About Laser Skin Resurfacing

Manhattan plastic surgeon, Dr. Kenneth O. Rothaus, uses state-of-the-art laser technology to provide patients with skin that is tighter and free of age spots, pigmentation, wrinkles, creases, blemishes, and more. At Rothaus Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rothaus uses a variety of laser devices to customize the treatment based on the patient’s specific needs. During laser skin resurfacing, a laser beam of light targets pigmented, wrinkled and lax areas on the face, neck, or hands, disrupting and removing pigmented and aged skin cells so that new cells can turnover, leaving a fresh layer of firmer, smoother and clearer skin. Both men and women are candidates for laser skin resurfacing, which improves skin texture, decreases pore size, softens wrinkles, tightens skin and lightens unwanted pigmentation and age spots.

Best Candidates

Laser skin resurfacing can be used on just about any skin type, although patients with darker skin tones may be limited in the treatments for which they are candidates. There are variations of the resurfacing technique that can be altered and customized for each individual. Men and women who desire clearer, healthier and younger looking skin may consider this procedure as a nonsurgical alternative for producing youthful results.

Non-Ablative Skin Resurfacing

Dr. Rothaus offers numerous non-ablative laser skin resurfacing technologies, depending on what exactly is being addressed. After he provides a thorough skin analysis, he will determine which laser treatment will offer the maximum benefits. The lasers and treatments we offer include:

  • Lux 1540 and 1440 Laser

These non-ablative lasers leave the epidermis intact so that there is no wound created and, thus, no epidermal healing required. The Lux 1540 and Lux 1440 lasers are used for facial rejuvenation (improving texture, pore size, and the appearance of fine wrinkles; the lightening of brown spots (hyperpigmentation), and improvement in surgical, traumatic, and acne scars. Treatment with the non-ablative fractional lasers is usually performed in a series of 3 monthly treatments. The treatment does require the application of a topical anesthetic, but is not usually associated with any downtime.

  • Spectra Laser

The Spectra laser is a Q-switched laser that operates at 532 and 1064 nm. The addition of dye hand pieces adds the option of having the 585 and 650 nm wavelength as well. What is unique about the Spectra laser is the “Spectra mode” for facial rejuvenation. In this mode, a unique laser facial can be offered to the patient seeking improvement in skin texture, decrease in pore size, and lightening of unwanted pigmentation. This Spectra laser peel requires a series of 3 treatments spaced several seeks apart. Takes about 20 minutes to perform and is associated with little to no downtime.

  • Aurora and Gemini (KTP) Laser

The Aura laser is a KTP laser, which operates at 532 nm. It has many aesthetic uses as it targets both the hemoglobin in blood and the melanin (pigment) in skin and hair. The Aura laser can be used for the treatment of small spider veins of the face and leg, including those found with rosacea, cherry angiomas (spots) of the entire body, and hyperpigmentation of the skin (brown spots). It is also employed to aid in non-ablative facial rejuvenation. Non-ablative facial rejuvenation is the process that is often referred to in the lay press as the “lunchtime laser peel or facial.” The Aura has also been approved for treatment of acne. The KTP laser at higher energies can also be used for the precise removal of small skin lesions. The KTP laser is not associated with purpura as is often seen with Q-switched lasers that also operate at the 532 nm wavelength. If used at lower power settings the KTP has very little downtime associated with it and usually works best when a series of 2 or 3 treatments is planned.

  • Lux 1064 Laser

The Lux 1064 is a laser that is used for the treatment of vascular lesions, especially blue veins, on the lower extremities. It is limited to treating veins that are less than 4 mm in diameter. This treatment can be performed without the need for local anesthesia. It does require the patient to wear support stockings for a minimum of 3 days after the treatment. Alternatives to the treatment of veins of the lower extremity include sclerotherapy and surgical removal of the veins.

Ablative Skin Resurfacing

Ablative lasers remove an entire column of tissue (epidermis and dermis), thus creating a wound that must heal. Our New York City cosmetic surgery office offers ablative skin resurfacing for patients desiring a more dramatic result. We currently have the following ablative technologies in-house:

  • Fractional Erbium Laser:  Lux 2940
  • Fractional CO2 Laser: DEKA SmarthXide DOT

The two most common wavelengths used for this purpose are 2940 nm (erbium laser) and 10,600 nm (CO2 or carbon dioxide laser). In our practice, the fractional erbium laser is the Lux 2940 and the fractional CO2 is the DEKA SmarthXide DOT 50 watt fractional CO2 laser.

The significant practical difference between these two wavelengths is that the CO2 laser is hemostatic. Hemostatic means there is no bleeding associated with the treatment. This is related to the greater amount of heat that is generated around each column of injury. This heat has the other positive effect of leading to more skin contraction (tightening) and collagen deposition. The negative part of the heat is there is a little bit more recovery time and risk of redness after the procedure. Both lasers lead to an improvement in hyperpigmentation.

Many patients confuse the fractional CO2 lasers with the older non-fractional, horizontally ablative CO2 lasers. Those lasers developed a somewhat negative reputation as in the wrong hands they were associated with a relatively high incidence of depigmentation of the skin, prolonged healing and erythema, and scarring.

The new fractional CO2 lasers such as the DOT, give the surgeon great control over the amount of skin treated, the size of the columns of injury, and the zone of heat injured epidermis and dermis surrounding each column.

The DEKA SmartXide CO2 can be used to:

  • Tighten and improve the texture of the facial skin
  • Improve hyperpigmentation
  • Ameliorate the appearance of wrinkles and scars related to acne, surgery and acne.

This can be accomplished with a downtime of less than a week, minimal redness, and little risk of hypopigmentation.

What To Expect

Laser skin rejuvenation is a specialized procedure that eliminates pigment and rejuvenates layers of the skin that have been damaged due to natural factors such as the sun or aging. During the procedure, a local numbing agent may be applied to the skin’s surface, and then the laser is used to spot treat certain area. The patient generally does not feel any pain or discomfort during many of the non-ablative treatments. This procedure also helps to stimulate the growth of new collagen fibers so the skin will naturally regenerate and maintain its healthy appearance. Patients may need to return for additional treatments until the desired appearance is achieved. The length of this procedure varies depending on the amount of skin being treated. For smaller areas, such as those on the face, the procedure can take only 15-30 minutes. However, for larger areas of the skin, the procedure can take up to 30-45 minutes.

Laser Skin Resurfacing Video

Recovery From Laser Treatment

It is common to have swelling, redness, and scaling on and around the treatment site. Patients should also expect discoloration of the skin for several weeks following the procedure, depending on the invasiveness (non-ablative or ablative), as well as the type of laser used. Ablative laser treatment will result in a longer recovery period. It is important to let the skin heal naturally and to avoid sun exposure. Once the treated areas have healed, the skin will look and feel smoother, brighter, and clear of the skin irregularities that previously existed.

Get Glowing Skin!

The technology behind laser skin resurfacing improves skin imperfections and creates a glowing appearance. Our office uses the latest techniques in resurfacing treatments that will leave your skin looking younger and fresher. We invite you to call our cosmetic surgery office to learn more today and schedule a skin analysis with our practitioner.

Plan Your Procedure

Recovery Time: 3-6 Hours
Average Procedure Time: 20-60 Minutes
Procedure Recovery Location: Out-Patient