Laser Resurfacing is defined as the improvement of surface irregularities of the skin with lasers. These irregularities include wrinkles ( and their little cousins "rough texture" ) and acne scars. After treatment the skin is smoother ( not tighter, as some may imagine ). The improvement starts with the procedure but continues for months & even years afterward due to the stimulation of the patient's skin smoothing collagen.
The lasers which are the most effective at improving wrinkles are not the most effective at improving acne scars and vice versa. As we have pointed out elsewhere the consultation is very important in determining the most effective treatment for one's condition.
For the treatment of wrinkles the CO2 laser remains the most effective treatment available; it has an advantage over its main rival, the erbium, in that it can also tighten lower eyelid skin as part of its wrinkle resurfacing procedure. Dr. Hamilton has performed over 1000 CO2 laser resurfacing procedures in his Beverly Hills and Woodland Hills offices since 1996.
We use the Ulta Pulse Co2 which is the Rolls Royce of the CO2 devices. There is a very definite one month preparation with topical and oral medications; followed by a very specific after care regimen. Down time is 7 days for local areas; 10 days for a full face. Substantial results are seen early andeven improve with time.
Fraxel is the most effective laser treatment for acne scars. It is non-ablative ( no removal of skin & no downtime ) so it is able to go much deeper than any of the ablative lasers ( e.g., the ablative CO2 or fractionated CO2 or Erbium ) which need to heal from hair follicles, thereby preventing penetration of the laser light to the bottom of many acne scars.
Fraxel is also the treatment of choice for white stretch marks where it is the first modality which yields substantial improvement.