Age, sun exposure and smoking can all accelerate damage of the skin. As the skin deteriorates, the collagen and elastin fibers loosen, leading to both coarse and fine wrinkles. There are many treatment options for skin rejuvenation, but the gold standard remains laser skin resurfacing.
The surgeon uses either a laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) to revitalize the dull outer layer of skin while simultaneously tightening the collagen in the deeper layers. This results in a refreshed complexion with an improvement in both the wrinkles and the texture of the skin.
Laser skin resurfacing has the benefit of requiring only one treatment. The recovery time can take several weeks, however. Intense pulsed light therapy may take several treatments to see the desired effects. Downtime, though, is minimal. IPL may also be used for hair removal, unlike the CO2 laser. The surgeon will help you decide the most appropriate treatment for you based on your complexion and goals.
What to Expect After Surgery
Surgeons will frequently see their patients the day after surgery to answer questions and demonstrate how to care for your dressing and skin. The next visit is approximately one week after surgery. If the surgeon used an occlusive dressing on your face, it will be removed at this time. The skin will be very pink at this stage but usually by the second week, it is safe to start wearing makeup. It is very important to moisturize your skin and avoid exposure to the sun.
The laser is such a powerful tool for skin tightening that is is frequently necessary to tighten the lower lid so that they maintain a favorable position. This can be done at the same time as the skin resurfacing. This is rarely necessary with IPL treatments.