Here at the Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine, we are proud to offer state-of-the-art laser skin resurfacing. This advanced treatment can improve your complexion and reduce scars, blemishes, wrinkles and other blemishes. We provide the best care and have recruited master laser trainers who provide instruction to other aesthetic medical practices.
Patients come to Zelken Institute for laser therapy for a variety of concerns such as wrinkle smoothing, skin rejuvenation, texture improvement, pigment correction, skin resurfacing, scar revision, scar lightening, vein removal, hair removal, melasma, age spots, sun damage, or overall age defying. We routinely treat surgical patients with a variety of lasers to help them achieve their end goals.Watch Video
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive treatment for blemished and aged skin. The laser removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and heats the deeper layer (dermis). This encourages new collagen fibers to grow, so your skin is smoother and firmer once it heals. Because the laser can precisely target imperfections, lightening of the skin after treatment is less of a problem.
The Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine features the newest Lumenis AcuPulse system. This achieves a new level of control in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision, especially in delicate areas. Fractionated laser treatment, also known as Fraxel, laser peel, laser vaporization and lasabrasion, can reduce facial wrinkles, scars and blemishes. We also offer fully ablative treatments.
Laser skin resurfacing works through light. Laser energy is light that is super concentrated. The doctors and nurses at Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine use the laser to send short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This removes unwanted, damaged skin in a very precise manner one layer at a time. Laser skin resurfacing’s targeted approach means there are fewer problems with hypopigmentation, or a lightening of skin, for procedures such as laser acne scar removal.
The laser beam used in laser resurfacing will remove your outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. It simultaneously heats the underlying skin, called the dermis. This action works to stimulate growth of new collagen fibers. As the treated area heals, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer. After the resultant ‘bad sunburn’ peels away, you will immediately see youth in the pink underlying skin.
Laser skin resurfacing is a great option for many people. However, you may not be a good candidate if you have active acne, deep wrinkles, or excessive or sagging skin. Patients with darker complexions are more likely to heal with darker pigmentation, also called hyperpigmentation, but the risk can be reduced by using a bleaching agent after the procedure.
Prior to laser skin resurfacing, you may undergo a series of skin treatments to prepare your skin, reduce complications and help you achieve the best results. These treatments are designed for your specific skin type and often begin 6 weeks or more before your procedure.
Typically, cosmetic laser skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure and lasts between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Your face will be cleaned and you may be given eye protection. Since the treatment can be painful, skin may be numbed with local anesthetic and a sedative may be administered to keep you relaxed. Dr. Zelken might opt for general anesthetic if the treatment area is large or you’re having other cosmetic work done at the same time.
Two kinds of lasers are used for skin resurfacing: CO2 lasers and Erbium lasers. CO2 lasers target thin layers of skin and cause little damage to surrounding tissue. Erbium lasers remove fine or moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, and can also be used on the neck, chest or hands.
Individual results may vary
Following laser skin resurfacing, Dr. Zelken, Nurse Miki Omori, and the team will provide specific instructions regarding how to care for your skin. These may include cleaning treated areas with a saline and vinegar solution and applying moisturizer. It’s especially important to use sunscreen since laser resurfacing makes your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
In most cases, your skin will feel like you have a mild sunburn after laser resurfacing. You may experience redness and swelling, as well as itching or stinging for a few days following the procedure. Depending on the treatment, some patients may appear severely sunburned with skin that’s raw and may even blister. A yellow liquid could ooze from treated areas and harden into a crust. If this happens, do not scratch or pick at the crusts because it can cause scarring.
Your skin will usually become dry and peel about five days to a week after laser resurfacing. It’s possible for patients to have some redness or pinkness in their skin for up to several months after laser skin resurfacing. This can generally be camouflaged with makeup.
Some people notice the benefits of laser resurfacing immediately, and skin will continue to improve for up to a year. While results are long-lasting, wrinkles and expression lines will reappear due to the normal aging process. You may require repeat laser resurfacing.
If you’re considering laser skin resurfacing or have further questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a consultation with Dr. Zelken. We’re located at 1617 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach, CA, and we can be reached at (949) 432-4730. We serve patients from across the world — we have a Mandarin Chinese-speaking physician — as well as clients in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach, California.
