The skin is susceptible to a variety of damaging effects, including sun damage, chronic dryness, and more. These factors, as well as aging, can have a significant impact on the appearance of the skin, causing patches of discoloration and overall dullness. While sunscreen and prescription-strength lotions go a long way toward protecting the skin, more thorough treatment is needed to reverse already existing skin damage. Laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that rejuvenates the skin and helps you achieve a youthful glow. Scottsdale cosmetic surgeon Dr. Berardi is pleased to offer this advanced procedure so that his patients look as vibrant as they feel. Read through the paragraphs below to learn more about what laser skin resurfacing near Scottsdale can do for you.
What Is Laser Treatment?
The body has amazing healing capabilities, and for laser skin resurfacing, the goal is to engage these natural healing mechanisms to rejuvenate the skin both on the surface epidermis layer and in the skin’s second layer, the dermis.
On the surface skin, Dr. Berardi uses our Erbium YAG laser. When he directs the laser light energy down onto the target areas, the light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the sun-damaged areas such as age spots. The energy breaks up the melanin and these areas of darker skin slough off in a few days. Laser energy can also close broken capillaries and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The dermis is where our body creates collagen. To trigger new production, the goal is to have the laser energy penetrate the outer epidermis and enter the dermis. When the energy enters the dermis it converts to heat, and when the body senses heat in the dermis it assumes a wound has occurred. It responds by remodeling the existing collagen in the area and immediately starting the production of new collagen to “heal” the perceived wound, although in these procedures the tiny punctures heal within a couple of hours. For these deeper treatments, Dr. Berardi uses our CO2 laser. This improves the skin over the following weeks.
What problems can laser skin resurface address?
The more aggressive CO2 fractional resurfacing triggers a full healing response in the body. This improves:
- Moderate lines and wrinkles
- Acne scarring
- Skin texture problems
- Skin tone
- Skin thickness
- Pigmented lesions
The Erbium YAG laser treats superficial issues with the skin. This improves:
- Shallow lines and wrinkles
- Age spots
- Port wine spots
- Areas of hyperpigmentation
- Skin texture
What are the benefits of having laser skin resurfacing?
What’s the benefit of having healthier, younger-looking skin? Laser skin resurfacing at Berardi Aesthetics does that on the two levels described above. Whether your issues are age spots and sun damage on the epidermis, or lines and texture issues that need to be rebuilt from collagen in the dermis, these are great treatments.
Plus, the laser energy used simply triggers the body to heal itself. Whether the Erbium laser is breaking up melanin in age spots or whether the CO2 laser is heating the dermis, the reaction in the body is a completely natural process.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Candidates
Laser skin resurfacing may be appropriate for you if you experience mild to moderate signs of skin damage such as wrinkles, discoloration, and overall skin dullness. The procedure can be performed on all patients over the age of 18, though it is typically the procedure of choice for men and women in their 30s or older. Dr. Berardi will evaluate your skin to determine if you will respond well to laser skin resurfacing in Scottsdale. For example, patients with dark skin may not experience the same benefits of treatment. Laser skin resurfacing is also not ideal if you are prone to scarring or if you currently have acne. If you are not a candidate for laser skin resurfacing, Dr. Berardi can recommend other skin and facial rejuvenation procedures.
Recovering from Laser Skin Resurfacing
As a Scottsdale resurfacing patient, you should expect to experience swelling and redness for a few days after the procedure. Dr. Berardi will provide thorough post-operative instructions and will prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medications to encourage fast and comfortable healing. Because laser skin resurfacing peels away the top layer of skin, you will develop weeping skin for about one week. It is important that you avoid picking and keep your skin moist, as this can lead to the development of scars. You will be given very specific post-op instructions prior to your procedure. You should avoid sun exposure until all of the redness has disappeared on your face. The final results of laser skin resurfacing should be evident within three to six weeks. As always, Dr. Berardi and his staff are available to address any questions or concerns that may arise during your recovery period.
How often should I have these skin resurfacing treatments?
Because lasers are so versatile, our patients from Scottsdale and the surrounding areas have lots of options with their treatments. We’ll help you decide the treatment that fits your needs.
If you’re simply having Erbium YAG superficial treatments, these can be repeated every couple of months, as there really isn’t any recovery time. CO2 fractional resurfacing is more aggressive and should only be done once or twice a year. This is because your skin improvements are much more elaborate and longer-lasting.
All of this is very individual, based on your goals. We’ll help you understand which treatments could be right for you and how often you may want to have them.
After my laser skin resurfacing treatment, what can I expect to happen?
For Erbium YAG superficial treatments your skin may be a little red for a day or so, but that’s about it. Applying lotion will be all you really need to do.
After CO2 fractional resurfacing, there is a little recovery. This is what you can expect by the day, although this can vary with the patient:
- Day 1 — You will leave our Scottsdale offices and your skin will appear as if moderately sunburned and it will feel tight.
- Day 2 — Your skin will now appear bronzed and darker.
- Day 3-4 — Your skin will begin to peel, and areas may itch.
- Day 5 — Peeling should begin to end.
- Day 7-8 — Your redness should fully resolve.
Is laser skin resurfacing painful?
We apply topical numbing cream with lidocaine prior to your laser skin resurfacing session. This keeps you comfortable. Most patients equate the delivery of the short pulses of laser energy to a snapping with a small rubber band, followed by a warm sensation.
Are there risks with laser skin resurfacing?
These are low-risk treatments. These are potential risks that are very rare:
- Skin burns
- Changes in pigmentation on darker skin tones
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for laser skin resurfacing?
- Avoid tanning or heavy sun exposure for one month before your session.
- Don’t have any medium chemical peels or dermabrasion for one month before your session.
- Don’t use medications that cause photosensitivity, such as doxycycline or minocycline, for at least 72 hours before your session.
- If you have a history of herpes or shingles in the treatment area, we need to know beforehand.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Dull, damaged skin can cause you to look aged and worn down, leaving you less than satisfied with your looks. Through advanced treatments such as laser skin resurfacing in Scottsdale, Dr. Berardi can help you look as radiant as you feel. If you have experienced sun damage and are interested in learning more about treatments to revitalize your skin, contact Berardi Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery at 480.397.0711 today to schedule a consultation.