Laser Treatments

Lasers use light based energy to treat a variety of different problems and conditions of the skin. The lasers are grouped into two major categories: Non-invasive laser treatments and Invasive Laser treatments. The Non-invasive lasers require no surgery, anesthesia or downtime and are performed in the office setting. Invasive lasers, also known as Resurfacing lasers, use laser energy to remove damaged, wrinkled skin and restore a smoother, tighter, thicker and more pliable skin surface. Laser resurfacing usually requires some degree of anesthesia and recovery, and are usually performed in the Operating Room setting.

non-invasive laser - Calloway Plastic Surgery Center

Non-Invasive Laser Treatments:  Many common skin conditions and problems can be treated with a variety of Non-invasive lasers.    Different problems require the use of different laser wavelengths and energies.  Consequently, the ideal treatment of specific problems require individualized treatment with specialized lasers.  Dr. Calloway has a wide array of lasers that are optimized for specific uses and indications.  A few of the conditions that Dr Calloway can treat with non-invasive lasers include:

  • Skin tightening and smoothing
  • Stimulation of collagen formation
  • Treatment of sun damaged skin and redness
  • Treatment of broken blood vessels and capillaries
  • Elimination of freckling and uneven pigmentation
  • Tattoo removal
  • Laser hair reduction
  • Brown spot and pigmented lesion removal
  • Melasma (“mask of pregnancy”)
  • Vascular lesion treatments such as birthmarks
  • Spider vein treatments of the legs
  • Treatment of inflammatory conditions of the skin such as Rosacea and Psoriasis
  • Toe Nail fungus (onychomycosis)
  • Post operative scar reduction treatments

Most Non-invasive laser treatments require less than hour to complete and require no down time or recovery.  Avoidance of sun exposure immediately after treatment is usually recommended.  Most other activities can usually be resumed immediately.  Dr. Calloway will review any specific post treatment instructions to ensure ideal results from the laser treatments.

Laser Resurfacing and Ablative Laser Treatments:   These lasers allow Dr. Calloway to remove the upper layers of dead and damaged skin cells, eliminate lines and wrinkles of the skin, smooth, tighten and thicken treated skin, reverse UV sun damaged skin, as well as remove brown spots, uneven pigmentation, redness and broken blood vessels of the skin on the face.  The treatments are also extremely effective in reducing the appearance of scars. These treatments are usually performed in a Surgical Suite under mild sedation and local anesthesia.  Recovery usually requires several days before resuming normal activities.  These lasers are known as ablative because they remove damaged skin cells by vaporization (no thermal injury to healthy tissues). 

Dr. Calloway is recognized as an international expert on laser resurfacing and has presented many lectures and didactic sessions to physicians around the globe.  With over 25 years of laser experience, Dr. Calloway specializes in the combination use of multiple surgical lasers which are teamed together during surgery in order to achieve the most dramatic and significant benefits in the appearance of the skin.  All treatments are custom tailored and individualized to specific patient needs and desires.  Most current laser resurfacing technologies use Ablative Fractional technology which involves the partial or fractionalized treatment of the skin to achieve skin smoothing, tightening and thickening without the side effects associated with older, more traditional laser technologies.

Ablative Fractional Laser

CO2 Laser and Erbium Laser Treatment
Face Neck, Chest and Hands

CO2 Laser

Using advanced laser technology, a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser for skin resurfacing precisely removes upper layers of damaged skin to reveal the underlying skin which is softer, smoother, and younger looking. CO2 and Erbium technologies are the two most commonly used laser skin resurfacing treatment options. The Fraxel CO2 laser is used in the treatment of deeper facial lines, wrinkles, loose skin, freckling, and uneven pigmentation, while the erbium laser is used to polish away fine lines, wrinkles and texture irregularities.

How Does CO2 Laser Resurfacing Work?

A Fraxel CO2 laser allows Dr. Calloway to perform skin resurfacing procedures that reduce or eliminate more visible lines and wrinkles than similar treatments. This is done by removing deeper layers of damaged skin and stimulating the regeneration of healthy skin underneath.

Significant improvements with the more powerful Fraxel CO2 laser allows for deeper tissue removal and for more effective removal of pronounced wrinkles and creases. This technology allows the laser skin resurfacing treatment to provide some of the most dramatic, age-defying results possible.

The procedure can be performed on specific areas — such as around the mouth or eyes — or over the surface of the entire face. Resurfacing can be performed on the face, neck, chest, and hands.

