Laser Skin Resurfacing Overview
Houston facial plastic surgery expert, Dr. Russell Kridel performs the most advanced laser skin resurfacing treatments to help patients improve or remove fine lines and deep wrinkles, as well as lighten skin blemishes due to sun damage. At FPSA, we were one of the first Houston area plastic surgeons to introduce laser skin resurfacing to the local market, and have 3 different types of the most advanced lasers that reverse the signs of aging skin for a more youthful, refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.
About Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is an advanced skin rejuvenation treatment that uses laser beams of focused light localized to target trouble areas on the face. When a laser light hits its target, energy is released often in the form of heat to erase out the specific intended target without harming the surrounding tissues. It treats sun damage by stripping injured skin layer-by-layer with controlled precision. There are ablative and non-ablative laser skin resurfacing treatments. During an ablative procedure, an intense beam of laser light energy is directed at the skin, removing the outer thin layers. This is a one-time treatment, but also results in a longer recovery. The results, however, can be quite dramatic. A non-ablative laser does not remove any layers of skin. Instead, it stimulates the growth of collagen, which helps tighten underlying skin. This process offers a shorter recovery period and in most cases requires more than one treatment. Since there are different strengths/powers of lasers, a good rule of thumb is that the more powerful the laser, the longer the downtime. It is also important to understand that no one laser does it all, and that in some instances, Dr. Kridel may use different laser types to help you achieve optimum results.
What Sets Us Apart
At FPSA, your laser skin resurfacing procedures are performed by board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Russell Kridel, or a registered nurse under the direct supervision of our surgeon. This provides patients with the peace of mind that they are in the hands of a physician who focuses solely on the neck, and the procedure is done in the safety and comfort of a medical office environment. It takes great skill and finesse to provide a laser skin resurfacing treatment that is unique to each patient and provides the best possible facial rejuvenation outcome, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach at many medical spas. Dr. Kridel is a leading expert on laser technology, and has performed thousands of successful treatments. Dr. Kridel has written numerous medical journal articles and textbook chapters on the aging face and the various uses of lasers. He has also presented lectures at international conferences on many of the different laser modalities available.
Laser skin resurfacing procedures are performed at our beautiful medical offices in our AAAHC-accredited suite for maximum comfort and patient safety. Depending on the size of area you desire to have covered, the treatment can take 1 to 3 hours. At FPSA, we make sure patients are as comfortable as possible, so numbing medication is preferred for facial resurfacing treatments. For full CO2 patients, “twilight anesthesia” is recommended. At FPSA, we offer 3 different advanced laser skin resurfacing technique options described below.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Reviews
"Everything was really easy and smooth, things were explained thoroughly, and I felt taken care of the whole way. :) Would recommend!"- A. / Healthgrades / Feb 07, 2019
"I have never been more impressed with an entire staff of people in all my life. Literally every single encounter throughout my initial consultation all the way to each follow up visit has been delightful. Due to Dr. Kridel’s outstanding reputation, I was pretty confident I was in great hands, but I must say in my personal experience, my already predicted great expectations were exceeded! I was so impressed by my experience I have since then given my mother a gift for a procedure with Dr. Kridel and that speaks volumes! Every single person of this staff is very much appreciated!"- H.H. / Office Visit / Mar 16, 2016
"I was made welcome the first moment I walked into this office. The staff is extremely professional and friendly. If I ever needed to change an appointment, they were very helpful. Dr. Kridel made me feel relaxed and unafraid before, during, and after surgery. His great smile and wonderful bedside manner ranks him top of the list of physicians. I would not hesitate to have him do surgery on me again if needed."- B.B. / Office Visit / Feb 15, 2016
CO2: Carbon Dioxide Laser
Don’t let the name throw you. Carbon dioxide is just the type of medium that the laser uses. This is a fully ablative laser or one that works on the whole skin surface. It is considered the gold standard, but it also has the longest recovery period. The CO2 laser vaporizes, not burns, the top layers of the skin. Then, over a matter of weeks and months, the skin regenerates to form new, smooth skin and eliminate wrinkles. In addition, the collagen in the skin reforms and remodels. For the first two weeks of the recovery period, new skin in forming. As a result, patients traditionally do not go outside. After about two to three weeks, patients can use makeup and go out and about. There is still some redness to the skin for a few months afterward depending on the patient, but this dissipates. CO2 laser resurfacing can give tightening to the face, as well as get rid of the sun damage, spots and fine lines that occur with age. Results from CO2 laser skin resurfacing show the most dramatic results and improvement.
