LASER SKIN RESURFACING
Improve Skin Texture and Tone with Our Treatments for Residents of Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and the Main Line
Enjoy the smooth, clear complexion you've always dreamed of with laser skin resurfacing at our Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia-area practices, accessible to residents along the Main Line, as well as Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester counties.
Unfortunately, as time passes, we begin to pay the price for the “sins” of our youth. Summers at the Jersey shore, playing outdoor sports, and not wearing daily sunscreen ultimately result in "leathery" sun-damaged skin, unwanted discolored sun spots, and excessive wrinkles. Fortunately, laser skin resurfacing is a state-of-the art technology that can reverse these undesirable problems.
What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing is a procedure that uses a laser light to improve the appearance of aged/sun-damaged skin. The laser removes specific layers of skin, which ultimately results in new collagen formation. The two most common types of resurfacing lasers are:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): This type of laser is typically used to treat deep wrinkles, sagging and loose skin, traumatic and acne scars, and unwanted age/sun discolorations.
Erbium Yag (Erb:YAG): This type of laser is used to treat fine to moderately deep lines and wrinkles and superficial age/sun discolorations on the face, hands, neck, and chest. The downtime with the Erb:YAG is less than with the CO2 laser.
What Can Laser Skin Resurfacing Treat?
Laser skin resurfacing addresses many unwanted skin abnormalities, including:
- Age and sun spots on the face, neck, chest, arms, and hands
- Uneven texture and skin tone resulting from UV exposure and age
- Fine lines and wrinkles, such as those around the mouth and eyes
- Acne scars
- Surgical and traumatic scars
- Loose or sagging skin
How Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Work?
Laser skin resurfacing is a very safe technology that patients frequently choose over more invasive surgical procedures. The team at Cirillo Cosmetic Dermatology Spa frequently performs fractionated laser skin resurfacing to address everything from facial wrinkles and sun-damaged skin to acne and traumatic scars to loose, sagging skin.
Laser skin resurfacing can be further characterized into ablative or non-ablative. Ablative laser skin resurfacing treatments involve removing part of or all of the uppermost layers of skin. The ablative laser energy also heats the underlying layers of the skin. This process induces the skin's natural healing process, resulting in new collagen production and removal of age/sun discolorations.
Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing is a less-invasive alternative that requires a shorter recovery time to produce more subtle results. Non-ablative lasers do not cause injury to the top layer of the skin. They work by delivering heat below the skin’s surface to induce new collagen production. A new, healthier complexion is revealed after non-ablative laser skin resurfacing.
What is Fractionated Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Fractionated laser skin resurfacing is based on the principle of micro-thermal treatment zones (MTZs). During a fractionated laser skin resurfacing treatment, energy beams create microscopic holes in the skin, inducing the body's natural healing process. A new, healthier complexion emerges.
The MTZs leave zones of untreated skin surrounding the treated zones. Thus, fractionated laser skin resurfacing treats small areas of skin, leaving surrounding tissue untouched and intact. These untouched and intact areas act as a reservoir for more effective and rapid tissue healing and new collagen formation.
What Are the Causes of Skin Damage and Wrinkles?
There are two forms of skin aging: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic Skin Aging
This type of skin aging is often called chronological (or biological) skin aging. It is caused by genetic processes—the same processes that age all parts of our bodies. Intrinsic skin aging predominately affects elastin and collagen, two important skin-building proteins. Because intrinsic skin aging is based on genetics, there is little we can do to slow its progression. Intrinsic skin aging accounts for 10 percent of skin aging.
Extrinsic Skin Aging
Extrinsic skin aging relates to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect our skin — it accelerates the skin-aging process. These factors include elements that produce free radicals, like pollution, UV light, cigarette smoke, alcohol, and stress. Slowing the effects of extrinsic skin aging is possible. Reducing the harmful effects of free radicals by wearing daily sunscreen, eating a healthy diet, and living a healthy lifestyle are all ways to help keep your skin stay healthy and youthful. Extrinsic aging accounts for 90 percent of skin aging and produces those unwanted sun spots, sagging and loose skin, and “leathery” wrinkled skin.
Aging and hormonal changes are two of the leading causes of lines, wrinkles, and discolorations of facial skin. The body produces more collagen (a protein that gives structure and strength to the skin) and elastin (a protein that gives the skin elasticity) when in its youth. Age results in less of both components in the skin, which also retains less moisture and experiences slowed skin cell regeneration. These factors contribute to the skin becoming more prone to wrinkling and sagging as its structural integrity is compromised.
Spending too much time in the sun can also be harmful to the skin. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted from the sun penetrates the many layers of skin, causing long-term cosmetic damage, including wrinkling, lines, and sun spots—as well as skin cancers.
Lifestyle choices can also influence the skin complexion. A high-sugar diet can negatively affect the appearance of the skin by causing protein fibers to become malformed. During a process known as glycation, sugar molecules in the bloodstream attach themselves to fats and proteins such as collagen and elastin. The glycation process leads to duller, thinner, and weaker skin. Furthermore, a prolonged excess of glucose creates more free radicals, which makes the skin more susceptible to damage from other sources.
Smoking also accelerates the process of premature facial aging. Chemicals in tobacco smoke are harmful to structural proteins, and nicotine in cigarettes restricts the flow of blood to the superficial layers of skin.
Laser skin resurfacing is a popular cosmetic treatment to reverse these signs of damage, creating young-looking skin that is visibly radiant, firm, and supple.
Results and Recovery
Since each patient's skin profile is unique, results and recovery time for laser skin resurfacing vary accordingly. Recovery time is approximately one to three days for the fractionated Erb:YAG laser and seven to 10 days for the fractionated CO2 laser. Detailed pre- and post-procedure instructions are discussed and given to every patient choosing laser skin resurfacing.
Changes in skin tone, color, and texture are often noticed within weeks after treatment. However, deeper wrinkles, scars, and skin laxity will continue to improve months after laser skin resurfacing. The full benefits of laser skin resurfacing typically appear six to 12 months after treatment.
See the results for yourself by visiting our before and after photo gallery.
To maximize your results from laser skin resurfacing, we strongly recommend the use of sunscreen and a medical-grade skin care regimen. Cirillo Cosmetic offers various laser treatments to treat concerns for all skin types.
Other Skin Resurfacing and Rejuvenation Options
Cirillo Cosmetic Dermatology Spa offers a variety of lasers, lights and radiofrequency treatments, including laser skin resurfacing for complete rejuvenation of the skin. LED treatment is a popular "no downtime" option for skin rejuvenation that is particularly useful for inflamed or oily skin that is more prone to acne blemishes and breakouts.
For patients searching for a convenient, low-risk option for producing clearer skin with minimal downtime, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can be utilized to decrease diffuse "flushing" redness, discrete blood vessels, and age/sun spots. Unlike laser skin resurfacing, which utilizes one wavelength of light, this form of broad-spectrum light therapy utilizes multiple wavelengths of light to treat multiple conditions. It improves the texture of the skin, shrinks pore size, and removes unwanted age/sun spots and visible vessels.