Aging, sun exposure, heredity and lifestyle factors including nutrition, alcohol consumption and smoking all may contribute to facial wrinkling.
Pigmentary changes of the skin, such as blotchiness or brown spots, may also occur with age or as a result of birth control pills, pregnancy or genetic factors. Prior acne may have made the surface of your skin uneven. These problems, as well as certain other skin conditions, may be improved by skin resurfacing.
How Will Dr. Calderon Evaluate Me For Skin Resurfacing?
Dr. Calderon will carefully examine your skin to determine which resurfacing technique, or combination of treatments, will provide you with the best results. Your skin type, the severity of any sun damage, the extent of uneven pigmentation and the depth of skin imperfections will be evaluated. Fine lines, coarse wrinkling or deep acne scarring each may require a different approach to treatment.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries, and medications that you currently take. Be sure to tell Dr. Calderon if you have ever had x-ray treatments of your facial skin such as those used in the treatment of acne or if you have had a prior chemical peeling procedure. Current or past use of AccutaneT, as well as Retin-AT and other topical skin preparations, must be reported to your surgeon. For your safety, it is important that you provide complete information.
Am I A Good Candidate For Skin Resurfacing?
You may be a good candidate for skin resurfacing if you have one or more of the following conditions:
Patients may have their skin resurfaced at almost any age. You may have certain characteristics that make you a better candidate for one technique rather than another, or your surgeon may have a preference based on his or her personal experience with the different methods.
The amount of time you can allow for recovery also may be an important factor in selecting a particular resurfacing method or determining the extent of treatment. All resurfacing techniques can be performed to varying depths.
A more superficial treatment will require less healing time, but you may need to have the procedure repeated more than once to achieve the same results as a deeper treatment. If you are having aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery, you may be able to have a skin resurfacing procedure performed at the same time.
How Should I Prepare For Skin Resurfacing?
Prior to a deeper chemical peel, laser resurfacing, or less often, dermabrasion, your plastic surgeon will place you on a pretreatment program during which you will apply special creams, lotions or gels to your skin for a few weeks or longer. You may also be given certain oral medications that you should begin taking prior to your treatment. Your surgeon will provide you with additional instructions.
Your skin resurfacing treatment may be performed in your plastic surgeon's office, a free-standing ambulatory facility or a hospital. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and probably assist you for a day or two.
What Will Happen Immediately Before And After The Treatment?
Medications will be administered for your comfort prior to the treatment. Frequently, local anesthesia alone or combined with intravenous sedation is used for patients undergoing skin resurfacing procedures. Sometimes, general anesthesia may be desired.
When the treatment is completed, your resurfaced skin may be covered with petroleum jelly or other protective ointment. In some cases, dressings, tape or a bandage may be applied.
How Will I Look And Feel Initially?
Deeper chemical peels, dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing will produce redness and swelling to varying degrees. Depending on the post treatment regimen selected by your plastic surgeon, a scab may or may not form over the treated area. You will be advised about cleansing your skin, as well as if and when you should apply any ointments. In the case of men who have undergone resurfacing procedures, shaving must be delayed for a while. It is essential that you follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and avoid doing anything that might interrupt the healing process.
About seven to ten days after your skin resurfacing procedure, a new skin will have begun to form. After the initial redness subsides, your skin may be pink for several weeks to months. Camouflage makeup usually can be used within a couple of weeks, but your plastic surgeon will advise you.
Results Of Skin Resurfacing
Because of the persistence of skin pinkness following many types of resurfacing procedures, it may take months before you can fully appreciate your new look. Most patients feel that the results are definitely worth waiting for and, in the case of deeper treatments, the benefits are relatively long-lasting. Superficial resurfacing procedures, such as light chemical peels, will need to repeated periodically in order to maintain their benefits.
Your skin will, of course, continue to age. Also the type of wrinkles caused by movement of your facial muscles will eventually reappear. Some wrinkles may recur sooner than others, depending on their location as well as the type and extent of your resurfacing treatment. Despite this, you can expect that improvements in skin quality and texture achieved by resurfacing will make your complexion appear younger and fresher for many years to come.
When Can I Resume My Normal Activities?
Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early period following your skin resurfacing procedure. Generally, you should be able to return to work within a week or two. Exercise or other strenuous activities may need to be delayed a few weeks longer.