Age spots commonly found on the face, neck and arms are often the result of years of exposure to the sun. While many therapies have been utilized in the past such as bleaching agents, chemical peels and liquid nitrogen, today laser technology offers the most effective treatment for removing unwanted blemishes.
Dr. Gentile believes your maturing skin should reflect the way you feel inside, and is pleased to offer a CO2 laser treatment that has completely changed the way scarred and sun damaged skin is treated. Combining safe fractional laser therapy with the proven efficacy of CO2 laser treatments, the UltraPulse TotalFX (fractional CO2) laser is a revolutionary technology helping patients look their very best. With this device, microscopic deeply-penetrating and highly effective CO2 laser microbeams (DeepFX) remove old sun damaged and scarred tissue and stimulate the production of healthy new collagen. Many patients also elect to treat their skin surface with a second laser pass designed to blend color imperfections (ActiveFX). The result: a significant improvement of the treated skin with wrinkles and scars substantially diminished and a more uniform skin color. Patients appreciate this laser’s ability to safely treat the facial and neck areas, resulting in a very natural outcome.
Candidates: Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
Laser resurfacing treatment absolutely requires good health. Dr. Gentile will examine your skin characteristics in determining if this procedure is for you. He will describe the procedure in depth so you understand the possible limit of results and any complications.
Procedure: Laser Treatment in a “Fractional” of the Time
This advanced fractional laser technology is available at the Gentile Aesthetic Laser Center with ActiveFX, DeepFX and TotalFX, a fractional treatment by UltraPulse laser. Also known as bridge therapy, fractional laser is performed in a single treatment with minimal downtime. Before treatment a cold compress, topical ointment or injectable local anesthetic is applied. Dr. Gentile then utilizes a hand wand to deliver a pattern of tiny laser pulses leaving intact surrounding bridges of healthy skin. This stimulates the growth of new collagen and leaves skin smoother and more lustrous. During treatment our experienced professionals will ensure your comfort and, post-treatment, patients look and feel fantastic! An additional benefit is that the skin continues firming and tightening even months later.
ActiveFX is especially effective in treating brown spots, splotchy uneven skin tone, and superficial acne scars.
Recovering from Fractional Lasering: Timing is Everything
While other fractional systems take up to five or six treatments, ActiveFX stands apart in its lack of process time. The office-based treatment usually takes under an hour and patients can go home shortly thereafter. Many are back to a normal lifestyle in as little as three to four days, and makeup and lotions may be applied the fourth day. Most signs of treatment, even pinkness, are gone within a week.
For deeper spots or scarring and more severe aging Dr. Gentile also offers DeepFX, a fractional laser treatment that more deeply penetrates problem areas. Dr. Gentile also delivers TotalFX, an enhanced laser treatment designed to address a combination of aging concerns.
DeepFX and TotalFX treatment healing is rapid, with minimal care required for just a few days and any skin redness generally resolving over the course of a week. Your appearance will continue to improve for months following therapy. And, only one or two treatment sessions are generally required to achieve your personal goals.
CO2 Laser: The Conventional Approach
Dr. Gentile also addresses issues of sun damaged skin using a more traditional CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser option. Not quite on the same par with UltraPulse, the CO2 laser is an advanced technology enabling preservation of the skin’s health while dramatically changing undesirable traits.
The CO2 laser can remove single layers of the skin from the face or affected areas, allowing Dr. Gentile to assess results during treatment. The laser penetrates deeply, yet retains the integrity of healthy tissues using high-energy laser pulses or beams. The CO2 laser might be termed a vigorous form of laser skin treatment.
As with other laser treatments, CO2 lasering can improve acne scars, sun or age spots, and other skin imperfections. Vaporization of the epidermis occurs immediately, allowing healthy underlying tissues to surface as the top new layer of skin.
As always, good health is a must. A consultation with Dr. Gentile will reveal if CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment would be beneficial for you. Limiting factors may include skin tone as pigment changes can occur in olive, tan, or dark colored individuals. Dr. Gentile describes the procedure with you in detail to ensure you understand the possible risks and limitations of therapy. And, like other cosmetic procedures, skin resurfacing requires setting realistic goals and outcomes.
The CO2 Lasering Process
More involved than the UltraPulse procedures, traditional CO2 laser treatment may require administering a combination of local anesthesia and sedation, or general anesthesia for more complicated treatments. Once you are prepped, Dr. Gentile targets discrete areas with the CO2 handheld laser. This can necessitate several passes until the desired result is achieved. Although most appointments last less than an hour, you will likely need additional sessions to obtain the best results.
Post-procedure, your face or other resurfaced areas might be treated with a special cream and/or bandages to promote safe healing. Wounded skin is vulnerable to infection, and these precautions will also help protect the very fresh sensitive skin.
Patients are free to return home shortly after receiving a laser skin resurfacing treatment but Dr. Gentile may not discharge you until the sedation wears off. Although this type of procedure is commonly performed in the comfort of the office, Dr. Gentile may elect to perform the treatment in a surgical suite.
Recovering From Laser Skin Resurfacing
Patients can expect minor to mild amounts of discomfort, treatable by prescription pain medication. Swelling of the face or other lasered areas is remedied by a cold compress, which doubles as temporary pain relief. Minor scabbing and flaking may occur but rarely persist longer than ten days. If Dr. Gentile elects to bandage your face, these will be removed usually a week following the treatment. The rosy discoloration of the skin fades in time, generally over several weeks. Until then, camouflaging cosmetics can subtly soften the appearance of your face or treated areas.
You may expect to return to work within 14 days, but should avoid stressing the body for a good six weeks. The results of a CO2 laser procedure reverse the signs of aging skin, but cannot prevent further degradation. Use sunscreen daily for a year afterward, which also helps maintain your skin’s new youthful appearance.