Best Laser for Skin Rejuvenation?

I'm 28 and looking for a laser treatment that addresses fine lines, mild acne scarring, and sun damage and tightening. I've had micro laser peels in the past and was not too impressed with the results. My biggest concerns are the lines/small folds under my eyes, fine lines from nose to mouth, and overall texture/tone. Would Active FX or Fraxel CO2 be effective for my needs? I would prefer a laser that only requires 1 or 2 treatments.

Doctor Answers 12

Best Laser for Skin Rejuvenation

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Laser Skin Tightening : Over the last several years, one focus of aesthetic medical technology has been on a means for improving fine wrinkles and lines on the face without prolonged 'downtime'. This is often referred to as non-invasive collagen remodeling.

This has traditionally been accomplished with laser peels (carbon dioxide, erbium) or deep chemical peels (phenol, high-concentration TCA), which resurface the skin by creating a second-degree burn. The epidermis is essentially burned through and the dermis is injured, stimulating new collagen production. The problems with these aggressive peels are the following:

an open, weeping facial wound (like a burn which has blistered) for several days, followed by crusting/scabbing
a great deal of discomfort and itching
a prolonged period (frequently several months) of erythema (facial redness) which must be concealed with make-up
the possibility of hypo- or hyperpigmentation due to melanocyte injury or overstimulation
a line of 'demarcation' between peeled and non-peeled skin
the risk of scarring if the level of the peel is too deep
the possibility of a 'waxy' or 'shiny' skin appearance with deep or repeated peels
The ideal method for improvement of facial wrinkles and lines, therefore, should stimulate new collagen production in the dermis without injuring the epidermis (which results in long downtimes and the possibility of pigmentation changes and scarring). Our goal is to improve the quality and tone of facial skin without (or with as little as possible) downtime. The skin care treatment of every client is individualized, as the needs of no two faces are exactly alike. Our highly-trained team of aesthetic professionals can determine which services are right for you.

Laser Skin Tightening can provide extremely dramatic facial and body skin tightening results without surgery.

Q: What is Laser Skin Tightening?

A: Laser Skin Tightening is a series of laser treatments, using the Candela GentleYAG laser, designed to stimulate dermal collagen production and regeneration of damaged skin cells. The single-wavelength light energy produced by the GentleYAG targets fibroblasts in the dermis, which produce new collagen in response to laser energy. Increased turnover of skin cells is also stimulated, helping to regenerate and replace damaged cells.

Q: Will I have to take time from work or my children to recover?

A: No. There is no downtime or external injury to the skin. A person can return to work or reapply makeup immediately following the procedure. The full face and neck can be treated in just one hour.

Q: How long will the results last?

A: The new dermal collagen that is produced becomes part of the structure of the treated skin, and thus Laser Skin Tightening can produce improvements in skin which lasts for years. GentleYAG skin tightening is so powerful that new collagen production can continue several months after the treatment. Most people report improvement immediately, with even more dramatic results weeks later. New collagen growth results in continued skin tightening and the development of a more youthful complexion with fewer lines, folds, and looseness of the skin. Continued exposure to the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun will result in breakdown of both existing and new collagen over time, so it is very important to protect your results by limiting sun exposure, using a high-SPF sunblock, and maintaining a healthy and scientifically sound skin care regimen.

Q: Are there other skin tightening laser systems?

A: Other laser systems have been developed that are designed to stimulate dermal collagen production (Titan, Fraxel, etc); however none have been demonstrated to be as effective as the Candela GentleYAG. The GentleYAG has more watts of power than any other skin tightening laser, and is therefore more effective in generating new collagen. The Laser Skin Tightening treatment protocols which we use were developed here at Michael Law MD, PA / Blue Water Spa, and have been adopted by medical offices and medical spas around the country and around the world.

Another unique feature of the GentleYAG is the Dynamic Cooling Device (DCDT) which sprays a cooling agent on the skin before every laser pulse. The DCDT protects the outer skin layers during laser treatment and reduces discomfort. No topical numbing agents are required.
Q: Is Laser Skin Tightening effective for both the face and body?

