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You hear about “laser resurfacing” all over the place. Your friend had it, your co-worker had it, but they both talk about their experiences very differently. One had to stay home for a week while the other went back to work the next day? How can one procedure be so drastically different? And what does resurfacing really do anyway?
Laser resurfacing is a procedure that precisely creates a controlled thermal (heat) injury to the skin. There are a couple of different ways to do this: one is to actually remove layers of skin (ablative) while the other creates damage to the deeper layers by heating them, but leaving the skin fully intact (non-ablative). As you might imagine, the ablative method takes a lot more healing time than the non-ablative. But both methods work to trick your body into healing itself. And the end result is smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin.
Think of thermal injuries like exercise or weightlifting. By focusing on specific muscles, your exercise will cause micro-tears as you exhaust or work them to fatigue. This tells your body to repair them, and over time, your muscles become bigger, stronger and more toned. You can use thermal injury to do the same thing to the skin. As your body repairs the damaged skin, it makes more collagen and elastin. It also replaces old, damaged cells with new ones.
Lasers are extremely precise tools. Here at Celibre Medical, we only use state-of-the-art devices with the latest, proven technology. We have many different lasers that are designed to be safe and effective for a range of skin types. Laser resurfacing is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. And different lasers can be fine-tuned to target specific skin problems such as wrinkling, sunspots, acne scars, and much more. Because we have such a high degree of control, we not only get amazing results but also avoid unwanted complications. Older methods to treat these problems, like dermabrasion or deep chemical peels, took a lot of guesswork and were hit or miss. Sometimes, people could end up looking worse rather than better!
The newest technology that is being used for laser resurfacing is fractional lasers. Fractional lasers have the capability to fractionate or divide their energy beam into a grid pattern (think of a filter with hundreds of holes being placed on the end of a flashlight). Because these lasers only damage a “fraction” of the skin, instead of all of it, the healing or downtime is much less. “Islands” of the healthy, uninjured skin act as a source of recovery, but surprisingly don’t take away from the results of the procedure very much at all. When you hear about Fraxel and the Sciton Profractional, this is what these devices do.
The beauty of all of these choices in technology is that they allow for such flexibility and customization of resurfacing treatments. To put it another way, 20 some years ago, if you wanted laser resurfacing, you had one option, a long recovery and the potential to look worse after than you did before your procedure. And those with darker skin types had almost no options at all. Today, that is all changed. We can find a treatment that is right for a person with any skin type, with any lifestyle (downtime) for any problem. We’ve really come a long way, huh?
Come visit Celibre Medical. As one of the premier Los Angeles, California laser dermatology centers, we can offer you our 30 years of experience and the option of over 20 state-of-the-art devices to meet your individual needs. Let one of our laser experts talk to you about laser resurfacing and discover how we can help you look better than you did 10 years ago