In a word, supercharging. OK, so how can a face be supercharged after a laser facial resurfacing treatment? By making it heal better. And how is that done you may ask? By increasing the effectiveness and completeness of the recovery process. This can be done by external influencers like extra vitamin C ingestion, ZO’s Growth Factor Serum, and optimized nutrition and sleep. But you know what really works extremely well?
The Secrets of Facial Resurfacing
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Sculptra are the answers. And these can be applied topically whenever holes are made in the skin. At our office, we make holes in skin frequently to achieve favorable changes in skin texture and tone. Texture is the surface smoothness of the skin, and tone is the evenness of the coloration of the complexion. Acne scars, for example, are one way that the texture of skin can be adversely affected. Brownish discolorations and visible surface veins are examples of abnormalities of skin tone. Both skin texture and tone can be improved by making holes in the skin however they are made.
The most common way that we make skin holes at Medical Cosmetics is by a series of microneedling treatments. We use a Skin Pen. This device is the only FDA cleared microneedling device available. It does a great job. Vicki, our outstanding aesthetician, makes more holes this way than I do. But sometimes she lets me share in this enjoyment! I draw the patient’s blood for the PRP we use to “supercharge” the benefit from making all those holes in the skin. The alpha granules stored in all of our blood’s platelets contain more than a dozen powerful growth and repair factors. Once platelets are allowed to penetrate into the skin holes we have made, their released growth factors tremendously enhance the healing that occurs! Topical Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid) also enhances recovery from the hole-making process. Sculptra works not by the release of growth factors, but by recruiting fibroblasts to the location of the PLLA molecules. Fibroblasts manufacture collagen. And extra collagen in our skin is a great thing!
What Other Treatments Are Recommended? Fractionated Lasers!
So how else can holes be made in the skin? And why would anyone want to make holes any other way other than by microneedling? The answer is the use of a fractionated “ablative” laser. The light from an ablative laser is converted from single-wavelength light into heat when it encounters the very first cell that it strikes. The type of ablative fractionated laser that we have is Cynosure’s SmartSkin Plus CO2 laser. The huge advantage that fractionated lasers have over microneedling is that not only do they improve skin texture and tone, but they also improve skin tightness! And who doesn’t want tighter skin? Right? People often tell me that I appear younger than my chronological age (a sore subject for me since my early November birthday!). The greatest reason for this is 12-15 fractionated CO2 laser treatments over the past 20 years. And all of those laser treatments were done without the benefit of topical PRP and/or Sculptra. I cannot wait for my next CO2 at which time I will also paint myself with my own PRP followed by Sculptra! I’ve used this recipe on two of my patients recently and the results have been phenomenal.
What About Non-Ablative Laser Treatments?
For completeness, let me mention that we also do a “non-ablative” (non-surface hole-making) laser facial resurfacing treatment that will improve skin texture, tone, and tightness. It will take 3-4 of these treatments to equal the benefit of one CO2 ablative laser facial resurfacing treatment, and the downtime is just one day instead of 4-7 days. The cost for 4 non-ablatives will equal that of 1 ablative laser treatment. Since the non-ablative laser treatment does not make holes in the skin’s surface, neither PRP nor Sculptra can be applied topically after the treatment to supercharge the healing process. A thought just occurred to me… Could a person have a non-ablative fractionated laser treatment followed by microneedling and then apply PRP and/or Sculptra on top? I don’t see why not. The recovery would be faster, but my guess is that the tightness would not be quite as impressive. Someone will request this combination some time, I just know it. Then we will see, won’t we?
It’s time to think about getting your face spruced up in the simultaneous categories of texture, tone, and tightness. So, why not go ahead and schedule to PUT ON A HAPPY FACE? Contact us today!
William A. Carter, M.D. at Medical Cosmetics