Question: I have some loose, crepey skin on my neck. Is this better treated with neck lift surgery or a laser procedure?
Answer: I would have to personally evaluate your neck to determine the best mode of treatment but depending on where it is on your neck a laser procedure is most likely not the best treatment option since we cannot deeply laser the skin of the neck the way that we can on the face due to the fact that it has a much higher risk of scarring in that location. There are other options though including Ultherapy, which is an ultrasound based tightening device that has absolutely no downtime and at Quintessa Aesthetic Center we have been using the 1.5 mm transducer now for several months and have had some very impressive improvements in crepiness of the neck skin. All this with absolutely no downtime.
Question: Is the fraxel laser usually performed as a series of treatments or is one usually sufficient?
Answer: If it is the true Fraxel laser, these are usually performed in a series to maximize the improvement. The newer ablative fractionated lasers such as CO2 or Erbium laser can be used as a single treatment but in most of our patients we combine this with other lights or lasers such as broadband light or intense pulsed light and if patients have significant textural irregularities we typically tell them to consider three fractionated laser treatments spaced about a month apart.
Question: Are there any guarantees with laser hair removal? Is it possible for me to still have hair after several sessions?
Answer: We personally do not do guarantees since for the most part the guarantee is simply a retreatment of the area in the future and we price our laser hair removal so that you get the best value for your money and any touch ups in the future would be at a reduced cost. You do, however, need six to eight treatments for adequate laser hair removal and if you are consistent with the timing of these you should get excellent results that are permanent.
Question: I’m considering laser skin resurfacing to take care of some acne scarring on my face. Is the process painful? Do you use any anesthesia or a numbing agent when performing this procedure?
Answer: Acne scarring is one of the most difficult to successfully treat, and I tell my patients never to expect complete resolution of acne scarring but rather to expect a significance improvement in the appearance of the acne scarring. With that said, acne scarring requires very deep treatments in order to improve it at all and, therefore, we need to get this area considerably numb; otherwise, the procedure would be way too painful to tolerate. This can be as simple as just injecting a small amount of anesthetic underneath the skin that we want to treat or in cases where patients want a full face treatment they may even want to consider going to the operating room and undergoing general anesthesia though that is relatively unusual. The injections to get the area numb can be slightly uncomfortable but certainly are not unbearable and once the area is numb the laser resurfacing procedure is actually completely painless. The recovery period also is essentially painless though the area does need to heal and this can take five or six days for complete resolution. At that point the patient can wear cover makeup for residual pinkness, and I recommend that patients consider three separate treatments spaced at least a month apart to maximize their improvement. With most patients regarding acne scarring, I am recommending the ProFractional Laser by Sciton, which lasers small tunnels in the skin which creates a large amount of healing and new collagen deposition that in turn then improves the surface irregularities of the acne scarring.
Question: I’m interested in laser resurfacing and wondering if there’s one type of laser that’s considered the best or if different lasers are used for different problems.
Answer: There are a multitude of different lasers out on the market that target different molecules in the skin. Some are ablative, which means that they create a significant injury to the skin that requires healing while others are what is considered non-ablative, which means that they only heat up the tissue but do not destroy any tissue and, therefore, healing is much less intense and quicker. Overall, I think it is very important that you seek out a very experienced provider that has extensive knowledge in your area of interest and having said that I would recommend a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or board-certified plastic surgeon since they would be specializing in your area of interest. Ultimately, we want to customize the treatment and the laser device so that we can give the patient the best result possible while minimizing any sort of risks and downtime.
Question : I have some broken capillaries at the tops of my cheeks. Can these by treated with the laser and is this safe given how close it is to my eyes?
Answer : Yes, broken capillaries on the upper cheeks can easily be treated with a laser and, in fact, quite successfully. There should be no danger to the eyes since we protect these with goggles during the procedure.
Question: On average, how many laser treatments are needed to eliminate a black tattoo?
Answer: We do not currently treat tattoos, but I do know that it does take multiple treatments spaced about a month apart to get adequate reduction of the tattoo even if it is black. This typically ranges from four to eight treatments but can sometimes take more depending on the color of your skin in comparison to the black tattoo.
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: My daughter is 24. She’s had horrible acne for years that has finally cleared up, but it’s left her with some pretty severe acne scars. Will this improve at all on its own as she gets older or is there some sort of treatment that could help? I know she is very self-conscious about her skin.
Answer: The actual acne scarring does not typically get better over time but frequently the appearance of the acne scarring can improve since oftentimes patients are left with some redness in the acne scarred area, which makes this appear worse since the redness almost looks like a shadow. Allowing the redness to subside or treating the redness with various lights and lasers to make it disappear can impact the overall appearance of the acne scarring in a very significant way. If there is no color difference in the acne scarring itself, then consideration of some fractionated laser treatments would be appropriate since we can typically make an extremely significant impact on the visual quality of the acne scarring so that it is much less noticeable. Unfortunately, we are never able to completely get rid of acne scarring no matter what treatment modality is employed.
Question: I am a 65 year-old woman who recently had a facelift. What kinds of lifestyle choices should I make so that the results last as long as possible?
Answer: To make your facelift last as long as possible there are multiple different things that you can do. The first would be to quit smoking if you are a smoker since this will significantly advance the signs of aging faster than necessary. The second would be to continue to provide excellent sun protection so that you do not have the effects of UV radiation affecting your result. The third would be to have a healthy lifestyle in that you drink plenty of water, have a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. Other options to consider would be regular skin treatments and that could be consistent of good skin care, microdermabrasions, broadband light treatments, or even a ProFractional Laser treatment every six to twelve months. Another consideration would be to have an Ultherapy treatment every one to two years, which will treat the deeper layer of the face with a SMAS that has been lifted with your facelift and continue to intermittently tighten it with this device in an attempt to maintain your youthful appearance for as long as possible.