more aggressive the treatment, it seems the more improvement the patients get. For the ultimate in skin rejuvenation though, you may want to consider a full-face Erbium laser treatment, which would involve going to the operating room but can give extraordinarily dramatic results with downtime of about six days. There is some mild discomfort immediately after the treatment that tends to be relieved with a Zimmer cooling unit and after about a half hour to forty-five minutes patients are comfortable and ready to leave the spa.