Laser Skin Resurfacing
What Laser Does Dr. Behr Use For Skin Resurfacing?
Dr. Behr uses the UltraPulse CO2 laser (TotalFX) made by Lumenis. The CO2 laser has been the gold standard for resurfacing of wrinkles for years, and the UltraPulse CO2 provides precise control of the laser treatment depth. Dr. Behr often uses the TotalFX for resurfacing of wrinkles along with the DeepFX on deep wrinkles to stimulate collagen. The TotalFX treatment gives remarkable results with less downtime and fewer side effects.
How long has Dr. Behr been performing Laser skin resurfacing?
Dr. Behr has been performing CO2 laser resurfacing since 1996. She began while at UCLA on faculty with the Ultrapulse CO2 laser. While this laser gave great results, healing was prolonged. She has been using the UltraPulse Fractional CO2 laser since 2005 and has seen excellent results with minimal side effects and no scarring to date.
Why is this laser one of Dr Behr’s favorites?
Dr. Behr has been performing CO2 laser resurfacing since 1991 and has performed several hundred cases. She loves the combination of the ActiveFX and DeepFX using the UltraPulse Laser to improve deep wrinkles, fine lines, pigment and texture in just one treatment. The improvement can be seen once the skin is healed, but due to collagen stimulation, the skin texture continues to improve over 6-9 months. It is an amazing treatment for more severe sun damage and acne scarring in patients with lighter skin types. Dr Behr tailors the treatment for each patient, carefully examining the skin thickness and skin condition. More aggressive settings can be used on deeper wrinkles such as those around the mouth and eyes.
How does Skin Resurfacing work?
With facial resurfacing, a high-energy beam of CO2 light is used to vaporize lines, wrinkles, scars, dark spots and other irregularities, layer by layer. This process also stimulates the formation of new collagen over the next six months for continued improvement. Dr. Behr performs this procedure herself and tailors the procedure according to each patient’s needs and desired recovery time.
What is the laser skin resurfacing treatment procedure?
It is very important that we pretreat your skin with appropriate skin care for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment. The Ultrapulse CO2 laser resurfacing appointments take 1-2 hours. This is because we begin with topical numbing cream for at least 30 minutes. We then give local blocks, pain medication, or nitrous oxide to make the patient as comfortable as possible. If pain medication is given a driver to take the patient home is required. Eye shields are placed on or in your eyes for protection.
During the treatment, cool air is blown on the skin for extra comfort. The DeepFX is done first making tiny fractionated deep holes in the skin to stimulate collagen production over the next 6-9 months. The ActiveFx is then performed the more superficial layers of the skin to help with the skin rejuvenation. Different energy levels and number of passes are used depending on the area and degree of photoaging or acne scarring. Then we apply ointments and place the patient under the stim light to promote healing.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Results
Laser resurfacing can restore your skin to a healthier state with fewer wrinkles. With proper sun protection and the correct skin care regimen, results can last for more than five years. Where muscle activity is strong, Dr. Behr may recommend BOTOX to help prevent lines from reappearing sooner.
How many Laser Resurfacing treatments Will I Need?
Usually, one treatment gives great results, but in patients with deeper wrinkles, a second treatment may be needed.
What down time is expected with Ultrapulse CO2 Laser treatment?
Dr Behr warns people that to get this amazing rejuvenation, there is some down time. This can vary from 1-2 weeks depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment performed. The first couple days are the worst with swelling, redness and some crusting. Most of the skin is treated with fractional resurfacing that creates microscopic channels leaving some unaffected skin in between the channels that allow for rapid healing over the first week. Patients are amazed at the progress their skin makes every day.
These effects coincide with an initial sunburned sensation, but most people don’t think the recovery is painful, including Dr Behr, who has had the CO2 treatment herself. Applying an ice pack can cool the surface inflammation and improve comfort. We prescribe appropriate antibiotics and antiviral medication to prevent infection. Patients are also given specific ointments and skin care recovery creams to use while healing. At Behr Laser & Skin Care Center, we see patients back 1-3 days after treatment to perform a light stim treatment to help heal the skin and to check the progress of their healing. By the 4th-6th day most of the skin is healed but pink. At this time, we have creams to protect the skin and cover up the redness that can last a couple weeks.
Should I avoid anything before my laser skin resurfacing treatment?
Laser resurfacing creates micro-injuries across the upper layer of the skin. We want tissue to be as healthy and resilient as possible so that the healing response to treatment can be fully successful. To achieve this, it is recommended that patients avoid:
- Sun exposure. This should begin 4 weeks before treatment. Broad-spectrum sunscreen should also be worn daily.
- Chemical peel treatment. For the 2 weeks prior to laser resurfacing, it is advisable to refrain from any treatment that will remove cells from the epidermis. In addition to chemical peels, patients should avoid microdermabrasion and other laser treatments.
- Certain medications may need to be avoided before laser resurfacing due to the risk of photosensitivity. Talk with your provider about medications you are taking and whether they should be stopped.
- Patients with a history of shingles or herpes in the treatment area need to alert their provider. Antiviral medication may need to be taken for a few days leading up to laser resurfacing to prevent a flare-up.
Should I avoid anything after treatment?
Laser skin resurfacing causes temporary inflammation, which can create mild to moderate photosensitivity. Photosensitivity means it is easier to get a sunburn. We advise patients to avoid sun exposure while their skin is healing and to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 thereafter. Optimal results can be achieved by carefully following post-treatment skincare guidelines. These may include suggestions for products to use for healing and those to avoid. If you have questions about how to care for your skin after laser resurfacing, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Are CO2 laser resurfacing results permanent?
The results that are achieved with laser resurfacing can last for years if properly cared for. Medical grade skin care use, sunscreen application every couple of hours and a healthy diet all contribute to lasting results. Age will continue to affect the appearance and structure of the skin over time, but as signs of aging emerge, they can be managed with regular treatment of lighter lasers.
Is Laser skin resurfacing safe?
Laser skin resurfacing has been performed by Dr. Behr for many years. The techniques that we use today are largely fractional. Fractional laser resurfacing does not vaporize the entire outer layer of the skin, which is why patients recover so much faster with this method. Treating only pinpoint spots of skin with intact tissue in between enhances the safety of laser resurfacing. The risk of complications from this procedure is extremely low, especially with proper treatment and follow up.
Is Laser Resurfacing painful?
Dr. Behr provides topical and intramuscular or oral medications to ensure pain management. Medication is tailored for each patient.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about Laser Skin Resurfacing, call 559-435-SKIN (7546) to schedule a consultation with Kathleen L. Behr, MD. Our practice serves Fresno, CA and surrounding areas.