Which laser? I have haggard looking skin. HUGE pores seen from space, scars, some wrinkles, fading elasticity, sun damage, some redness . I'd like PLUMP SKIN w/elasticity, the look of smaller pores, less noticeable scars & wrinkles. I had light chemical peels, microdermabrasion treatments, & one laser treatment w/no down time at all. Those were good exfoliaters but not aggressive enough. Will a stronger laser erase some of the edges around large pores & scars, making them appear less noticeable?
Which Laser is Right for Me - Huge Pores, Haggard-Looking Skin, Scars, Wrinkles, etc.
Doctor Answers (12)
Laser treatment needs to be DEEP for results
There is no one "magic" laser...this is why there are so many lasers out there. For skin texture irregularities, and to stimulate the dermis, (reduce pore size, thicken skin), treatments that "reach" the mid-dermis are called for. Microderms and chemical peels give some mild "stimulation" to this effect, but with all the great laser therapies out there, there is no reason to "beat around the bush"...If you do have a laser treatment, the depth needs to be at least 300 microns or deeper to have the effects that you are interested in.
Which laser is right for large pores and wrinkles
For years we have heard about lasers that can give a result as good as CO2 laser resurfacing with respect to wrinkles and improvement of tone and texture of the skin but without the downtime. Unfortunately, none of these really gave the same result which is why CO2 laser remained popular for so long. With new fractional technologies applied to the CO2 laser, the healing time is reduced but the effect is retained. I would encourage you to discuss the use of fractional CO2 laser to address your concerns. There will be some downtime and redness (the duration of redness persists according to how the treatment is performed but some redness is necessary to achieve the best result). Good luck.
A fractional laser is a must for this kind of problem provided your skin type is of the low risk variety. A consultation with a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon is needed.*
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The carbon dioxide laser is best for deeper skin problems...
If the more superficial treatments do not work, then a deeper resurfacing with the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is the answer. As long as your skin type is light enough to allow the procedure to be done, then the CO2 laser can provide a tremendous result. You will have a recovery time of around 7 days and possibly some redness after that (it can be covered with makeup though). Consult you board certified plastic surgeon to see if this laser would work for you.
Laser for aged skin, wrinkles, scars , etc
It sounds as if you have had multiple nonablative treatments ranging from microdermabrasion to superficial lasers. These procedures do very little for your skin. They can sometimes make a nice glow for a week or 2 but really do not change the aging process at all. You would need to have an ablative laser performed. The only 2 lasers that can achieve this are the erbium yag and the CO2. The specific laser from each company differes by strength , depth, speed, safety. If you are looking for a laser to really change the skin texture and erase lines then you need to switch to a more aggressive laser like one of these. Just remember that the downtime will increase from none to some and with these lasers it is critical to find someone with a lot of experience and a good track record. Board-certified dermatologists with a year long fellowship in cosmetic surgery will have the most experience out there. Good luck
Best laser option to treat "huge pores, haggard-looking skin, scars, wrinkles, etc" is......,
Assuming there are no contraindications or pre-treatment issues to address, the UltraPulse Fractional CO2 laser, combining DeepFX for deep wrinkle improvement, scar improvement, collagen remodeling and improvement of skin tone and ActiveFX for mild to moderate wrinkle improvement and correction of pigmentary changes/ dyschromia, would be a great modality to address the bulk of your concerns.
DeepFX and Active FX treatments are performed at the same session with about 7 days of social downtime post-treatment.
The CO2 laser does not treat redness, so for our patients who have redness, we plan for 1-3 sessions of intense pulsed light (photofacial) treatments beginning 8-10 weeks after their DeepFX/ActiveFX treatment.
Judging by your photos I would first try the new CO2 fraxel laser. The advantages here are simple topical anesthesia and quick recovery (approx. 1 week)., unlike previous fraxel lasers the CO2 fraxel is a one time treatment and truly makes a real improvement. If you need more aggressive lasering I would consider the Erbium laser. This laser is excellent especially with an experienced surgeon. The treatment results can be varied from light to heavy depending on the patients needs. The Erbium laser will need heavier anesthesia , probably I V sedation and nerve blocks. Recovery is about 2-3 weeks. Both lasers are excellent when used for the appropriate patient and very safe when used by an experienced practitioner. I personally do not use any other lasers anymore for skin surface problems, and this is after 25 years experience.
Fraxel laser resurfacing may help improve the texture of your skin. Multiple sessions may be necessary. Regardless of the type of laser, you will never have the skin you had when you were a youth prior to acne, but you may get significant improvement. Risks exist so speak with your physician at length before you schedule a treatment.
Lasers for the face
There are many different kinds of lasers to treat the concerns that you have. However, without an exam it is difficult to say what would be good for you.
It is difficult to see the exact features of your face from the photo but from what you describe, you would be a great candidate fro CO2 resurfacing. The tighter skin, wrinkle reduction and scar improvement that you mention can all best be addressed by CO resurfacing. ALthough there is down time associated with this treatment, the lasers used today (fractionated CO2) have reduced the healing time and provided safer treatments. Contact your local experienced laser physician to see if you are a good candidate.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.