Orlando facial plastic surgeon Dr. Yeilding has mastered the use of a state-of-the-art fractional and deep CO2 laser to resurface facial skin. Safe and effective, her technique restores sun-damaged, aged skin to a more youthful appearance and feel. It also eliminates many imperfections such as age spots, wrinkles, scars and skin tags.*
Learn more about Dr. Yeilding’s Laser Skin Resurfacing techniques.
See the difference Laser Skin Resurfacing techniques can make.*
Hear what our Orlando patients say about Dr. Yeilding’s Laser Resurfacing treatments.*
Laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic, medical procedure that uses the power of a laser – a device that emits optically amplified light based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation – to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, age spots, birthmarks, and blotchy patches on the skin.
A laser skin resurfacing procedure can also be employed for removing skin growths such as moles and warts, and even as a treatment for skin cancer in its earliest stages. It is one of the most effective means of revising mild to moderate facial scarring resulting from either previous surgery or injury, and it is a way to improve the skin’s overall texture which can become rough and coarse as a result of accumulated sun damage.
Undergoing a laser skin resurfacing procedure can greatly benefit the youthfulness and beauty of your skin. Deep laser skin rejuvenations can stimulate the production of new collagen in the lower dermis and tighten skin that has lost its elasticity due to aging. By removing damaged skin and exposing that which is softer and younger looking, laser skin resurfacing treatments have been found to be an effective method of reversing the tell-tale signs of age and other forms of skin damage.
There are two basic types of laser treatment technologies: non-ablative and ablative. Non-ablative laser resurfacing is minimally invasive and traditionally does not remove the outer skin layer. The laser beams merely coagulate the affected tissue. Non-ablative laser resurfacing may be used to treat spider veins, facial skin pigmentation, sun damage, or sagging skin. Ablative resurfacing produces a controlled micro burn of the outer skin layers to vaporize and destroy the affected tissue. This type of resurfacing produces the most dramatic results of all skin resurfacing procedures.
Doctors specializing in facial treatments utilize three different types of lasers: CO2, Erbium, and Fraxel (fractional).
Fractionated or pixilated carbon dioxide lasers, known as CO2 lasers, have the power to deliver a very short pulse of light energy, creating a precision burn that removes the outer layers of damaged skin to reveal the underlying skin which is softer, smoother, and younger looking. A CO2 laser can eliminate or diminish the appearance of most wrinkles, scars, warts, and birthmarks. It has even been used to treat skin cancer in its earliest stages.
The Erbium laser provides a milder and less invasive treatment option than a CO2 laser, and is an effective treatment for those whose skin damage is not as severe. This type of laser is typically used to remove superficial and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, but can also be used on the neck, chest, and hands. The procedure also activates collagen to promote further tightening of the skin.
Fraxel, or fractional lasers, treat only a small percentage (or fraction) of the skin targeted for enhancement. Fractional skin resurfacing uses laser energy microbeams to create areas of affected tissue that extend through the epidermis into the dermis. These areas can be either non-ablative or ablative. During a non-ablative fractional laser treatment, no skin is removed. Instead, the laser passes through the outer layer of skin to act on separate points deep in the targeted area, leaving surrounding skin unaffected.
Recently, the FDA cleared the use of the combination of ablative and non-ablative fractional lasers to create a new approach in aesthetic treatments that takes advantage of the best of both technologies.
The ideal candidate for laser skin resurfacing has elastic, non-oily skin that is not prone to scarring after minor injury. It is best that laser skin resurfacing be performed on a person who is free of any medical considerations, including certain prescription medication and existing health conditions that might cause unnecessary risk during the procedure or recovery period.
Patients with lighter skin tones are better candidates for the more aggressive resurfacing procedures, such as CO2, than those whose skins are darker, because the latter are more prone to possible, unwanted pigmentation changes. During ablative laser skin resurfacing, the pigment in the targeted skin cell absorbs the highly energetic laser light and produces intense heat, resulting in the cell’s destruction. Any excess laser light is either harmlessly diffused or is absorbed by the surrounding untargeted skin cells. In a person with dark skin, more skin pigment is present so there is a greater risk of the excess laser energy being absorbed than for a person with a lighter skin tone. This unintended absorption can result in side effects like skin discoloration and even blistering.