CO2 lasers are time-tested. For year doctors have used CO2 lasers to treat various skin conditions. In addition to fine lines, it can zap away “wisdom” or “liver” spots, treat warts, and improve birth marks, nevi, oil glands on the nose, and large pores. A newer generation of CO2 lasers has the power to deliver very short pulsed light energy (called ultrapulsed) or continuous light beams. This type of laser precisely removes thin layers of skin with minimal damage to your surrounding tissue.
Cosmetic laser resurfacing is usually done on an outpatient basis and typically takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
Laser skin resurfacing can be painful. Dr. Zelken may numb the skin with local anesthetics. You may also receive a sedative to help you relax. If you are opting for extensive resurfacing, or if you’re having other cosmetic procedures simultaneously, Dr. Zelken may even recommend a general anesthetic. Afterwards, you may require painkillers to keep you comfortable. In preparation, your face will be thoroughly cleaned and you might be given eye protection.
About 2 weeks. Skin that's treated with laser resurfacing may react in different ways. With conservative or localized treatments, it will feel like a mild sunburn. You'll have some redness and swelling. You may also experience itching or stinging for a few days after the procedure. With more aggressive fractionated and fully ablative laser treatments, some people may have what looks like a severe sunburn. The skin will be raw, oozing and may even blister. A yellow liquid may ooze from treated areas to form a crust. We ask you to avoid the temptation to scratch or pick at crusts because this can cause permanent scarring.
Usually, about five days to a week after laser skin resurfacing, your skin will become dry and peel. To make the healing process as easy and seamless as possible, we will provide you detailed instructions and a Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine Swag Bag. In general, we ask that you follow these steps during your laser skin resurfacing recovery: 1. clean the treated areas two to five times a day with saline or a diluted vinegar solution as directed by your plastic surgeon. 2. Apply protective skin care treatments that are recommended by Dr. Zelken to help your skin heal. 3. After healing, you'll need to use sunscreen, particularly one that's formulated for the sensitive, rejuvenated skin on your face. Every day. No exceptions! Dr. Zelken will help you select the correct type of sunscreen to best protect your treated areas. If directed to do so, use a liberal amount of moisturizer each day on your new skin.
Most often, the treated area will peel. After that, the new, rejuvenated skin will be pink, but it will gradually lighten over two to three months. It may take up to a year for the pinkness to go away. It is very important to protect your skin during this time of healing. Redness tends to last longer in blondes and redheads. You may resume application of Retin-A and/or glycolic acid products around six weeks after laser resurfacing or as directed by the Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine doctors.
Complications of laser skin resurfacing are possible and you should be aware of all possible risks. You can get a acne flare-up. The doctors at Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine are trained to address this temporary complication. Bacterial infections can also occur, and can be more serious if ignored. The Doctors may recommend taking an antibiotic prior to the laser procedure and afterwards. Cold sore reactivation, arising from herpes, may occur. This may occur particularly if you have laser resurfacing around your mouth. Be sure to tell you doctor about your history of cold sores. You can prevent the reactivation by taking an antiviral medication before and after the procedure. Hyperpigmentation or darkening of the treated area can also occur, especially in darker skinned individuals. In some cases, the Doctors may recommend a bleaching solution. More rarely you may have hypopigmentation, a lightening of the skin tone. Small white bumps called milia may appear during healing, but are easily removed by gentle cleansing with a washcloth. Swelling is possible, especially around the eyes and jowls. If you are having laser skin resurfacing around your eyes, Dr. Zelken may prescribe oral steroids to manage this swelling.
Let us reiterate a word of caution: in inexperienced hands, laser resurfacing can be dangerous. In addition to seeking a doctor or nurse who is trained and qualified in plastic surgery procedures, make sure the physician or nurse has specific experience with this type of procedure. Even though the laser therapy may ultimately be delivered by another healthcare professional in the surgeon’s office, it will be with the surgeon’s close supervision.
It’s possible that your skin may stay red or pink for up to several months after laser skin resurfacing. You may also be extra sensitive to sunlight for up to a year. Make efforts to minimize sun exposure and use that sunscreen liberally, every day. If you have pink skin for a long time, you can camouflage the pink or red skin once your treated areas have healed. Most often, makeup is used to tone down the color. A green-based or olive makeup is best to neutralize red color. Be sure to opt for an oil-free makeup.
Alternatively, some people who have laser resurfacing may see an immediate difference in the treated skin. That will continue to improve for up to a year. While the effects of laser resurfacing can last for many years, the normal aging process means that wrinkles and expression lines will reoccur. You may repeat laser resurfacing as necessary.
Written by Dr. Jonathan Zelken
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