What Is Lasabrasion?
Lasabrasion, also known as Laser Skin Resurfacing, is a precise method that, using computers, carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and erbium laser, removes the outer layers of damaged skin so that skin that has never been exposed to the elements can replace it. This method is also known as laser dermabrasion, laser abrasion or skin resurfacing. In order to vaporize the skin, the laser must release high energy capable of heating the cells to more than 100° C. High-tech lasers achieve this very precisely, by removing very thin layers, without causing significant damage (especially thermal) to the surrounding layers. After local or regional anesthesia, the doctor sprays the skin cells with the laser. Reaching the desired level may require 2 or 3 passages in the same session. Usually, only one session is required.
Fortunately, to counter this damage, cosmetic medicine has developed a number of rejuvenation treatments, such as lasabrasion. This is a precise method whereby, through the use of computers, the carbon dioxide laser (CO2 ) and erbium laser, the outer layers of the damaged skin is removed, to be replaced by a skin that has never been exposed to weathering. This method is also known under the names laser dermabrasion, laserabrasion, and skin resurfacing. In order to vaporize the skin, the laser must release high energy that is capable of heating the cells at upwards of 100 ºC. High-tech lasers achieve this with precision by removing very fine layers without causing any major damage-especially thermal damage to the nearby layers.
After anesthetizing the area to be treated, the cosmetic surgeon vaporizes the skin cells with the laser. Reaching the desired level may require passing over the area 2 or 3 times during the same session. Normally, one session will be sufficient.
Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing
The precision of the instruments used reduces:
- Risk of burns, unevenness or reaching an undesired depth;
- Possibilities of in-depth damage;
- Risk of complications
Furthermore, lasabrasion’s light thermal effect on the dermis prompts contraction of the collagen and elastin fibers, which promotes their growth and restructuring. Some form of smoothing of the skin can then be observed.
The laser also seals the blood vessels and nerve endings, thereby reducing ecchymoses (bruises) and postoperative pain. Another advantage: since no instrument is applied directly to the face, the surgeon has greater visibility of the treatment site and can better carry out the procedure.
What are the problems treated with Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Lasabrasion is used for treating surface problems of the skin, such as wrinkles, seborrheic keratoses, solar elastosis, some scars, and pigmentations.
Is This the Best Solution for Me?
Lasabrasion slows down the clock of time. The patient benefits from a regenerated, better organized and more elastic skin, whose texture looks younger. However, depending on your condition, Dr. Bernier may suggest other correction alternatives for wrinkles, such as collagen, Restylane ®, Teosyal ®, peeling, fat implants, or Botox®.
Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Skin Resurfacing or Lasabrasion
In the days following the procedure, your skin will require special care and close attention. A crust may form in the treated areas; it will fall by itself usually 5 to 10 days later. However, the skin may continue separating itself from its dead cells during the following days.
The skin will initially have a reddish look but gradually become pink before recovering its normal hue. The process usually takes from 4 to 6 weeks for erbium laser and 8 to 12 weeks for CO 2 laser. A foundation cream applied during the recovery period helps to conceal this inconvenience.
A slight feeling of burning will be felt about one hour after the anesthetic wears off. Most discomforts can be relieved with extra-strength Tylenol.
Will I have to be off work?
There are no restrictions concerning regular activities following a lasabrasion procedure. However, for cosmetic reasons, most patients wait for the crusts to fall-5 to 10 days before resuming their social activities.
What are the possible complications?
The potential problems linked to lasabrasion are the following:
- Scarring: Formation of an unsightly scar. This is usually due to a hereditary tendency to excessive scarring.
- Pigmentation: Pigmentation alterations, usually of a temporary nature, may occur. This can depend on multiple factors like the patient’s skin color, the unpredictable nature of re-pigmentation and skin rejuvenation.
- Millia: Minuscule temporary white nodules.
- Other problems (though infrequent): Infection, prolonged redness, lack of response.
Lasabrasion has been in use since the beginning of the 1990s. Studies conducted through biopsies then showed that the changes in the skin’s structure compared favorably with those observed after phenol chemexfoliation. That treatment boasted an average rejuvenation period of 8 years. Similar results can, therefore, be expected from lasabrasion.