Are you a good Candidate for this procedure?

As we age, our skin gives way to the effects of sun, gravity, and even our pronounced facial movements, to create lines and wrinkles that make us look older than we feel. A good candidate for carbon dioxide (Fraxel CO2) or Erbium laser skin resurfacing is typically an individual who has developed significant facial lines, wrinkling, facial scars, or uneven pigmentation they wish to correct.

Benefits of CO2 Laser Treatment

By precisely removing damaged skin layer by layer, a Fraxel CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment is able to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, “turning back the clock” on your complexion and revealing the more youthful looking skin that lies underneath. The CO2 laser, when used for the skin resurfacing procedure, can also lessen the appearance of scars and many other skin imperfections. Benefits include not only the effective correction of moderate to deep lines and wrinkles, but also treatment for uneven pigmentation, photodamage, precancerous spots, and a host of other skin imperfections and benign lesions.

Erbium Laser

This procedure removes superficial lines to moderately deep wrinkles with less pain, fewer side-effects, and a faster recovery period than other treatments. An erbium laser provides a milder and less invasive treatment option than a CO2 laser.  The erbium laser effectively polishes the skin smooth of texture imperfections.  In addition, an erbium laser treatment provides those whose skin damage is not as severe or who would simply prefer a more rapid recovery with an excellent alternative. 

How does Erbium Laser Resurfacing Work?

Erbium laser skin resurfacing precisely ablates the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) to reveal the underlying skin that is smoother and younger looking. The procedure also activates collagen to promote further tightening of the skin. An erbium laser skin resurfacing treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure with the use of a local anesthetic and possibly a mild sedative. You will be awake, and the treatment area will be numb. The cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist then precisely removes the necessary layers of skin to eliminate or reduce superficial to moderately deep lines and wrinkles.

When erbium laser skin resurfacing is complete, a simple post treatment regimen is performed which allows rapid healing with minimal downtime.  A responsible medical professional will provide you with thorough aftercare instructions and, in seven to 10 days, you will be able to resume normal activities.

Erbium Laser Skin Resurfacing Candidates

A candidate for erbium laser skin resurfacing is someone who is seeking to correct fine lines and wrinkles in the face, neck, back, chest, or hands. In general, the erbium laser resurfacing treatment is available to a wide variety of candidates. Those seeking this procedure should desire to look younger and more refreshed, yet should be realistic in their expectations.

Is Erbium Laser Skin Treatment Safe?

Erbium laser skin resurfacing provides a highly effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles with a shorter recovery period and fewer side effects, those receiving treatment should still expect their skin to appear pink or red after the procedure. Some swelling may also occur. Dr. Calloway will provide medication and a skincare regime and instructions to help you in your comfort and make your recovery as beneficial as possible.

CO2 Lasers vs. Erbium Lasers

When deciding on either the (CO2) or Erbium laser skin resurfacing treatment, it is important to discuss with Dr. Calloway the goals and expectations you have for surgery. While the CO2 laser successfully provides a more thorough treatment for moderate to deep facial lines and wrinkles, it does require a more extensive recovery period. Recovery time for treatment with the CO2 laser is typically two weeks; the erbium laser requires a recovery of only about one week. For many patients, this extra recovery time is a small price to pay for successfully treating their damaged skin and providing them with a younger, more vibrant appearance. However, others who have less severe facial lines and wrinkles will want to explore their treatment options with the erbium laser.

Other Options to Refinish Facial Skin

Chemical Peels

A chemical solution is applied to peel away the top layers of skin allowing a fresh new layer to emerge. This option offers little or no recovery. However, peels may need to be repeated several times to achieve the results you desire. Dr. Calloway will advise you if this option would be better for your lifestyle and skin type.

Microdermabrasion

 Microdermabrasion treatments use a minimally abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven layer. This skin rejuvenation procedure is used to treat discoloration, sun damage, scarring, and stretch marks. Microdermabrasion can reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, reduce or eliminate enlarged pores, treat acne and the scars created by acne, improve hyperpigmentation (dark spots), improve age spots and blackheads, and exfoliate the skin resulting in a refreshed appearance.

 

With any laser or resurfacing treatment using sunscreen and a skincare regimen designed specifically for you will help maintain your results. Our Medical Aesthetician and Dr. Calloway will advise you on the proper maintenance and skincare regimen. Contact Dr. Calloway for a personalized consultation.