Fractionated CO2 Laser
The fractionated CO2 laser technique uses the same basic technology as the full CO2. However, this laser is less powerful. Instead of burning off a large section of skin, the fractional approach sends down little pulses of energy in only selected sections of skin. It does not totally take off the top layer of skin. Since the skin between the burned areas is still healthy, healing times can be significantly improved. The results are still quite good, but it’s not the same as the fully ablative CO2. The recovery time is about 10-14 days. The settings can also be modified so the recovery is even less. Both of these carbon dioxide lasers — the fully ablative CO2 and the fractionated CO2 are one-time treatments. While Full C02 can only be done on the face, Fractionated CO2 and Fraxel can be done on the face and neck area.
The Fraxel Laser is the only device specially designed to resurface a fraction of the skin at a time without breaking its protective outer barrier. Think of a digital photo that is comprised of thousands of pixels. Now, imagine damaged skin that is delicately repaired, pixel by pixel, spot by spot. That’s the principle behind Fraxel Laser Treatment. It’s like Adobe Photoshop® for your skin.This treatment approach allows for dramatic cosmetic improvement without the redness, downtime and discomfort of more traditional abrasive techniques. This laser is the least powerful of the lasers. Less power means less downtime, but it also means that more than one treatment (3 to 5) will be needed to get optimum results. The Fraxel Laser technology is very popular. It is ideal for adults with mild to moderate periorbital wrinkles, age spots and skin discoloration and require little or no downtime. In fact, it can be used on practically any area of the body. There may be some redness and peeling after the treatment, but most patients return to work the next day or after a weekend.
Laser Skin Resurfacing During/After the Procedure
Depending on which laser is used, there can be some mild swelling or redness after a laser resurfacing treatment. The amount of downtime will also very. Full CO2 laser treatments will require the longest downtime, while Fraxel patients may only need up to a couple of days. While this will vary in severity, it is common for the face to have crust and scaling as it heals. Laser skin resurfacing will leave the face exposed with a new layer of healthy, yet sensitive, skin. So, it is advised to wear sunscreen every day and restrict sun exposure as much as possible.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Expected Cost
The cost for laser skin resurfacing varies according to the technology used and the number and size of areas treated. The average cost can range between $1,100-$6,500.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $1,100 - $6,500
- Recovery Time
- 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 4-6 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQs
While laser skin resurfacing does not stop the aging process, the results can be both dramatic and long lasting.
It is very common for patients to combine laser skin resurfacing with surgical procedures. For example, facelift surgery addresses loose and sagging skin, but does not address skin texture. As a result, facelift patients often have CO2 laser around the mouth to permanently remove deeper wrinkles. Some have a full face CO2 laser treatment with a facelift for a more complete facial transformation. Eyelid surgery patients have laser treatment to address crow’s feet and fine lines around the eyes if they desire a more permanent solution than fillers or wrinkle relaxers.
Selecting a Specialist
Laser skin resurfacing takes a great deal of skill. So, it is extremely important to trust your face only to an expert facial plastic surgeon with laser resurfacing experience. During your consultation, it is important to ask a few important questions:
- How many of these procedures have you done?
- Do you have before and post op pictures from this device?
- How long have you been using this device?
- Why did you select this device over the others available?
- How long have you been performing laser procedures?
- Have you written any papers on laser resurfacing or the different laser devices?
CO2 Laser - Additional Uses
The CO2 laser is best used for the face, in general, where wrinkles exist. One of the areas that can change most dramatically are the lines around the mouth, where many women show aging. Full CO2 laser treatment can also be used for vaporization of lesions, such as keratoses, syringomas, and hyperplasia. It can also help even out scars. CO2 is also one of the best treatments for rhinophyma — the condition that some men get that enlarges the tip of the nose with bumps. The amount of improvement from CO2 Laser Resurfacing can be quite significant.
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