Laser Resurfacing: Q&AAsk a Question
12 Doctor Answers | Asked by anon
Lasers treatments are the most unregulated medical procedure performed today. Many medi-spas and skin clinics that offer laser treatments do not have an experienced medical doctor on site to evaluate the patient before the procedure and to be present to deal with any potential complications. Ideally, laser treatments should be performed in a medical setting (not in the so-called medi-spas or skin clinics), such as the offices of a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. The nurses...
Complications or Laser Resurfacing such as scars are caused by: Too deep treatment Poor post resurfacing wound care Improper patient selection Poor patient compliance with post op wound care instructions It is not the Laser that causes scars but how the laser is used and how well the patient follows post operative wound care instructions. The best way to avoid scars after Laser Resurfacing is to: Find a very experienced doctor who has used laser...
There are two simple rules to follow. Be treated with one of the newer fractional lasers. Remember that all lasers are high powered machines. Scars can and do occur when these technologies are used by inexperienced doctors - it is not the fault of the machine! Always make sure your doctor is board-certified and qualified to use the technologies in their offices.
The risk for scarring from laser resurfacing treatments can be minimized by focusing on a few issues: 1. Make sure that you independently verify that the laser being suggested for your treatment is appropriate for your skin type. For example if you are African American and your physician suggest CO2 resurfacing, I would be worried. There are lots of lasers available but many should be limited to certain skin types. 2. Choose a physician that has done hundreds if not thousands of the...
Laser is simply a monophasic beam of light. The theory is that each laser wavelength targets a specific part of the tissue. In hair removal, the wavelength chosen is absorbed greatest by black color in the follicles, whereas wrinkle reducing lasers target the water chromophore and cause energy absorption and tightening. Experience with your skin complexion is most important in seeking a physician to perform laser treatments. I see patients regularly with laser complications. When you delve...
Thank you for the question. The best way to prevent scars after laser treatment is to have a treatment done with the appropriate laser and appropriate strength/depth. Management of your skin pre- and post-laser is also helpful, and frequently includes retinoids, bleaching creams, and anti-inflammatories. Attentive post-procedure care with emollients and other topicals will also be very helpful.
Scarring from lasers are rare in capable hands. Pigment irregularity is the more common problem, especially in ethnic patients, but it is usually temporary and can be avoided with pre-care and after-care with bleaching creams and sunscreen.*
The most important factor in preventing scars from laser treatments is checking out the qualifaications of your Physician. Board Certification in Cosmetic procedures is essentinal. Both Dermatology and Plastic surgery meet this reqirement. Next, How many procedures have they done? a minimun of 500 is a good place to start. Prophylactic treatment with an an Anti Herpes medication and an antibiotic are essential. Patients with dark eyes and/or easy tanning should be placed on skin exfoliaters,...
While there is always a risk of scarring that can not be avoids, fractional laser treatments have a reduced risk over traditional ablative lasers. Besides the initial laser treatments, failure to keep the area moist while healing and infections can lead to scarring. It is therefore very important to follow all post operative care instructions and keep regular follow up with your plastic surgeon until the area has healed.
Whether you use a Fraxel type of CO2 laser or traditional CO2 laser, the risk of scarring always exists. Any laser treatment that ablates the skin can result in scarring although the risks are small. Certain areas like the neck and bony prominences of the face are more prone to scarring. Even in careful experienced hands this unfortunate occurrence can occur. To tell you otherwise would be not true. The reason why Fraxel has been touted as causing less scarring is because normal skin...
During your initial consultation with the laser surgeon, detailed discussion of potential complication of laser resurfacing and proactive steps to minimize them should be shared with you. If no discussion of potential adverse events took place, you should seek a second opinion. Ideally, your laser surgeon is a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has performed at least 50 cases of laser resurfacing of your specific skin type. Strict sun protection, prophylactic medication to...
Obviously, every procedure carries with it the risk of complications. However, the beautiful thing about fractionated lasers is the consistency of depth achieved with the settings used. So when used properly by a Physician experienced in the cosmetic use of lasers, the risk of scarring is very low. Lasers are a resurfacing tool, but the tool will only be as good as the practitioner using it.