Getting a younger look with lasers

July 24, 2009 3:25:04 PM PDT
Many women like to keep up with the latest skin newest techniques to help to keep them younger looking. One popular one is skin resurfacing with a carbon dioxide laser. For a long time, traditional carbon dioxide lasers have been thought to be one of the most effect ways to do away with some of the damages of sun and age. Now, a new treatment method revises the way the co2 laser is used, it's called a d "fractionated or fractional" carbon dioxide laser.

Forty eight year old Margaret Miglia is about to undergo a treatment with this new laser to rejuvenate her skin.

"I had it done the first time a year ago and I still think I have effects from it, even now today. I mean the brown spots haven't come back," said Margaret.

After a numbing cream has taken effect, Margaret receives tiny injections of another numbing agent, lidocaine which makes the most sensitive part of the face entirely numb. Special goggles are also needed.

"This is to allow us to work all the way up to the eyelash line because many patients are concerned about wrinkles in the area right around the eye," said Dr. Jeffrey Orringer with University of Michigan Health System.

Dr. Orringer will then basically pass the laser twice over the skin.

"The skin is immediately swollen, red and it also oozes a fluid called serum, which contains the protein that is helping to heal the skin," he said. "It's like getting a really bad sunburn."

A really bad sunburn that will usually fade in a week or two. This fractionated laser is different than previous versions because it delivers the laser beams differently.

"The beam that strikes the skin vaporizes the tissue and creates a number of changes in the skin that lead to an enhanced appearance," said Dr. Orringer.

An enhanced appearance that gives patients like Margaret a boost.

"I had the procedure two and a half weeks ago and I love it," she said.

Clients need to look for doctors who specialize in lasers and ones who have the best and latest technology. The result of the procedure is a more even skin tone, and the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles It should last over a few years.

However, there can be complications, although rare, but everyone should hear from the doctor what these possibilities are. As with traditional ablative co2 laser resurfacing, scarring is a potential complication of ablative fractional co2 laser resurfacing, particularly on the neck. With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of neck skin, it may be reversible. Caution is needed when treating the neck with this device and close attention to wound care in the post-operative period.