There are several procedures that may be used to rejuvenate the facial skin including chemical peels, dermabrasion and CO2 laser skin resurfacing. Based on nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Yellin’s technique of choice remains CO2 laser skin resurfacing to smooth and tighten facial skin.
While this procedure is most commonly used to minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, cheeks and forehead, it also is effective in treating precancerous sun damaged skin, acne scars, and uneven pigmentation.
CO2 laser skin resurfacing can be safely performed under local anesthesia in the office, if treating localized areas such as around the eyes or mouth. If full face resurfacing is indicated, general anesthesia in an outpatient surgical center is required. Additionally,CO2 laser skin resurfacing can be performed in conjunction with other facial surgical procedures; most frequently around the eyes and mouth at the time of a facelift. However, in the interest of patient safety, Dr. Yellin does not perform laser resurfacing on the skin of the cheeks at the time of a facelift since the skin in this area has been surgically lifted and the blood supply somewhat compromised. To avoid an increased risk of poor skin healing, if the patient requires a facelift and full face CO2 laser skin resurfacing, the procedures will be staged, typically 3-6 months apart. The exception is the forehead, which can be lifted and resurfaced at the same time, due to the robust nature of the blood supply and thickness of the soft tissues in this area.
After the procedure, the skin sheds for about one week after which time it is red for several weeks and back to normal color in several months. The patient must avoid the sun until the skin is normal in color or risk unwanted hyperpigmentation. During the procedure, the laser safely removes sun damaged skin layer by layer. The laser penetrates to a precise, controlled depth, reducing the risk of scarring or pigmentation problems. With healing, the outer layers of skin grow anew, collagen is stimulated which thickens the skin, and the skin is 3-dimensionally tightened producing smoother, younger-looking facial skin.
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