News & Features

MicroLaser Peel Doc

Featured Doctor
Daniel Rousso, M.D.
Medical Director
Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic and
Aesthetic Medical Spa
2700 Highway 280
Birmingham, Alabama 35223

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Dr. Rousso

MicroLaser Peel Doc

One of the most sweeping trends in plastic and cosmetic surgery is the shorter procedure that does not require much time out for recovery or healing. It’s because busy consumers just can’t take weeks away from jobs, family and other activities for healing. So, plastic and cosmetic surgeons are more than happy to please and are constantly coming up with new ways to provide a minimally invasive surgical rejuvenation that does not require a lot of the dreaded “downtime.” The basic formula in this trend is pretty easy to remember; it’s short procedures = short recovery times, while long procedures = long recovery times. When doctors talk about removing layers of facial skin, they speak in the tiniest of dimensions. For instance, microdermabrasion only removes about ten microns of skin. (13 microns equal 0.0005118 of an inch.) Facial skin is removed, or peeled, because fresher, more youthful skin appears in its place.

A newer facial resurfacing procedure, MicroLaser Peel is considered a-partial-to-full epidermal peel that removes 20 to 50 microns of facial skin and is a step between microdermabrasion and the stronger procedures. Before the MicroLaser Peel, surgeons used a chemical peel, and then lasers, to take off as much as 130 microns of skin. But the chemicals and stronger lasers took off so much skin, a recovery period as long as two weeks was required. Moreover, the patient often had to be put to sleep under a general anesthesia.

MicroLaser Peel removes a layer of facial skin about the thickness of a piece of notebook paper. Its aim is to remove facial flaws that make you look older. So wrinkles, scars, acne scars, keratoses (pre-cancerous lesions,) or pigmentary problems are removed by zapping the outermost layer of skin. Also targeted are sun damage, age and brown spots and blotchy skin coloring. But the time out for recovery from MicroLaser Peel and returning to normal activities is usually only about three days.

“If you have MicroLaser Peel on a Friday, you can go back to work on Monday,” says Dr. Rousso. Most patients have not yet heard about the procedure so when they tell Dr. Rousso they want their facial skin to look smoother, healthier and more vibrant, the doctor often suggests MicroLaser Peel which takes about an hour in the doctor’s office. First, a numbing topical cream is applied to the face and soaks in over 20 or 30 minutes. Then the actual procedure -- done with an Erbium YAG laser set to remove just a very slight layer of facial skin -- takes about another 20 to 30 minutes. After that, the patient leaves under her own power and drives herself home, provided she has had no valium for relaxation. Some practitioners use another laser device that blows cold air on the face as it works. That procedure requires no topical anesthetic at all.

Following the MicroLaser Peel, the patient’s face looks somewhat sunburned so she keeps a moisturizing cream on her face for 24 to 48 hours. On the second day, some minor skin sloughing takes place while the redness starts to fade on the third day. By Monday morning, she can again apply her own makeup and resume normal activities. Most patients require one more treatment six to eight weeks later. A few take a third treatment after yet another eight week interval. Results? New, baby bottom-soft layers of skin grow to replace the old marred skin. Patients have smoother, more vibrant facial skin that results in a more youthful appearance. The treatment also works over time because laser heat stimulates the layer of collagen that sits just under the facial skin. The collagen reacts to the heat and, over several months, grows thicker to plump up the facial skin to flatten and remove even more wrinkles.

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