Since their 1958 discovery, lasers have become a powerful industrial tool, but their applications in medicine have been truly revolutionary. But using laser for facial skin resurfacing was discovered almost by accident. In the course of treating acne scars with a laser, surgeons noticed that after resurfacing the skin around the scar to make the scar less visible, small adjacent wrinkles were greatly diminished. Advances in carbon dioxide laser technology have made skin rejuvenation with the CO2 laser a reality. Lasers work by emitting a powerful beam of light, which causes a superficial burn of the skin. As layers of dead skin cells are replaced by new living cells, the skin tightens, and grows back smoother and wrinkle-free.
Lasers are effective for treating sun-damaged skin, acne scarring, age spots and skin discoloration, and many facial scars and wrinkles. Other conditions that respond well to laser surgery include spider and/or varicose veins, hair removal and tattoos can be removed with little or no scarring.
Laser treatment may be performed on the whole face or designated facial areas such as around the eyes or the mouth. It can be carried out with little or no anesthesia depending on the specific needs of each individual and the type of laser used.
Dr. Kovak has a significant amount of lasers that are specific for a cosmetic procedure. He is and will always remain on the “cutting edge” of new laser technology.
The carbon dioxide laser has been a popular surgeon’s tool for the past few decades. Its use was originally limited due to the risk of scarring and pigmentary changes resulting from deep thermal damage (or heat build-up) produced in the skin. This problem was eliminated with the development of a high-energy, short pulse waveform, which reduces the thermal impact to the outer layers of the skin.
When the skin is treated with the CO2 laser, a clean, layer-by-layer vaporization of the skin occurs. Due to the high water content of the epidermis, the undesired skin literally evaporates. The laser is best-suited for those skin conditions which are superficial in nature, namely fine lines, wrinkles, forehead lines, blotchiness (dark or light patches), keratoses (pre-cancers), scaling, and acne scarring. By using the vaporizing technology of the carbon dioxide laser, the patient’s skin is resurfaced, or “rejuvenated”, to eliminate the unsightliness of these conditions.
The procedure is, bloodless, safe, and does not require general anesthesia. The initial healing process can take place over 1-2 weeks, leaving pink, smoother, “new”skin. This pink skin turns normal in color over the next month. Because the CO2 laser has a high level of precision, the risk of scarring or other complications (such as infection) is minimized. With the use of makeup it is also typical for a patient to return to their regular work or social activities within 7 days or less following laser treatment.