The quality of your skin defines your entire appearance. Though it is resilient, the skin requires delicate and consistent care, particularly when the effects of age, gravity and sun damage begin to take their toll. Acne scarring, pigmentary issues and fine lines developing over time can all contribute to a dull complexion and an overall diminished profile. While you cannot always prevent the effects of aging and other external damage, advancements in cosmetic technology now give you the opportunity to address these concerns and revitalize your appearance.
Laser skin resurfacing is designed to correct irregularities and remodel the skin to reveal new, healthier tissues. As an expert in facial restoration, Dr. Freeman performs laser skin resurfacing to help patients achieve a smoother, more youthful appearance. By customizing the procedure specifically to your needs, skin type and cosmetic goals, he can use this method to help you reclaim a clearer and naturally brighter complexion.
Laser resurfacing works to rejuvenate your appearance by targeting the damaged outer or lower layers of the skin. Different devices use different technology, but lasers produce their anti-aging benefits by heating up the deeper tissues and causing controlled microdamage. This triggers the body’s healing response and stimulates the growth of new collagen and elastin. As the skin regenerates, a smoother, healthier and more supple complexion is restored with significantly fewer blemishes or signs of aging.
During treatment, short, concentrated bursts of laser energy are delivered directly into the skin. Some devices bypass the outer layer and target only the underlying dermal tissues, while others remove damaged surface cells for more dramatic results. Each technique has its pros and cons, but Dr. Freeman can determine which is right for you during your consultation.
The two main categories of laser treatments available are ablative and non-ablative. While both can produce visible results, this distinction refers to the type of technology used and how it works to correct the signs of aging.
Ablative lasers vaporize the outer layer of skin while heating the deeper tissues to stimulate a healing response. The destruction of the older skin prompts the body to regenerate new cells, resulting in significant improvements in tone, texture and clarity. By removing the dull and damaged surface layer, ablative lasers can effectively treat a wide range of concerns, including sun damage, scarring, age spots, freckles and other blemishes. Ablative lasers are also suitable for more severe signs of aging, such as deep wrinkles or sagging. Although there’s more downtime involved, most patients can achieve dramatic results after just one treatment.
Non-ablative lasers leave the surface of the skin intact and target only the deeper tissues. Because of this, non-ablative lasers provide a gentler and less invasive treatment option with little to no downtime. Instead of removing the damaged outer layer, non-ablative lasers heat the underlying dermis to promote improved collagen production. This creates a smoother and healthier skin tone while reducing the appearance of fine lines, uneven texture, blemishes and other moderate concerns. Compared to ablative lasers, non-ablative technology requires much less downtime, but most patients undergo multiple treatments to achieve their goals.
Dr. Freeman offers patients in Katy, Texas and the surrounding areas both ablative and non-ablative laser treatments. As a highly trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon and an expert in facial rejuvenation, he uses only the latest devices to eliminate the signs of aging and correct a dull or tired appearance. With a powerful CO2 laser and Fraxel’s patented fractional technology, Dr. Freeman is able to treat a wide range of patient concerns and provide highly individualized treatments that meet their unique needs.
CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that helps remodel and rejuvenate the skin. This treatment is ablative, so it removes the damaged outer layer of the skin while delivering controlled levels of heat into the dermis. It simultaneously increases collagen production and eliminates blemishes, fine lines and other irregularities for dramatic results that can take years off of your appearance. Ultimately, CO2 lasers strengthen the underlying tissues and remodel the surface skin to reveal a smoother and more radiant complexion.
Dr. Freeman has performed CO2 laser resurfacing on patients with various skin types and conditions. This procedure is most commonly used to improve skin tone and texture, eliminate sun damage and pigmentation, reduce wrinkles, and provide a tightening effect. Once the face recovers from the laser treatment, the results can be transformative, typically bringing to light a new, blemish-free and younger-looking profile.
The Fraxel CO2 laser is a less invasive form of skin resurfacing. It uses fractional technology to break the energy beam directed at the skin into tiny fragments, damaging specific microtreatment zones within a target area. This enables the laser to penetrate the skin while leaving the surrounding tissues untouched, providing a gentler treatment experience with fewer side effects. In addition, the intact skin supports the healing and regeneration of treated areas, allowing for more rapid repair and a quicker recovery. Like any skin resurfacing treatment, Fraxel lasers aim to smooth out lines and wrinkles, eliminate spots and scars, and improve overall tone and texture.
Dr. Freeman often recommends Fraxel for patients seeking to soften the appearance of scars or correct irregularities without extensive downtime. This laser resurfacing treatment is ideal for those who prefer minimal interruption to their daily schedule. While Fraxel is commonly used to treat fine lines and reduce acne scarring, it can also be adjusted to address discoloration and pigmentary issues. Compared to other lasers, the Fraxel skin resurfacing treatment is generally more comfortable, ensuring a positive experience without sacrificing results.
The treatment process for skin resurfacing will vary slightly for each patient. In your consultation, Dr. Freeman will analyze your skin and discuss your primary concerns to determine the most suitable approach for achieving your goals.
No matter which technique is used, laser skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure performed in-office. It typically takes between 30 minutes to two hours to complete, but this may vary depending on the amount of correction needed. During your treatment, Dr. Freeman will employ a handheld device to direct an intense beam of light energy into your skin. An ablative laser will vaporize the surface of the skin (epidermis) while heating the underlying tissues. This will trigger the body’s natural healing response to create a smoother and healthier appearance. As the laser penetrates your skin, you may feel a snapping sensation often compared to a rubber band, but IV sedation can be used to ensure a comfortable experience. Most patients feel minimal pain throughout the procedure.
After your treatment, a thick ointment and dressing may be applied to protect your skin. To ensure optimal results, Dr. Freeman will provide you with aftercare instructions and recommendations.
Laser resurfacing is a highly customized procedure, so the amount of downtime you’ll need will depend on the extent of your treatment.
Ablative CO2 lasers are more aggressive and can cause the skin to look red, flaky and swollen as it heals. Due to this, most patients take at least a week off from work and social activities. Oozing, crusting and peeling are also common with ablative lasers, but resist the temptation to pick, rub or scratch at your skin during this time. Doing so can interfere with the recovery process and lead to complications such as scarring.
With any kind of laser resurfacing, your skin will be more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage after treatment. It’s recommended that you avoid direct sun exposure and use an SPF 30 or high to protect your results. Dr. Freeman can provide you with ZO Medical sunscreen, a non-irritating formula perfect for post-procedure skin.
Laser resurfacing can provide dramatic improvements to the tone, texture and quality of your skin, but results take some time to develop. You’ll begin to notice a difference a few days after treatment as any redness, peeling or swelling subsides. Over the next few months, results will continue to appear as the skin works to repair itself, producing new collagen and remodeling the tissues to reveal a smoother and tighter complexion.
If you want more comprehensive results, your treatment can be combined with other surgical and nonsurgical procedures to help you reach your goals. For example, facelift, brow lift and chin augmentation patients may consider laser resurfacing to further enhance their appearance, while those undergoing a chemical peel may also need a laser treatment once at the same time to better address certain concerns. During a consultation, Dr. Freeman can recommend the right solutions for achieving your goals and help you achieve optimal results with a personalized skin care plan.
Laser skin resurfacing serves multiple purposes, depending on the technology and settings used. Dr. Freeman can use laser resurfacing to treat the following: