Laser resurfacing treatments have come a long way in recent years. Today, there are more options for laser skin treatments available than before, each one offering something slightly different from the next. Since there are a lot of treatments available, and since each one is slightly different from the other, there are also a lot of myths, misconceptions and fictions surrounding laser resurfacing. Knowing what’s a fact and what’s just misinformation can help you pick the laser treatment that’s best for you.
Fact: Laser Resurfacing Treats a Variety of Concerns
It’s true that laser treatments are ideal for managing a variety of concerns. Whether you have acne, scarring, dark spots or enlarged pores, laser resurfacing can help. Although they vary in intensity, the goal of laser treatments such as Fraxel is to stimulate the production of collagen in the dermal layer of the skin.
As you get older, collagen production declines. The loss of collagen makes skin more brittle, leads to more lines and causes skin to lose its plumpness and firmness. Increasing collagen production helps improve the overall texture and look of your skin.
When it comes to fading dark spots and treating scars or acne, laser resurfacing works by helping to increase exfoliation and cell turnover. The laser essentially destroys the skin cells connected to the dark spots or scars, causing them to fade away and new cells to grow in their place.
Fiction: All Laser Treatments are the Same
If all laser treatments were the same, you wouldn’t see so many offered, sometimes at the same practice. For example, Dr. Rubenstein’s practice in New York offers a variety of laser resurfacing treatments, each of which offers something slightly different to patients. Laser facial treatments, for example, are quick and require almost no downtime. They are not very intense and don’t require any anesthesia. In contrast, Fraxel lasers tend to go a little deeper. Depending on the type of Fraxel laser a patient chooses, downtime can be anywhere from a day or two to a full week.
Some laser treatments focus on specific issues. For example, a laser facial with Levulan is recommended to patients who have acne or other lesions. People suffering from spider veins might choose a laser treatment designed to help the veins fade from view.
Fact: Laser Resurfacing Can Be Combined with Other Treatments
Although laser resurfacing treatments can do a lot on their own — reducing dark spots, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and improving the appearance of pores — some patients find that they get optimal results if they combine a laser treatment with another cosmetic treatment, either surgical or non-surgical. Since a surgery such as a facelift doesn’t treat the quality or texture of the skin, it’s not uncommon for patients to combine a facelift and laser treatment to look more rejuvenated all over. People also often combine laser treatments with injectables. For example, a patient might receive Botox to ease the frown lines or crow’s feet a few weeks before their laser treatment, or fillers around the same time as their treatment.
Fiction: You Won’t Need Any Downtime After a Laser Treatment
It’s true that laser treatments often have a shorter recovery period than a surgical procedure. It’s also possible to get right back to your daily life pretty much right after the least invasive treatments. But, the actual length of recovery varies from option to option. For example, Fraxel re:pair is an ablative laser treatment, meaning it does cause some damage to the cells on the surface of the skin. Since the re:pair treatment is more intense, it tends to provide more dramatic results than a laser facial or Fraxel re:store. The trade-off is that the treatment has a longer downtime. You might need about a week to heal and recover afterwards, compared to just a day or two after Fraxel re:store.
Fact: Treatment is Short and Comfortable
No matter which type of laser treatment you get, it usually doesn’t take very long for a surgeon to perform it. You can typically expect a laser resurfacing treatment to take about 30 minutes, sometimes less. Comfort levels vary during treatment, but can be managed with anesthetic. For example, a laser facial is often gentle enough to require no anesthetic, while many patients choose a topical anesthetic and a sedative during Fraxel re:pair.
Fiction: Laser Treatments Replace Surgery
A laser treatment can be used as a complement to facial plastic surgery. But, since surgery and lasers do different things and treat different concerns, they can’t be exchanged one for the other. People often seek out a facelift or other surgical procedure when they have a considerable amount of sagging or droopiness in the face. Lasers don’t tighten skin or reduce sagging, so they won’t give a patient results that are in anyway similar to the results from surgery.
About Dr. Rubinstein
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein offers patients a variety of laser resurfacing treatments at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Newburgh, New York. A board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Rubinstein can help you pick the laser treatment that is best for you and help you decide if combining your treatment with surgery or injectables is right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, call 845-863-1772 today.