What is the Erbium Laser?
How it Works
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Lasers provide a level of control that is difficult to achieve with other treatments. With lasers, your doctor can immediately visualize the effect of the treatment. Laser resurfacing is more predictable than other forms of treatment. Shorter recovery times than traditional treatments are often noted, with most of our patients able to apply makeup at their one-week follow-up visit.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS REQUIRED?
Laser skin resurfacing is usually performed with topical anesthesia and other medications in our office. We typically give narcotics, anti-anxiety medicines, and an intramuscular shot of Toradol (a drug similar to ibuprofen). Nerve blocks (like what you get at the dentist) can also be used. Intravenous sedation is available, but most patients do very well with the above combination of pain control modalities.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
As with any procedure where there is a break in the skin barrier, side effects can occur. Infection is uncommon but responds rapidly to the appropriate antibiotic. Everyone undergoing full face resurfacing is given an antibiotic, an antiviral, and an anti-yeast medicine to help prevent skin infections.
Hyperpigmentation (extra tanning or browning of the skin) is more common than hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) but is transient and responds well to topical creams and sunscreen. The long-term sun-damaged cells will be removed, clearing any precancers or excess brownness, and will return your skin to its natural skin tone. We can use several products for your neck, chest, arms, and even legs to help treat brown spots in these areas. Permanent hypopigmentation is very unusual.