Facial Resurfacing at QnA Cosmetic Surgery
For the last forty years, facial resurfacing treatments have become more and more popular as we attempt to reduce wrinkles produced by sun damage and aging. When skin has been damaged to the extent that topical creams, exfoliating treatments such as microdermabrasion, and mild chemical peels are of little benefit, more aggressive measures are necessary to mitigate the damage and restore a more youthful appearance.
There are varied facial resurfacing techniques, and which one is best for a particular person depends upon the amount of wrinkling and sun damage present and the level of post-procedure inflammation and downtime acceptable. Generally speaking, a more aggressive resurfacing requiring more inflammation and downtime will yield better results after one session than a milder method with faster healing. In other words, the more the insult, the more reaction, and therefore the more profound and positive will be the result.
The modalities used at QnA Cosmetic Surgery for facial resurfacing fall into two basic groups: chemical peels using TCA (trichloroacetic acid) and laser resurfacing.
Chemical Peel (Using TCA)
TCA has been used for decades in chemical peeling because of its predictability and efficacy. Depending upon the depth of resurfacing needed for optimal improvement, different concentrations of the acid are used in specific facial areas. For instance, the nose and central cheeks frequently have large pores and thick, tough skin, and the skin around the mouth is often yellowish because of the overgrown sebaceous glands underneath. These areas require stronger TCA, while the softer, thinner areas of skin, such as the outer cheeks, need less potency.
The acid is applied with a cotton swab and is then neutralized at the appearance of a uniform white “frost” across the treated area. Optimal improvement depends upon the choice of acid strength and the length of time the acid is allowed to frost before it is neutralized.
The advantages of a chemical peel are its relative affordability compared to other resurfacing techniques, the quickness of the procedure combined with only transient discomfort, and the ability to spot-treat stubborn areas until the desired result is achieved. Within one week, typically sunspots and freckles are eliminated, and fresh, pink skin is revealed. Aftercare is intense for the first week followed by strict sun avoidance/protection for several months. If proper aftercare is not followed, temporary pigmentary differences could occur which can be treated with bleaching creams. Results continue to improve over months as the manufacturing of collagen continues to be stimulated.
Pearl Fractional Laser Resurfacing
In the past, laser resurfacing procedures carried a hefty price in the form of prolonged healing and complications because they simply stripped every layer of skin down to a certain level, leaving the raw under layers to heal.
Pearl fractional resurfacing eliminates both the prolonged healing and the risk of most complications by pulsing tiny beams of laser energy through the outer layers of the skin to remodel the collagen and elastic tissue directly in the dermis. The result is that a significant amount of laser remodeling occurs in the collagen layers with far less downtime than more aggressive laser treatments.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
The CO2 laser provides the deepest level of penetration for facial resurfacing with often stunning results, but more aftercare and downtime are necessary than with the Pearl Fractional or a TCA peel. By eliminating several outer layers of skin and inducing inflammation, the repair cells underneath churn out new collagen to restore and tighten, and the surface layer is improved in texture and tone. CO2 is often used with great success in tender areas which cannot be treated with a TCA peel or as effectively with the Pearl factional laser but which need intensive resurfacing for deep wrinkles—namely, the lower eyelids (dark circles and crepe-like skin) and the skin surrounding the mouth (upper lip "smoker's wrinkles," yellowed sebaceous skin, and "lipstick lines").
After local anesthetic is administered, the CO2 laser scans over the skin and vaporizes the damage precisely to the desired level. The new, smooth, pink skin underneath is immediately exposed which must be treated with compresses and ointments for a week, such as is done after a chemical peel. Typically by the end of the week, concealer and/or makeup can be applied as the treated area continues to heal. Results improve over time as collagen continues to be produced. The aftercare is worth the trouble when the dark circles are history, lipstick lines are no more, and people think you are ten years younger than your age!
See imperfections fade, look refreshed, and feel confident after facial resurfacing at QnA Cosmetic Surgery. Call today and schedule your consultation with Dr. Robert Benson or Dr. Christel Malinski to discuss if facial resurfacing is the right treatment for you. Conveniently located in Southeast Louisiana, QnA Cosmetic Surgery is just a short drive away from Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and the Northshore communities.
Combination Resurfacing Treatments
Often patients are benefited by combination treatments which either address one specific area or multiple areas with two different types of resurfacing methods. The overall result is enhanced, and one downtime for a combination treatment is optimal for patients. These images illustrate the results of CO2 and TCA Peel combination treatments.