21 Sep 2023 | by Leonard Miller, MD, FACS, FRCS
Your skin is the body’s largest organ. As such, it bears a large portion of the aging burden. External elements such as dry weather, the sun’s rays, and pollution, genetics, illness and your lifestyle choices will all eventually show up on your skin. But here’s the good news. At the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, we have a lot of tools for de-aging the skin. One of the easiest and most effective is laser skin resurfacing. We can’t stop Father Time. But lasers can help guarantee that your skin never reflects the actual age on your driver’s license.
Are You a Candidate for Lasers?
Lasers are ideal for both men and women of all skin tones. And one of the nicest things about them is that lasers can treat a multitude of aging issues. So, if you are bothered by:
- Sun spots
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- Age spots
- Uneven pigmentation
- Dry, dull complexion
- Large pores
There is a laser that can help. However, each is unique so it is important that you be assessed in person by a board-certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist. It takes training and experience to understand the pros and cons of each laser in order to recommend the best one for achieving your desired outcome.View our before & after photos
How Lasers Work: Ablative vs. Non-Ablative
All lasers work by creating concentrated pulses of energy that “damage” the skin in the treatment area. The body responds to these tiny injuries by producing more collagen and elastin. As they are the cornerstones of youthful looking skin, the end result is a younger looking you. However, there are two different types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. The former actually removes a portion of the top layer of the skin. This makes them ideal for addressing serious sun damage and more aggressive fine lines and wrinkles. But they also require significant downtime which makes them not the best choice for our Boston area patients who are dying to head outside and enjoy spring.
Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, actually penetrate deeper into the skin, but leave the surface undamaged. Lasers such as the Clear + Brilliant, and PicoSure deliver significant improvement with little to no downtime. This is why they are one of the secrets to youthful looking skin. They can be done on anyone at any time without really impinging on your life.
Clear + Brilliant
The Clear + Brilliant non-ablative laser is basically the laser equivalent of a facial. Only this procedure is faster and you leave with a youthful looking glow that does not disappear by the next day. In fact, the improvement that you will see in your skin tone and texture is pretty remarkable. Great for both men and women, the Clear + Brilliant packs enough of a punch to:
- Improve skin tone and texture
- Reduce the size of your pores
- Smooth out uneven pigmentation
But it’s also gentle enough to treat the delicate tissues of the face, neck, chest and hands. FDA approved, this laser is incredibly safe and very effective. While your skin will look better after only one session, I typically recommend a series of 6, scheduled 3-4 weeks apart, for truly astounding results.
The PicoSure laser was originally developed to erase unwanted tattoos. This ability to remove all of the different colors of ink makes this laser ideal for addressing pigment issues such as melasma. Uneven pigment is extremely aging. It can also be caused by a number of things that are outside of our control such as:
- Sun damage
But the short, high powered pulses of the PicoSure laser are adept at removing dark spots, freckles and scars. Furthermore, this laser smooths out fine lines and wrinkles by promoting your body to produce more collagen and elastin. The treatment is fast, only taking about 30 minutes, and you should see your results in about 4 weeks. Like the Clear + Brilliant, you will notice an improvement after just one session. But I usually recommend a series of 3-6 for optimum results.
Combining Lasers with Other Procedures
A Clear + Brilliant or PicoSure treatment can be a great standalone procedure. However, I will often combine laser skin resurfacing with other non-surgical modalities such as Profound which will tighten any loose, sagging skin. I will almost always recommend a really good skincare regime with high quality products. Laser skin resurfacing is like a re-birth for your skin. In order to keep this new skin looking its best, it is important to feed and nourish it properly. And sunscreen is a must. So many of the issues that make our skin look dull, tired and old have their root in sun damage. Protecting your fresh, youthful glow with an SPF sunscreen of at least thirty that guards against both UVA and UVB rays is imperative.
So, if you feel like you need a little “spring” in your step this May, come in to talk with us about what lasers can do for you. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.