You asked, we answered. Here are some of the top patient questions we get about laser treatments for face, winkles and more!
Q: What is the best laser for deeper wrinkles, some sun damage and crows feet?
A: Deep wrinkles caused by repetitive muscle movements, such as on the forehead and the 11 lines or glabella between the eyebrows are best treated by neuromodulators (Botox, Xeomin) to temporarily relax the muscles. Since these types of wrinkles, dynamic wrinkles, are caused by using the muscle laser will not help to reduce these types of deeper wrinkles. Deep wrinkles that are present at rest of facial movement, or static wrinkles, are from loss of collagen and elastin and deepen as we age. Laser resurfacing can be an option for these types of wrinkles (see below for more details). At your consult the physician will evaluate and determine the best treatment for your deeper wrinkles.
IPL (intense pulse light) is a device that treats pigmented sun damage such as redness and hyperpigmentation. IPL can be on face, neck, chest, arms and legs. Typically 2 treatments are needed spaces 4-6 weeks apart. Downtime is mild to moderate and can include some redness, swelling, and brown spots will turn darker before they flake away within a few days. Applying sunscreen daily and avoiding direct sun exposure when possible will help maintain results.
Lines on the sides of our eyes (typically referred to as the “crow’s feet”) are from repetitive muscle movements with facial expressions, such as squinting. These types of wrinkles are called dynamic wrinkles. Typically, we do not recommend lasers, preferring neomodulators (Botox, xeomin) instead, which will help treat these lines by temporarily relaxing the specific muscle movements that are causing them.
Q: Melasma–laser or no laser? There is so much information out there, it’s hard to make sense of it all!
A: There is no quick laser treatment for melasma, hence the wide range of information. A variety of combined treatments including topicals, oral medications, chemical peels, and most of all proper sun protection are the best approach for managing melasma. Laser toning can also be combined in the management approach. Laser toning is a series of treatments every 1-2 weeks that works to break up the pigment and typically takes about 5-8 treatments. There is no downtime with laser toning and the treated area is slightly pink which resolves quickly after treatment. One of our favorite lasers for this is the Spectra, which you can learn more about here.
Q: Tell us more about the laser treatments on the patients recently featured on your Instagram feed (below)
A: These patients had full face ablative laser skin resurfacing procedures done. Laser skin resurfacing minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles. A carbon dioxide (CO2) or erbium laser beam is used to vaporize areas of damaged or wrinkled skin layer by layer. Laser resurfacing may be performed on the whole face or in specific regions, especially around the mouth and eyes. As new cells form during the healing process, a smoother, tighter, younger looking skin surface appears.
The treatment is done here in the Charlotte office. Approximately 7 to 14 days of social downtime should be expected with laser resurfacing. If you are preparing for a social gathering or event, this treatment should be done several months in advance to maximize the available healing time.