Laser resurfacing can improve a variety of skin imperfections including facial lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and scars. Located in Carmel and Greenwood, Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery, led by double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Mark M. Hamilton, MD, FACS, offers laser skin resurfacing for men and women who live in and around Indianapolis, IN.
What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing, also known as a laser peel, is a procedure which uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device to instantly vaporize the damaged top layer of skin in order to improve the appearance of facial lines, wrinkles, scars and uneven pigmentation. The entire face or just specific areas may be treated. The result is smoother, more youthful-looking skin.
How Do I Know If I’m A Good Candidate For Laser Skin Resurfacing?
If you are physically healthy, realistic in your expectations and seeking an improvement in facial lines and other blemishes, you may be a good candidate for laser resurfacing. Pigmentation changes may be more likely to occur after treatment for patients with olive, brown or black skin.
What Will Happen During A Consultation For Laser Skin Resurfacing?
During your consultation, Dr. Hamilton will talk to you about your goals and what you dislike about your skin. A thorough medical history will be taken and a routine examination performed. All aspects of the procedure will be explained including the technique, facility, anesthesia, recovery, risks and associated costs. Photographs may be also be taken of your face at the time of consultation.
What Type Of Anesthesia Will I Receive For My Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure?
Laser resurfacing is often performed with a combination of local anesthesia and sedation, though general anesthesia is sometimes used instead, particularly in cases involving more extensive resurfacing.
How Is Laser Skin Resurfacing Performed?
For the laser skin resurfacing procedure, an activated laser is passed over the skin until the wrinkle or other imperfection has been made less visible. Creams or ointments may be applied after treatment, along with a bandage.
Click here to view more laser skin resurfacing results by Dr. Hamilton.
Types of Laser Skin Resurfacing
CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
CO2 laser resurfacing offers an excellent option for those looking for a dramatic improvement in facial wrinkles, sun damage and acne scarring. Most surgeons view it as the best technology for results with skin rejuvenation. Dr. Hamilton has lectured and written extensively on CO2 laser resurfacing and firmly believes it is a great option for select patients.
CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing Benefits
CO2 laser resurfacing is typically done under general anesthesia. Dr. Hamilton utilizes the UltraPulse® Encore from Lumenis®, the most recognized and respected system in the field. The procedure takes about one hour. CO2 laser may be combined with other procedures such as a facelift, blepharoplasty or endoscopic forehead lift. During the procedure the laser removes the topmost layers of skin while tightening the deeper layers.
Patients do have downtime with this procedure. CO2 laser resurfacing recovery takes 10 days to two weeks. Following recovery, patients will be able to apply make-up, but will have some pink coloration for two to three months and will need to be careful about the sun. Our office will help patients at the two-week point with CO2 laser resurfacing recovery by providing complimentary make-up sessions to help them through this period. Patients will already see after two weeks a dramatic improvement in the look and feel of their skin. Wrinkles will be softened if not eliminated, brown spots and other signs of sun damage will have been removed and acne scarring and other skin irregularities will be significantly less noticeable.
Who Is a Good Candidate For CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
Not all patients are good candidates for CO2 laser resurfacing. During your consultation, Dr. Hamilton will evaluate your skin, lifestyle and goals to determine if the procedure is appropriate for you. Patients who may not be a good fit or who elect not to have full face resurfacing may be candidates for fractional CO2 laser resurfacing (Active FX™).
Despite many advances in laser technology, CO2 laser has proven to be the best technique for those looking for a dramatic reduction in facial wrinkles, sun damage and acne scarring.
ActiveFX™ Laser – Fractional CO2 Laser
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing (ActiveFX™) offers many of the benefits of traditional ablative CO2 laser, but with less downtime and less risks. Patients will notice a softening of fine lines and wrinkles, a reduction of brown spots and sun damage, diminished acne scarring and an overall more rejuvenated look to their skin.
Fractional resurfacing is different from traditional CO2 resurfacing in that only a portion of the skin is treated. Although the entire treatment area is covered at a microscopic level, only a small percentage is resurfaced. This allows for a shorter downtime and less risks.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
Procedures are done in the office. Patients wear a numbing cream for 30 to 60 minutes prior to the procedure. Occasionally, dental blocks are performed. Patients are typically surprised by the minimal discomfort of the laser procedure. Following the treatment, the skin will exfoliate over a period of three to six days. During this period, patients will need to frequently reapply moisturizing ointment and avoid the sun. By one week patients may apply make-up and get back to routine activities. Patients should be careful about the sun for the first month.
Unlike more aggressive treatments, there is no risk of loss of skin coloration. In addition, ActiveFX™ is great for those patients who plan on continuing to be “in the sun” and have a busy lifestyle. Darker skin types may receive these treatments with appropriate precautions and reduced settings.
For the active person wanting to reduce sun damage, fine lines, brown spots and acne scarring, fractional CO2 is an excellent option.
How Long Is The Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure?
Laser skin resurfacing may take as a little as a few minutes when treating smaller areas to as much as an hour when treating the whole face. Multiple sessions are often required.
How Much Pain Can I Expect After My Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure?
Patients may experience some mild discomfort after the laser skin resurfacing procedure and this can be alleviated with prescription pain medication.
What Should I Expect Of The Recovery After My Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure?
Some mild swelling can occur after a laser resurfacing treatment. Bandages applied after the procedure may be removed within five to 10 days. It’s common for crusts to appear on the treated area but these will fade within about 10 days. The skin can also appear red or pink for several weeks after treatment.
How Much Time Should I Plan To Take Off From Work After My Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure?
Normal activities, including work, can usually be resumed within about two weeks.
How Soon After My Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure Will I Be Able To Exercise?
Any strenuous exercise should be postponed for about four to six weeks. The skin will also need to be protected from the sun for about six to 12 months.
Will My Laser Resurfacing Procedure Be Covered By Insurance?
Laser resurfacing procedures, which are solely cosmetic in nature, are generally not covered by insurance. When the procedure is performed for medical purposes, such as the treatment of a scar or pre-cancerous skin growth, some coverage may be available. Patients should be sure to check with their own insurance company.
How Much Does Laser Resurfacing Cost in Indianapolis?
Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery seeks to make facial surgery procedures available and affordable for everyone. To accomplish this, we offer financing options and accept cash, major credit cards and personal checks for laser resurfacing.
Mark M. Hamilton, MD, FACS, is recognized as one of the “top physicians” in America for facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, specializing solely in cosmetic facial procedures, Dr. Hamilton provides his Indianapolis patients with exceptional skills and results that last. For more information on laser resurfacing or to schedule a private consultation at Dr. Hamilton’s Carmel or Greenwood office, please contact us.