How Do I Know if I'm Being Duped by My Dermatologist?

Hello, I have been receiving treatments with the Sellas-evo laser. My doctor told to come in twice before a session and once after to do a vitamin/collagen facial which will boost cell growth under the skin surface. These facials run me an additional $100 each!! She said that it is crucial to get this facial especially after laser treatments or else the cells won't generate properly and it will form deep cracks in my skin. Will this really happen? Or is she using my fear to be opportunistic?

Doctor Answers 2

Re: Post Laser Recommendations By Dermatologist

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Because of situations like yours, I feel it is important for patients to really educate themselves on how various cosmetic skin procedures work to give results. With this knowledge, it becomes easier to make informed decisions and discern what is legitimate and what is not.

Lasers basically heat the dermal layer beneath your skin's surface. Heating this tissue in a deliberate fashion causes the skin to produce healthy new collagen fibers in an attempt to heal itself. Using the body's own physiological systems in the skin to boost collagen production is what enables your skin to improve its firmness and elasticity.

That said, a laser resurfacing procedure may reverse the signs of aging in the manner described, however, it would not stop the normal aging process from resuming after the treatment. To buy more time, you should adopt strict sun protective measures, moisturize adequately and after about 6 months of your laser treatment consider topical treatments like Renova.

After 6 months it would be also fine to start treatments with mild AHA peels for the same reason. Sellas Evo is similar to Fraxel Restore active in the 1550nm wavelength and fractional. Typically you should not require pretreatment of the skin before these lasers are used. However, your dermatologist may have a reason not evident to me for asking to have the procedure.

In choosing a dermatologist, it is important to look for board certification.

Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Vitamin facials are not proven to be necessary after facial laser resurfacing

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After the most aggressive laser resurfacing techniques of the past, most patients healed beautifully well after medically recommended regimens were used by our patients. This included the proper cleansing and emollients.  Aquaphor and other ointments and salves were recommended.  Never have I heard of vitamin facials being required to prevent cracking which would cause permanent scarring.  Run, don't walk, to a board-certified dermatologist for a second opinion of which laser, if any, is best for your skin and what rejuvenation procedure and topical regimen is best.  Some facials and vitamin applications might help but they're not medically tested to determine what the scientific proof of benefit truly is.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.