|Wrinkles are an inevitable
effect of time. They are made worse by excessive sun exposure, which
leads to severe loss of elasticity of the skin. Overuse of the
underlying muscles (such as in the case of excessive squinting and
frowning), usually triggers the appearance or worsens the condition of
wrinkles. Environmental factors such a smoking and pollution also play a
role. While deep folds are often best treated with a filling agent or
radiofrequency treatments, smaller wrinkles are generally treated with
chemical peeling agents, or lasers. Resurfacing lasers can be used in a
single session to precisely erase small wrinkles, or polish acne scars,
and require a few days of healing. Non-ablative lasers (collagen lasers)
stimulate newer collagen production underneath wrinkles and depressed
scars which lifts them up. No healing time is necessary with collagen
lasers, but a series of treatment sessions is necessary to see results.
Scars can develop as the result of acne or other types of inflammatory
problems of the skin, such as infections, chickenpox, surgery or trauma. Rarely,
but more commonly in darker skin types, scars can develop spontaneously. Most
scars improve with time. However, early intervention may affect the way a scar
remodels itself and may minimize its appearance.
Red raised scars respond well to lasers that decrease their blood supply,
which leads a lighter, flatter and softer scar. Sometimes injections of steroids
and occlusive dressings are good adjuncts to improve results.
Depressed scars come in different varieties. Those that have sharp edges
(some acne scars, some surgical scars) are either treated with a resurfacing
laser to smooth out the edges, or the scar is removed surgically and re-sutured
properly. Scars that have soft edges (typically acne scars) are best filled
using injection of a filling agent or by stimulating production of one's own
collagen below the scar to elevate it. This is done precisely using laser
treatments referred to as "collagen laser" or "non-ablative resurfacing".
After subcision, some bruising and swelling develop for a few days after the
treatment.More than one treatment is needed for best results. Sometimes a
combination treatment is the recommended approach to obtain the best results.
Stretch marks are a type of a depressed scar that is due to over stretching
of the skin (with pregnancy or weight gain). Lasers that stimulate collagen
improve the texture and appearance of the stretch marks, in ways never seen
before, without any surface damage or color change, often in combination with
some creams and sun protection.