As autumn arrives, and we bid farewell to the long, hot, sun-filled summertime days, it’s possible we’ll see signs of enjoying that sunshine too much. Namely, we’ll see the effects on our skin. The importance of sunscreen as it pertains to protecting our skin really can’t be overstated. On the other hand, sun damaged skin is part of reality for many of us. Whether it was being under the sun for too long without enough, or any, sunscreen, or simply a culmination of time spent in the sun over years and years, the damage has been done. If that’s the case, you don’t have to just accept the negative impact the sun has had on your skin’s appearance. Laser rejuvenation might not have been an option for past generations, but it’s available now. And it works.
Laser rejuvenation (also called “laser resurfacing”) uses a laser to send out pulses of high-energy light that are absorbed by water in the skin. The light is changed into heat energy, and that heat then destroys thin sections of skin, layer by layer. New skin then grows to replace the damaged skin that the laser removed during treatment. There are several types of lasers used for treatment, and some merely tighten the skin by heating it, but do not destroy it (less invasive, but also less effective).
Laser skin resurfacing
At our GLOW Surgical Arts office in Redwood City, we offer two specific types of laser rejuvenation.
First, we offer highly effective intense pulsed light system (IPL) treatments. The IPL laser can address issues like skin redness, sun damage, uneven skin tone, and brown spots. After just a few treatments, patients typically experience exceptional results. After an IPL session, a brief reddening of the skin is normal and temporary. Combined with a specialized skincare regimen, within a couple of weeks your skin will look younger and clearer.
Second, we also offer the SmartSkin CO2 technique for more aggressive skin resurfacing. Aging, sun damage, and scarred skin are problems that the SmartSkin CO2 option deals with wonderfully. The system allows you and your GLOW cosmetic surgeon to customize the treatment to best suit your needs, whether you’re looking for a quick refresher to your appearance, or hoping to appear several years younger. The CO2 laser doesn’t just help with damaged skin, either. Because this technique simultaneously achieves collagen rejuvenation (the primary target of the CO2 laser is water, and it is this interaction that leads to collagen rejuvenation and skin tightening), your lines, wrinkles, pores and scars will all be positively impacted. The result? Smoother, younger appearing skin.
Generally speaking, laser rejuvenation offers you a way to cause very little damage to surrounding skin and tissue while dramatically improving the appearance of a specific area. Most frequently the area people choose to address is the face, although other areas of the body are options as well. Recovery time post-procedure will vary depending on which areas of the body were treated, and how much of that area was treated (someone who has their full face rejuvenated will need more recovery time that someone who only has part of the face treated). The specifics of your recovery will depend entirely on you, and what you choose to have done.
It isn’t uncommon to have several days of downtime immediately after the procedure, although it’s typically social in nature, and you won’t be prevented from doing any of your normal activities. Your GLOW cosmetic surgeon and you will work together to outline a detailed recovery plan that best suits you. Usually, within 5-7 days, you’ll see the improvements in your skin. Additional improvements will continue to take shape for several months as the collagen rejuvenation process takes full effect.
Keep in mind, too, that the importance of sunscreen and good skincare does not go away after a laser rejuvenation procedure. On the contrary, it’s just as important as ever. Put simply, if you take good care of your new, improved, smoother, younger looking skin after receiving laser rejuvenation, the results will last for years. If you’re unhappy now with what the sun has done to your skin, laser rejuvenation can help. If you’d simply like to learn more about the treatment, we can help with that, too. Summer might be winding down, and that means saying “goodbye” to the endless sunshine. Why not also say “goodbye” to sun damaged skin?
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