Why Are Lasers Ideal In Eyelid and Facial Rejuvenation

October 08, 2010

Is it possible to repair over 70 years of sun damaged skin in 1 hour?

Is it possible to make a cut through skin without bleeding?

Is it possible to improve red spots in an outpatient procedure with no down time?

Yes, with laser skin resurfacing and special light sources.

A laser is a beam of light with special properties:

  1. The laser is of one color.
  2. The waves in the beam of light are all synchronized in the same rhythm.
  3. The light in a laser beam comes out in a straight line and can be focused to a small spot.

These special properties can be used to our unique advantage in helping patients with a variety of facial problems. There is a principal which guides the use of lasers for treatments on the body called “Selective Photothermolysis.” This was first described by Dr. Anderson and Dr. Parrish in 1983. The word Photothermolysis comes from three Greek root words – “photo” which means light, “thermo” which means heat, and “lysis” which means destruction.

This long medical-sounding term means that lasers (photo) have the ability to pass through skin or other parts of body and leave the surface tissue unharmed (selective). The laser only deposits its energy (thermo) into its specific target (lysis) called a Chromophore. This laser is like a guided missile, which only hits its specific target and leaves other areas it travels through unharmed.

Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing Tampa FL

After understanding a bit about how lasers work, we can now talk about how they are useful in eyelid and facial rejuvenation, specifically laser skin resurfacing. I trained 10 years ago with the master in the use of lasers for facial surgery, Dr. Sterling S. Baker. Dr. Baker was the first person to reveal to the world the use of the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser for eyelid surgery in 1984. I’ve taken that initial training and revised and enhanced my technique and knowledge over the past decade in my own practice. As a result of the application of that knowledge, I am able to create beautiful and unique results for my patients that are powerful yet very natural. Most often, I use the laser in my medical practice to make surgical cuts or incisions in the operating room.

The CO2 laser has the ability to cut through skin and impart just the right amount of heat to seal small blood vessels and nerves around the cut. This allows for relatively “bloodless” surgery with minimal to no bruising. In addition, the sealing of nerves makes for a relatively painless recovery for patients. My patients often comment about how good they look and how comfortable they feel after eyelid surgery performed with the CO2 laser.

The other place a laser is ideal in helping with eyelid surgery and facial rejuvenation is with laser skin resurfacing. Unfortunately, with time and age, our skin can become both physically and cosmetically affected. The sun is the primary culprit in this process, but skin conditions like acne scarring can play a role as well.

Since ancient times people have been trying to reverse the damage done to skin. In ancient Egypt, it has been reported that Cleopatra herself would treat her skin with spoiled lambs milk. The lactic acid in this milk would exfoliate or remove the dead skin cells from the top layer of her skin giving her a fresher, smoother appearance.

This was a form of a chemical peel and different strengths of chemical peels are useful for improving the appearance of the skin, but to truly improve the skin from the bottom up requires a deeper treatment.

There are three ways to create that deep treatment and improve the appearance of the skin:

  1. Deep chemical peels
  2. Deep traditional dermabrasion (which is different than micro-dermabrasion)
  3. Laser skin resurfacing

All three treatments can achieve similar results, but the laser skin resurfacing allows the most precision when performed by an experienced surgeon.

One of the first lasers used for laser skin resurfacing was the CO2 laser. This is the same laser I use for making skin incisions, but in this application the laser is applied in a special way. The CO2 laser is very useful for laser skin resurfacing but has some issues not being able to control the amount of heat it delivers into the skin. Because of this there are longer healing times with the CO2 laser.

I use a very sophisticated laser called a dual-pulsed Erbium laser. This laser is also used in laser skin resurfacing but has much greater precision and flexibility than the CO2 laser. This allows me to create unique treatments and personalized results for each patient. The laser skin resurfacing not only improves the appearance of the skin. It also removes the sun damage and precancerous cells in the skin making the skin fundamentally healthier after the treatment. The procedure is basically a reset button on the skin and sends it back to an earlier state. It in essence creates new skin.

Laser Skin Resurfacing Tampa FL: Success Stories

I had a patient who had eyelid surgery with laser skin resurfacing of her lower eyelids. She healed beautifully and enjoyed the result of her procedure.

She then returned to my office two years later and was erupting in lesions all over her face except for two perfect islands of skin where we had performed laser skin resurfacing.

This skin was new skin and didn’t have that sun damage the rest of her face still had. She then elected to have the rest of her face treated and now enjoys much healthier, radiant skin on her face.

This procedure is amazing. It makes the skin look better and makes it healthier. It does require about two weeks of recovery, but the results are worth it. I really think the best rejuvenations of the eyelid area involved the use of both types of lasers. This is especially relevant in the rejuvenation of the skin around the lower eyelid.

Many of my patients don’t like the lines and wrinkles in the lower eyelid and crows feet areas. With conventional eyelid surgery, surgeons who are not experienced with lasers make incisions in the skin of the lower eyelid and try to stretch the skin in an effort to reduce the wrinkles. This doesn’t work and only results in stretched out sun damaged skin. This isn’t a natural result and gives an appearance which is less than ideal. When I use the dual pulsed Erbium laser to rejuvenate the skin in the lower eyelid and around the crows feet, the results are dramatic.

The use of the CO2 laser allows safer surgery with less bleeding and less pain, and the dual pulsed Erbium resurfacing laser allows me to improve the skin texture and quality in the lower eyelid and crows feet area around the eyes. This leads to a very natural yet powerful rejuvenation of this important part of the face used for communicating with the world.

Other uses of this laser include a more superficial laser treatment called a Microlaser Peel. This procedure has an easier four-day recovery and is usually done around a weekend. A series of these Microlaser peels can get about 50% of the results of the full laser skin resurfacing that requires two weeks recovery.

 (photo by Clinical Photo By Jason Pozner, M.D.)

The last way lasers, light sources, and Selective Photothermolysis are used in facial treatments is in treating facial red spots and pigment in an office environment. Specific lasers and light sources can target the pigment and red spots in skin without disturbing the skin tissue. This allows a “lunch time” like treatment of these conditions with a quick recovery back to your normal activities.

For more information about the benefits of using laser skin resurfacing in Tampa Bay Area contact our office.