Breakthroughs in Plastic Surgery

New Laser Therapy Promotes Collagen Growth, Erases Skin Damage

New Laser Therapy Promotes Collagen Growth, Erases Skin Damage

A new laser therapy treatment is making it possible to sculpt away the fine lines and unsightly spots of aging. The key? By causing low-level damage to the skin, micro-beams actually promote collagen growth, causing the skin to repair itself.

laser cosmetic surgery technologyRemember that old movie Logan’s Run? In the flick, Michael York and Jenny Agutter are running for their lives through a futuristic city full of fantasy and danger. During their escape, they end up at the New You salon, where a beautiful blonde introduces them to the Esculaptor Mark III – a laser gadget that can literally sculpt the client’s face and body into any desired shape. Hijinks ensue.

But what was once a prop in a cheesy sci-fi flick is now a reality, thanks to the brain boys up at the University of Michigan Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center. A new treatment based around an advanced surgical laser is making it possible to sculpt away the fine lines and unsightly spots of aging from the patient’s face.

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It’s called the fractionated carbon dioxide laser, and it’s a new twist on laser cosmetic surgery technology.

Ordinary surgical lasers use a single beam to make the tiny incisions involved in laser facial treatment. The new fractionated carbon dioxide laser uses several tiny, thinner beams that are focused on the area to be treated. As these micro-beams hit the skin, they zap away tiny “columns” of scar tissue, sun-damaged cells, and other blemishes, leaving small, invisible gaps in the patient’s skin.

And here’s the neat part: since these gaps are microscopic, the body’s nearby cells consider them to be caused by ordinary wear and tear instead of by trauma, and fills them in with collagen instead of scar tissue. And collagen is the substance that gives youthful skin its tautness and smoothness!

That’s the secret. The laser tricks the skin into filling in the portions removed by the laser with collagen, thereby renewing itself.

The procedure itself is brief and straightforward. The patient’s skin is treated with an anesthetic, and the doctor makes two passes with the micro-beams — a deep-skin pass, to erase skin lines and underlying scar tissue, and a pass over the skin’s top layer, to even out pigmentation and eliminate superficial marks.

The redness goes away in about two weeks since there are no major incisions involved; bleeding and the risk of infection are each minimized. So far, no complications or serious side effects have been reported.

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