In recent years, lasers have shed their science fictional imageTo become a surgeon's and dermatologist's most promising weapon in the fight against aging skin.
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery in Chicago, nearly 170,000 Americans, men and women. Underwent laser resurfacing of the face in 1998, up from 138,891 in 1996--a 64 percent increase.
That's nearly twice the number of the more traditional surgical facelifts performed in the same year.Laser resurfacing is a very controlled burning procedure during which a laser vaporizes superficial layers of facial skin.
Removing not only wrinkles and lines caused by sun damage and facial expressions. But also acne scars, some folds and creases around the nose and mouth, and even precancerous and benign superficial growths.
In a sense, the laser procedure creates a fresh surface over which new skin can grow.While the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate how surgeons carry out these procedures.
It is responsible for clearing lasers for marketing for the uses requested by the device's manufacturer.The Cosmetic Laser & Vein Centre, an accredited non-hospital surgical facility.
Combines the art and science of beauty and provides the artistry of cosmetic surgical solutions, including facial enhancements.
Body sculpting, spider and varicose vein removal, and other skin treatments for various conditions and concerns. is a portal to all the services and products offered by the Cosmetic Laser & Vein Centre,
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But using lasers for facial skin resurfacing was discovered almost by accident, Felten says. In the course of treating acne scars with a laser, surgeons noticed that after resurfacing the skin around the scar to make the scar less visible, small adjacent wrinkles were greatly diminished.
"Resurfacing is very appealing to people," says Stephen W. Perkins, M.D., president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and of the Meridian Plastic Surgery Center of Indianapolis, Ind., "because it is a way of refreshing the skin's surface and getting a new layer of non-sun damaged and more youthful skin."
Collagen is a key fibrous protein in the skin's connective tissue, and it helps give the skin its texture. Natural aging and such factors as sun damage and smoking help break down the collagen layer so that the skin's once smooth surface develops wrinkles.
New, more youthful collagen actually forms after laser treatment, says A. Jay Burns, M.D., partner in the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute and assistant professor of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.
Laser resurfacing can often make patients look 10 to 20 years younger, and the results can last for eight to 10 years, says Tina Alster, M.D., director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in the nation's capital.
But she warns that after surgery, patients must avoid sunbathing and destroying their skin again. Patients can have a repeat treatment after one year, but usually the first procedure is so successful a follow-up is not needed.
Lasers cannot rejuvenate skin on other parts of the body nor can laser treatment lift or remove sagging jowls or smooth out "crepey" or sagging neck skin. These conditions only respond to traditional cut-and-stitch surgical methods.