Laser

In many patients, surgery or other interventions, such as injectable fillers or Botox, simply cannot provide the results that are desired. The use of laser can treat a wide array of problems, such as mild to deep wrinkles, acne scars, and poor skin tone and texture.

LASER RESURFACING TECHNOLOGY

This technology provides the ability to plane down wrinkles from the top surface of the skin while stimulating collagen formation from within the dermis, laying the foundation for a more youthful, healthy appearance.

Dr. O’Mara performs laser skin resurfacing himself in the office procedure room at Facial Plastic Surgery of Beaumont. Treatment and recovery time varies according to the patient’s individual plan of care.

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LASER RESURFACING RESULTS

Many patients that we treat will obtain the best results with a combination of surgical intervention, when necessary, and laser resurfacing.

Patients with less severe facial lines may not require deep laser resurfacing. Also, many patients do not have the time for a prolonged healing phase. We offer lighter laser peels that can enable the patient to resume normal activities sooner.

Also, patients may have sun-damaged skin in the form of pigmented spots, or problems with small blood vessels causing chronic redness. Phototherapy is a valuable tool often used in combination with other laser procedures to help improve skin discoloration. Please refer to the Skin Care section for more details.

FAQ

I recently read that dermabrasion has pretty much been replaced by laser resurfacing. Is this true? Are there ever times when dermabrasion is a better option?

I perform laser resurfacing more often than dermabrasion, but it has not completely replaced that procedure. Laser resurfacing is valuable for treating the entire face to improve deep wrinkles and/or acne scarring. I use dermabrasion for more isolated areas, such as scar revision or perioral wrinkles.

I’m a 35 year-old white male with some significant acne scars on my face. I’m considering a skin refinishing treatment. I see you perform Dermabrasion. Can you explain the difference between Dermabrasion and a chemical peel? Are skin reactions common with Dermabrasion? What kind of results could I expect?

If you have some isolated areas of acne scarring, dermabrasion is a good method of treatment. As I have said before, deeper acne scars need to be removed before dermabrasion will provide the final optimum result. Dermabrasion is the process of removing outer layers of skin with tactile force, like sanding down a surface. A chemical peel removes those outer layers by placing an agent onto the skin that causes the outer layers of skin to peel off, leaving a fresh new layer to resurface. I personally do not perform a deep phenol peel which could help your condition, but I do perform laser skin resurfacing which I feel works well. With both dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels, there is a risk of skin lightening. The deeper you go, the longer it takes for you to heal, but the results are more dramatic.

As a middle aged woman, I am concerned about the skin on my face beginning to wrinkle. I know that chemical peel procedures use acids to dissolve the top layers of skin and that laser skin resurfacing does the same thing. How do I know which procedure will work best on my skin?

The procedure that is the best for you depends on your skin quality, the depth of your wrinkles, and your desired “down time”. For minor wrinkles and pigmentation of the face, I prefer the 35% TCA peel, which is performed in my office procedure room under oral sedation and takes about 45 minutes. Your skin will peel to its new fresh layer in about a week, and makeup can resume in about 2 weeks. For deeper wrinkles throughout the face, I prefer CO2 laser resurfacing. This is a procedure performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient. The skin is red for a bit longer, but makeup can be applied between two and three weeks after the peel.

I have ice pick acne scarring on my cheeks and I was told that laser resurfacing was a good option but someone else mentioned dermabrasion. Can you explain the pros and cons of each procedure?

In my opinion, laser resurfacing is a better method of treatment for acne scarring. It can more readily provide a uniform removal of the outer skin layers throughout the entire face. However, dermabrasion is very helpful in treating more isolated areas of concern. For deeper, pitted acne scars, I will often perform surgical excision of these areas several weeks prior to resurfacing to improve the overall result.

I have sunspots on my face, which are dark and patchy. Can laser resurfacing fix this so my complexion more even?

CO2 laser resurfacing is a good form of treatment for deep wrinkles and acne scarring.  It also lightens the skin and can be very effective in removing areas of hyperpigmentation.  If you have superficial hyperpigmentation and mild wrinkling and/or slightly large skin pores, you may be a good candidate for a TCA peel.  This type of peel has a shorter down time and quicker healing phase than the CO2 laser.  Laser resurfacing will certainly provide a more even complexion.

I have really bad acne scars on my cheeks and on the sides of my chin. Can laser resurfacing help to smooth out my acne scarring?

Laser resurfacing is my treatment of choice for acne scarring.  I use a CO2 laser to accomplish this.  You would be a good candidate as long as your acne is no longer active. Dermabrasion is another option for skin resurfacing, but I prefer the CO2 laser.  The most important factor in deciding to have this procedure is the healing period. It takes several weeks for your skin to heal, and you will need to avoid direct sun exposure.  I tell my patients to plan at least 3-4 weeks “down time”.

I’m starting to see fine vertical lines above my upper lip and little cracks in the corners. Can you make them go away?

I most commonly treat these lines around the lips and mouth with an injectable filler.  This usually lasts 10-12 months, although some studies suggest that fillers stimulate new collagen formation and can provide a longer result.  It takes approximately 5-10 minutes in the office setting.  For deeper lines of the lips and face, sometimes dermabrasion or laser resurfacing is the better option.

What is BroadBand Light?

BroadBand Light (BBL) is an innovative technology that sets new standards for skin conditions associated with aging, active lifestyles, and sun damage. BBL procedure delivers a flash of light to the skin, targeting pigment and small blood vessels and many other skin conditions. The result is less redness and less pigment in damaged skin.  Recent studies have shown that BBL has actually “awakened” DNA genes of youth that have become silent.

What is ProFractional Therapy?

ProFractional laser therapy is a laser treatment that creates vertical channels in the skin in only a percentage of the surface area of your face.  This allows the untreated skin adjacent to the lasered area to provide new collagen formation to improve the overall appearance.  Because only a portion of skin is treated, the recovery time is shortened.  It is effective for acne scarring and pigment and general skin texture.

What is a MicroLaserPeel?

A MicroLaserPeel (MLP) is a lighter form of laser treatment that removes a thin layer of damaged skin to improve texture and provide a more youthful appearance.  It provides superior results depending on the patient’s needs, because it can be administered with great precision of depth.  It is custom tailored to the patients specific skin conditions and desired outcome.

What is a laser peel?

As we age, the effects of sun damage and environmental pollutants take their toll on our skin, creating wrinkles and pigment irregularities, especially on our faces.  A laser peel can be very successful at reducing or eliminating these conditions, and in fact it is the best way to address the problematic lines that occur around the mouth and eyes.