Facial skin scarred by accidents or surgery and facial wrinkles can often be smoothed out using the techniques of dermabrasion and dermaplaning. These procedures can be performed in small areas or on the entire face. Often they are used in conjunction with chemical peel, scar revision or facelift. These treatments soften the sharpness of surface irregularities and give the skin a smoother appearance. Skin type, color and medical history affect whether or not these procedures are appropriate for you. It is generally not acceptable to have these procedures done if you have active acne breakout or if you recently have had radiation treatments, recent severe burn or chemical peel.
What to Expect
In dermabrasion, the outermost layer of skin is scraped away until the physician has reached the safest level to make scarring or wrinkling less visible. Dermaplaning is the use of an instrument with an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to skim the surface layers of skin at the defects. This continues until the scar becomes more even with the surrounding skin.
Following these procedures, your skin will be red and swollen. These symptoms should subside in a week to ten days. A crust will form over the area and will later fall off leaving new skin underneath. Normal activity may gradually be resumed. Pinkness will fade in about three months and can be covered with corrective make-up. Normal pigmentation should return with smoother skin in several months.
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New laser technology has provided an option for removal of unwanted hair that has proven to be more long lasting than the use of depilatories, waxing or tweezing. Although no method is completely permanent, laser hair removal is more enduring than traditional methods. It safely removes unwanted hair without damaging pores and skin structure. Laser hair removal works by emitting a gentle beam of light that passes through skin to the hair follicle where it is absorbed. This energy, transformed into heat, destroys the hair follicle but leaves skin unaffected.
What to Expect
The procedure is performed in the physician’s office and will usually take several treatments. The process is effective only during the early growing cycle of the hair. Repeat sessions are necessary to treat follicles previously missed as they re-enter the early growth phase. Most patients experience very little discomfort. The degree of discomfort varies with patient according to their pain threshold. Topical anesthesia can be requested based on individual preference. The treatments can last from 10 minutes to an hour depending on size of area treated.
Desired results, treatment and improvements should be discussed with your physician during the initial consultation. He can help you determine whether or not laser treatment is a viable option to help meet your expectations.
The area treated may become pink or red with this discoloration lasting from a few hours to a few days. This may be treated with ice, and patients should avoid the sun 4-6 weeks before and after treatment, or as directed by your physician.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
New technology in recent years has allowed the plastic surgeon to treat damaged and wrinkled skin on a layer-by-layer basis. The laser harnesses energy from light beams and redirects it to produce specific wavelengths of light, allowing specific conditions to be treated. As new cells form during healing, smoother, tighter, and younger looking skin appears. Laser resurfacing is effective in treating wrinkles, blotchiness, age spots, and scars from acne or other causes.
What to Expect
An initial consultation with a qualified physician is the first step to determine if laser resurfacing is appropriate for your skin. For some patients, skin texture, pigmentation, health problems and other factors prohibit the use of lasers. Your plastic surgeon will advise you about the specific treatment that would be most effective in meeting your specific goals. He will also discuss possible risks and complications.
Laser skin resurfacing is primarily performed in an outpatient setting with local anesthesia. For more extensive resurfacing, your surgeon may recommend general anesthesia.
Recovery times vary according to condition and the area treated. Mild swelling and discomfort that can be controlled with ice compresses, ointments and medications should be expected afterwards. Crusting of skin may occur but will subside in about 10 days. Skin should turn pink or red in 6 to 8 weeks, and may retain some degree of pinkness for up to 3 months. After about two weeks, the pinkness may be concealed with makeup.
Approximately 30-40% of the female population and 6-15% of the male population in the United States suffer with unsightly spider veins in the legs. In women, spider veins frequently occur during pregnancy but may also result from heredity, hormonal changes, weight gain, prolonged sitting and standing or even from the use of some medications.
What to Expect
The traditional method of treating spider veins has been sclerotherapy, which consists of injecting saline solutions directly into the affected veins. Treatment sessions may last anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes and may include from five to as many as forty injections. Skin is cleansed with antiseptic and then affected veins are injected with the sclerosing agent.
Laser therapy has also been developed which may effectively help eliminate spider veins in the leg and face. A laser is applied to selected areas depending on the number of vessels treated. Patients may usually return to work immediately following these procedures.
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will examine and advise you about the specific treatment method he feels will be most effective in meeting your specific goals.
There may a slight burning sensation, but pain is usually minimal. Afterward cotton balls and compression tape may be applied. Support hose may be recommended for the first 48 hours. Immediately following, your legs will have some bruising and discoloration at injection sites which will diminish within about a month.
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Tattoos may be successfully removed utilizing the latest in laser technology. Number of treatments needed may vary due to the size and the depth of the tattoo. Treatment is usually accurate and quick with minimal discomfort.
What to Expect
A personal consultation is the first step for any patient considering laser tattoo removal. Your plastic surgeon should be able to predict how many treatments will be needed during your initial consultation.
During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will inform you of the possible risks and complications of laser surgery. In addition to listening carefully to what he tells you, be sure to raise any questions or concerns that you may have about the safety of the procedure.
Most patients return to normal activity immediately following the treatment.