People who opt for laser resurfacing should have realistic expectations of the procedure’s results and trust their doctor to determine the best type of treatment for their situation and desires. Since laser skin resurfacing is considered to be a surgical procedure by many cosmetic medical professionals, there are risks to be considered, as there would be with any type of surgery. For example, the healing process can be difficult for an individual who suffers from an immune system or other type of disorder or syndrome. People with drug allergies and those who have had previous surgeries or skin treatments are also at a greater risk for complications.
In addition, patients with acne may experience a flare-up, and bacterial infection is possible, as is cold sore reactivation. Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin), prolonged redness and swelling, and, in rare cases, scarring, are also potential side effects. Finally, smoking decreases the ability of the skin to heal, so smokers will have to quit for a period of two weeks before and two weeks after the procedure.
Laser skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, so you do not have to stay overnight. Many patients are completely treated with a single laser procedure, but for extreme wrinkles or acne scars, touch up treatment may be required. For small areas, the doctor will numb the areas to be treated with a local anesthetic. An oral sedative may or may not be used, as well. If your whole face is being treated, you might require general anesthesia. Smaller areas can be treated in less than an hour; a full face treatment might take up to two. For best results, your doctor may begin a series of skin treatments six weeks or more before your scheduled procedure.
After the procedure is completed, your doctor will apply specialized dressing and topical treatments to protect the treated tissues. It’s normal to have swelling and reddening of the skin right after laser skin resurfacing. You may be prescribed steroids to manage swelling, particularly around the eyes. Itching or stinging for a few days are also common aftereffects. Ice packs can also be used to provide comfort from pain and to help reduce swelling. You should clean the treated areas two to five times a day with saline or diluted vinegar solution as directed by your doctor. In five to seven days, your skin will become dry and start to peel. It is important, then, to keep the new skin well-moisturized.
Recovery time after laser skin treatments varies depending on the type of laser used. With a CO2 laser treatment, the recovery time is typically two weeks. After erbium laser skin resurfacing, for the treatment of more superficial lines and wrinkles, a shorter recovery period of about one week is typically required. Fraxel laser treatments require a recovery period of only a few days. Research has shown that the improvement of wrinkles will continue to be seen as the skin continues to heal over the course of 18 months. So, for most patients, if they look good at several weeks, they will look better at several months. However, a patient’s overall health and lifestyle will also help determine the time it takes for someone to fully recover from the procedure.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for laser skin resurfacing is about $2,500. However, costs can vary widely depending on where the procedure is being done, the type of procedure used, how extensive it is, and the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment. Additional fees may include: surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, and prescriptions for medication.
Because laser skin resurfacing is considered a cosmetic procedure, most medical insurance companies will not cover it. There may be an exception if you get the procedure to modify scars or remove precancerous growths on your skin.
It’s important to choose a surgeon with the appropriate skills and experience, preferably one who is a certified member of a reputable medical society. A board-certified physician will have the requisite training, operate only in accredited medical facilities, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and fulfill continuing medical education requirements, including standards and innovations in patient safety.
Dr. Ruth Hill Yeilding is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Florida Medical Society, and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. She has unique, state-of-the-art laser surgical training with an emphasis on the eyes and face.
* DISCLAIMER: With all Before and After images, stock photos, Patient Testimonials or Reviews shown on the site, no claims are made that results are typical. Results vary with each individual patient, and results are cannot be guaranteed. All Before and After images and Patient Testimonials are Dr. Yeilding patients; however, all photos, testimonials and stock photos are shown for informational purposes only. All Patient Testimonials are individual patient opinions and do not represent claims or guarantees of results by YMD Eye & Face.