Prettier Skin – One Dot at a Time

In La Jolla

By Nasrin Mani, M.D.

We’re all very conscious of our skin. After all, it makes us look good or bad, young or old, even happy or sad.

And how we look to ourselves makes a big difference in how we feel about ourselves.(Not to mention how others interact with us.)

By the time most of us decide to visit a doctor is in order, we’ve built up decades of “baggage” for our skin – too many parties, too much sun, not enough sleep, questionable dietary habits. Once we face the less than appealing truth, it’s time to get down to making some decisions on how we can un-do some of the damage!

The old way to prettier skin:
Deep chemical peels, mechanical dermabrasion or full surface laser peels were the only options that gave real honest-to-gosh improvements. But…these improvements also came packaged with some serious downsides. Like waxy-looking skin, obvious differences in treated and untreated skin,  SERIOUS pain, long-term healing and lots of drugs. Plus the anesthesia risks.

The new way to prettier skin: DOTS
Lasers are still the preferred top technology but how they work has changed dramatically!
Fractional lasers treat the skin in patterned dots. Each laser beam dot is placed so there is untreated skin all around it. This makes healing quick and eliminates the downsides associated with the old style lasers.

Prettier skin for GUYS???
Well, maybe prettier is not the right term. But, because there’s no tell-tale treatment evidence, men can have their skin treated too, so they look healthier and more appealing. The craggy, rough-hewn look has lost its sex appeal, so many men are opting for the clean look of resurfaced skin. Plus, lasers can quickly and easily treat profuse actinic keratosis, a big issue with many men who’ve spent lots of time in the sun.

The basis of Fractional CO2:
Fractional CO2 lasers allow the skin to maintain its natural appearance and base color tone, something the older technology couldn’t do. The variable methodology of the Lumenis laser system gives us several options as to what specific problem(s) we want to address instead of obliterating the entire skin surface.

Pick a problem:
For instance –  Discoloration and Poor Skin Texture are more superficial problems, so for patients with pigmentation and surface irregularities we use ActiveFX, the fastest healing of the three CO2 laser or Fraxel Dual offerings which work through shallow laser penetration.

Wrinkles and Skin Looseness respond to DeepFX, which penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin where collagen is produced. New tighter collagen means tighter skin and fewer wrinkles. You also get the benefits of skin texture improvement.

For those who have a combination of rough skin texture, wrinkles, skin laxity and discoloration, TotalFx has a dual-laser effect and treats all the problems at once.

Heal Fast:
Healing is accelerated by the proximity of untreated skin, which retains all the viable cell activity needed to regenerate fresh new skin cells where the lasers have removed old skin. In days the skin is healed enough so that patients can go out and about with their lives. No hiding out under bandages or in a dark room. The process is fast – days instead of weeks. Visible improvements are quick – and with the DeepFX or TotalFX, skin continues to tighten over 4 to 5 months, thanks to new collagen production.

Protecting the investment:
Our major skin-ager is the sun. Renewed skin needs protection from the UV rays that create wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and laxity in the first place. What to do? Protect your investment and protect your skin. Sunscreen and sunblock are your skin’s best friends, and especially so after you’ve paid hard earned money to repair initial damage.

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