Laser Resurfacing Results After Age 60

I am 64 years old. I have just had Mixto resurfacing done....I am not expecting miracles, but I was quite disappointed as I do not realize any significant improvement. I am told that within 3 months maybe things will improve...but will they? At my age? The collagen that is supposed to kick in....will it really kick in at my age?

Doctor Answers 11

Laser After 60

Dear Lyn

Sorry about your experience where you do not realize any significant imporovement after your fractional laser resurfacing.

Having performed laser resurfacing for 20 years in hundreds of patients I can tell you than I see significant improvement in the skin of my patients who are greater than 60 years of age even a few weeks after treatment. The improvement continues over the next 6 months.

Sadly, if you have not seen improvement at this point you might conclude that the treatment you received was too conservative. You may wish to share this with your doctor in hopes that additional more aggressive treatment will help. It is also understandable if you wanted another opinion.

Best Wishes

Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Laser resurfacing results after age 60

It is possible to get excellent results with laser resurfacing after age 60.  There are a number of considerations here:

1. Aging changes in the skin are primarily due to volume loss of the skin itself, soft tissues, fat and bone.  When these supporting structures of the skin are decreased in volume, the skin has less supporting structure and sags, creating wrinkles, folds and creases.

2. Laser resurfacing includes several different types of procedures: fractional resurfacing like you had, laser peels, skin tightening and photofacials.  All of them are helpful in tightening the skin and inducing new collagen production.  One thing that definitely interferes with new collagen production is exposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or tanning beds.  Ultraviolet light not only breaks down existing collagen and elastin in the skin.  It also significantly decreases the activity of enzymes and cells that are involved in new collagen production.  So if you have a procedure that is supposed to increase collagen production but then expose your skin to UV light, it is likely that the result is going to be poor. Sun protection with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, sun avoidance and applying topicals with retinoids can help with these.

3. Tightening of the skin with lasers is usually not sufficient if there has been a large amount of volume loss.  You will need fillers to add volume and stimulate new collagen production, like Radiesse and Sculptra and hyaluronic acid fillers that add volume and hydration into the skin.

And, yes, at your age and much older, there are a number of rejuvenating procedures that can make your skin look, feel and function better.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Fractional CO2 Laser Results

Collagen does continue to build in the skin after a laser treatment, though after 1-2 months, you may not see significant changes.  Fractional C02 laser, regardless of the name (Mixto, Pearl, Active/Deep FX, etc.) can be combined with fully-ablative treatment (i.e. removes layer of skin) to get more aggressive results.

The deeper you go, the more improvement, the more recovery you will have.  If you go too deep, you can remove all of the wrinkles and all of the pigment, leaving an alabaster white-like appearance, like a china doll mask.  Most patients don't want this of course, and we focus on a middle ground that gives the maximum natural improvement.

The MOST important decision you will make is not the laser, it is the artist/doctor that you choose.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions, and best of luck to you.

Richard Castellano, MD
Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Resurfacing at any age

Results of resurfacing are not dependent on your age but dependent on the extent of your sun damage.  If you have sunspots, these discolorations are treated differently than deep wrinkles which are different from dynamic lines, or those lines that exist because of underlying muscle movement.  These conditions have to be evaluated prior to performing laser resurfacing.  Multiple finer laser treatments or chemical peels won't address the deep collagen and elastin damage that exist with bad photodamage.  Improvement continues usually for up to six months after your treatment from newer collagen deposition.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Laser resurfacing results

The strength of the laser treatment could have been inadequate to achieve the desired results for tightening of your skin, especially if your Mixto doctor was too conservative in the application of the laser.  Realize however that lasers will work for fine and medium deep wrinkles but not highly deep wrinkles, so make sure that you expectations are not too high.  The laser will remove a lot, but not all, of the sunspots and pigments, so you should see a nice reduction from that standpoint.  If not, then perhaps your treatment was a little conservative.  An experienced doctor would know the best parameters to give you appropriately aggressive treatment without causing undue risk of burns or discolorations. 

Thomas T. Le, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Laser resurfacing at any age

Laser resurfacing treatments can be effective at any age, but patient selection is important. A dermatologist should help you determine which areas are most in need of improvement, be it texture and tone, old scarring, or dynamic wrinkles (Botox), or volume loss in the mid or lower face (fillers). Or, whether a facelift is necessary if there is too much sagging.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Age is not very important in getting results with fractional laser resurfacing for facial rejuvenation

Age is not very important in getting results with fractional laser resurfacing for facial rejuvenation. Best results are obtained after multiple treatments,

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
2.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Laser resurfacing can deliver dramatic results in the older patient.

Active and Deep FX CO2 laser resurfacing can really give great results(the laser that I have experience with, I have not used the Mixto laser).  I routinely treat patients into their 70's and even 80's and they respond very well, often better than the younger crowd.  The type of laser and aggressiveness of treatment may have more to do with your lack of results. Great results are generally evident within a few weeks of treatment yet It is true that results improve further over months to a year after a single treatment.  It is also true that occassionally a repeat treatment is appropriate.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Age should not be that much of a factor.

Your age should not be that much of a factor in your potential result. Assessing the problem, i.e. wrinkles, discoloration, loss of volume, is essential in choosing the right treatment.Waiting for collagen to grow months after any treatment is, at any age, wishful thinking.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Laser resurfacing over 60

I perform laser resurfacing all the time in patients over 60.  It really depens upon what type of resurfacing that is performed and how deep you go to determine the quality of the results.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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.