A: Yes. LST can be used to treat any part of the body that may benefit from softer, smoother skin quality, wrinkle reduction, improvement of pore size and texture, or elimination of acne scars. The GentleYAG can provide beautiful firm skin on the face, neck, chest, upper arms, legs and other body areas with no downtime and without the need for potentially dangerous numbing creams.

Q: How many treatments would I have to have?

A: Clinical studies suggest that 4-6 treatments spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart in most cases will produce a significant increase in dermal collagen, remodeling of dermal matrix components, and a resulting improvement in overall skin tone and vitality.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Best Laser for Skin Rejuvenation

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Besides prevention with sunscreen daily and moisturizers, Retin-A is helpful as are treatments with some of the more impressive lasers such as the Sciton BBL/SkinTyte and certain Fractionated lasers like Fraxel CO2 As you age, skin cells lose their ability to make collagen and progressively die off rather than reproducing themselves (“DNA programmed cell death with age”).The Sciton Laser Platform allows multiple laser types and wavelengths to achieve both dramatic improvements of your skin but also maintaining its youthful appearance by reversing this process. See below for more information.                            

Active FX or Fraxel CO2 are both great options

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Active FX or Fraxel CO2 are both great options, just make sure you go to an expert.  I would recommend Dr Mitchel Goldman in San Diego, CA if you live anywhere near that area.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Active FX for fine lines and acne scars

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We have found Active/ Total FX to be a great treatment for fine lines and acne scars in younger patients. Healing time is generally about one week, and all patients have noted significant improvement. For facial rejuvenation, one treatment is usually all that is needed, however for acne scars patients may want a touch up treatment after 3 months.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

A Fractional laser should serve you well

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Skin rejuvenation can be done using a fractional C02 laser. There are several brands out there, including Fraxel, Active Fx, Cynosure Smartskin.

Any fractional laser should be able to do what you want, in the right hands. You should see improvement in as little as one treatment, but we find a cumulative enhancement with 2 or 3 treatments. Social downtime (redness) generally lasts about 4-7 days, and is readily concealed with makeup by about day 3.   

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

Best Laser for Skin Rejuvenation?

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It sounds like you want a fractional CO2 laser.  This will give you the best results with the fewest procedures.  There are many companies who make fractional CO2 lasers and I would go with what your physician recommends based on his experience.  You may want some patient recommendations as well.

Sam Goldberger, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon

Fractionated CO2 Laser

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Based on your description of fine lines, sun damage, and mild acne scarring, I would at least consider using a fractionated CO2 laser (Lutronic eCO2).  At age 28, I would probably suggest a series of micro-laser peels, or low energy treatments.  This would be coupled with a sun protection and skin care program to help prevent further damage .

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Laser treatments

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The best options for fine lines, acne scarring, and sun damage are erbium laser resurfacing and profractional.  Fraxel laser works well for more subtle improvement.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Laser skin rejuvenation

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Fractional lasers are very effective treatments for overall skin rejuvenation.  They treat lines, coarse or rough skin texture, pigment irregularities, and acne scarring.  Some also cause mild skin tightening. There are 2 types, ablative and non-ablative, which basically means destructive and non-destructive.  Ablative lasers cause more significant skin wounding and have more downtime, but can give you more dramatic results in fewer treatments.  Non-ablative lasers have less downtime, but require more treatments.  Ablative lasers can also treat deeper and larger lines and scars than non-ablative lasers can.  You should consider the problems you want to treat in the context of the risks and benefits of each type of treatment and your tolerance for downtime during your consultation with your doctor.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

Fractional CO2 laser is the new gold standard for Skin Rejuvenation

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Unless you don't have a week of downtime to spare, Fractional CO2 laser such as Active Fx, Fraxel Repair, Mixto, etc is your best bet for overall skin rejuvenation as it can bring out tightening, smoothing of textural irregularity on the skin, reversal of years of sun damage. If you do not have a week to spare, then consider a series of 3-5 IPL photofacial treatment to bring about a more eventone.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 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.