Laser Treatment the Best Option?

I am a 41 years old mom with two toddlers. Years of outdoor activities and smoking have totally aged my skin. Plus a wrinkly, thin skin runs in my family. Over the past 2 years my wrinkles have gotten worse. Deeper crows feed, wrinkles around my eyes, smile lines, and most recently around my mouth and forehead. What would be the best treatment for me? I am thinking laser but don't want to traumatize my two little ones. Plus I am not sure if I can be "out of order" for a whole month...

Doctor Answers 7

Badly sundamaged skin and wrinkles can be treated with botox and fraxel

A very common scenario is treatment of the sundamaged aged face, neck, chest with a combination of botox for the crows feet and glabellar region of the forehead, Fraxel Dual laser rejuvenation, and I often recommend Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum to help promote collagen production and some benefit by the use of the newest lightener, Lytera. 

Patients in consulation are examined to determine what is the best approach for them and the above treatment plan does not involve significant downtime. Most people can function after Fraxel Dual but they may look more unsightly with the Dual, for a five days as the brown discoloration starts to flake off. The fraxel restore often creates slight redness and puffiness and minimal flaking. These treatments are typically done a series of times, the number of which depends on the amount of sun damage.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Laser Resurfacing

What you are describing would most likely be treated quite nicely with laser resurfacing.  This procedure can make significant changes in sun damaged and smoking aged skin.  Your down time will depend upon how aggressive your surgeon is with the laser settings and number of passes. An aggressive treatment can be quite painful and is usually done under sedation or general anesthesia. Following the procedure you will likely "traumatize" your little ones and close family members.  However your post-operative appearance and downtime is usually directly proportional to your end result...the longer the downtime the better the result. Patients usually begin wearing make-up two weeks after their treatment.

Other treatments such as Botox and fillers may still be required to help with wrinkles caused by the underlying muscles or persistent wrinkles not treated by the laser.  You will also want to protect and prolong your result with a good skin care program, sun screen, smoking cessation, and a healthy life style.  What treatment is best for you should be determined by a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist with experience in laser skin resurfacing.

Benjamin Rechner, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Laser resurfacing for facial rejuvenation

Based on what you are describing, you need to visit a reputable provider to help you determine all of your options. You may or may not be a good candidate for laser resurfacing based on your skin type, but it's very difficult to know without first seeing you in person.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Best Laser Treatment Option

Thank you for your question. A good CO2 resurfacing will address many of the areas you listed  We usually see downtime (as in visible downtime) for 5-7 days for CO2 fractional resurfacing.  Filler is another option which has even less down time.  If its more severe, no result will give you what surgery can offer. Consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon to get an assessment and evaluate all of your options.  I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Best laser option

There are many lasers available today. To see which one benefits you most, an exam is required. There are lasers such as Genesis and Titan that have no recovery and you will not scare your toddlers. The results are not as dramatic but recovery is very quick and multiple treatments can be done. With more aggressive lasers such as fractional and Co2, better results are obtained much quicker, but as you mentioned recovery can be 1 to 3 weeks depending on the depth of the treatment. In short there is a laser that will fit your needs, so don't be afraid to go for a consult.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Laser vs Botox

The lines you mention are quite common as we age and people start to notice facial lines at different ages depending on genetics, sun exposure, smoking and other health conditions.  The areas of the face with dynamic wrinkles, or those as a result of movement, occur in the crow’s feet, around the mouth, the forehead and between the eyebrows.  These lines tend to respond best to agents that relax the muscles such as Botox or Dysport.  The passive wrinkles are those that are a result of the intrinsic changes in the skin and those respond best to resurfacing procedures such as laser treatments and chemical peels or when greater laxity is present surgery.  Another consideration is facial volume.  If you have lost a significant amount of weight this often shows first on the face and can further enhance the lines and wrinkles.  The volume loss is best treated with fat transfer or filler materials.  Often a combined approach is used as all of these changes often occur simultaneously.


Jill Hessler, MD
Palo Alto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Laser skin rejuvenation best for sun damaged skin

I think the best option for you would be fractional laser skin resurfacing such as with the non-ablative Fraxel Re:store or the ablative Fraxel Re:pair. This should be combined with a topical skin care routine and botox or dysport to relax the lines of muscle movement such as between brows and crows. And then protect your investment with excellent sun protection!

Elizabeth F. Rostan, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
4.2 out of 5 stars 19 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.