Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and it is the most exposed. Every day our skin, especially on our face, is exposed to the elements: sun, wind, pollution, and hot and cold extremes. Plus, we add stress and personal habits such as smoking.
The body doesn’t help, as it produces less and less collagen as we age. Since collagen provides the skin’s underlying support structure, having less and less of this protein allows the skin to thin, lose volume, and opens the door to the formation of lines, creases, and wrinkles.
The answer to this damage is laser skin resurfacing with Dr. Bedrossian. Dr. Bedrossian uses the Cortex Laser, which combines both fractionated CO2 laser energy with milder Erbium Yag laser energy to provide two levels of skin rejuvenation. It’s the most advanced laser skin resurfacing available in the aesthetic world today.
What is laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing engages the skin’s natural healing mechanisms to rejuvenate the skin both on the surface epidermis layer and in the skin’s second layer, the dermis.
On the surface skin, laser energy is absorbed by sun-damaged areas such as age spots and these areas slough off in a few days. Laser energy can also close broken capillaries and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is the job of the Erbium Yag portion of the Cortex Laser.
For the dermis, the CO2 laser energy creates thousands of microscopic holes through the epidermis down into the dermis. This triggers a wound response in the body, which remodels the existing collagen in the area and initiates new collagen production. All of this improves the skin over the following weeks.
Before & After Laser Resurfacing Treatment
How does the Cortex Laser work?
We tailor your laser skin resurfacing to your specific needs. You can have both the CO2 and Erbium Yag laser treatment in tandem, or you can have just the CO2 Fractional treatment or the Erbium superficial treatment. Dr. Bedrossian performs the treatment in the comfort of the office, usually taking less than half an hour. It is a highly effective technique that removes superficial layers of the skin stimulating the production of fresh, young skin and deeper collagen. Many describe the feeling as similar to a warm facial massage and experience little to no discomfort.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
The CO2 portion of the Cortex Laser is a fractional laser, meaning it creates thousands of microscopic channels through the outer epidermis layer into the dermis layer beneath. The body senses these “wounds” and gets down to the business of healing the injury. In reality, the punctures are so microscopic they begin to heal immediately, fully healing within just a few hours. This is where the “fractional” term comes from — the punctures are only a fraction of the skin’s surface and are surrounded by unaffected skin, which quickly helps heal the adjacent microscopic holes.
Still, the body’s wound response is to remodel the existing collagen in the treatment area. This immediately tightens the skin. Then the body initiates the production of new collagen and elastin, along with new skin cells. Collagen firms and thickens the skin, while elastin is responsible for the skin’s pliability. This treatment decreases the appearance of moderate lines and wrinkles, acne scars, skin texture problems, and pigmented lesions.
Erbium Yag Resurfacing
The Erbium Yag portion of the Cortex Laser is a superficial treatment of the epidermis only. You can think of it as an alternative to a chemical peel. The skin’s imperfections absorb the laser energy and this creates subsequent peeling and the exposure of healthier, younger-looking skin beneath. The Erbium Yag portion is good for treating shallow wrinkles and lines, reducing age spots and areas of pigmentation, and for improving skin texture.
Who is a candidate for laser skin rejuvenation?
As mentioned above, you can opt for either CO2 fractional treatment or superficial Erbium Yag treatment, or you can combine them. These procedures are best for patients with fair to moderate skin tone who fall within the Fitzpatrick scale of I-III. In darker skin tones, the laser energy may cause hypopigmentation or lightening of the skin color. Also, patients cannot be pregnant or nursing, have autoimmune conditions, or blood clotting disorders.
If you fit into those parameters, basically everyone could benefit from some or all aspects of these treatments.
What conditions can the Cortex Laser improve?
The CO2 fractional portion of the Cortex Laser triggers a full healing response in the body. This improves:
- Moderate lines and wrinkles
- Acne scarring
- Skin texture problems
- Skin tone
- Skin thickness
- Pigmented lesions
The Erbium Yag portion of the Cortex Laser addresses the superficial skin. This improves:
- Shallow lines and wrinkles
- Age spots
- Port wine spots
- Areas of hyperpigmentaiton
- Skin texture
How often should I have these skin resurfacing treatments?
This varies depending on the patient. If you’re simply having the Erbium Yag superficial treatments, these can be repeated every couple of months, as there really isn’t any recovery time. CO2 fractional resurfacing is more aggressive and should only be done once or twice a year. This is because your skin improvements are much more elaborate and long-lasting.
How long will the results of laser resurfacing last?
These are permanent results. After all, even just superficial Erbium energy makes the skin slough off old, dead skin cells. They won’t come back. As for the CO2 portion, the new collagen and elastin produced are also permanent. Your skin improvement is permanent.
Of course, the march of time won’t stop. That means your improvements will endure, but your skin will still continue to age, lose collagen, have more sun damage, and the other effects of daily life. We recommend maintenance treatments once a year.
Is laser skin resurfacing painful?
We apply topical numbing cream with lidocaine prior to your laser skin resurfacing session. This keeps you comfortable. Most patients equate the delivery of the short pulses of laser energy to a snapping with a small rubber band, followed by a warm sensation.
Will my skin be red after CO2 laser resurfacing?
The CO2 fractional resurfacing will require a little recovery time. This is approximately what you can expect:
- Day 1 — You will leave Dr. Bedrossian’s office and your skin will appear as if moderately sunburned and it will feel tight.
- Day 2 — Your skin will now appear bronzed and darker.
- Day 3-4 — Your skin will begin to peel, and areas may itch.
- Day 5 — Peeling should begin to end.
- Day 7-8 — Your redness should fully resolve.
Are there risks to CO2 or Erbium skin resurfacing?
These are low-risk treatments. These are potential risks that are very rare:
- Skin burns
- Changes in pigmentation (generally lighter areas with darker skin tones)