When it comes to skin rejuvenation and resurfacing, chemical peels have been the gold standard in cosmetic surgery practice. With the new wave of energy devices, many patients are curious of lasers, and if they offer results similar, or even better, than peels. Dr. Jason Pozner of Boca Raton, a known laser-specialist, discusses the topic with Dr. Cliff Clark of Orlando and how these two very different procedures work together to rejuvenate the face.
The Role of Lasers in Plastic Surgery
Technology continues to advance in every area of life, and plastic surgery is no different. New devices in non-surgical procedures offer skin tightening and wrinkle removal through the use of energy, notably the energy of lasers. Many skin rejuvenation procedures that used chemical peels are now finding even better results with laser energy. “I’m a laser guy, I love lasers,” says Dr. Pozner. “The advantage is you can get very consistent results over and over again.”
The procedure is non-invasive, meaning no scalpels, no anesthesia and quick downtime. Many patients are very curious about energy devices; are they really just as good as the tried-and-true chemical peel?
The Roots of Skin Rejuvenation
Chemical peels have been used to rejuvenate the skin for a long time. Dr. Clark notes that as promising as lasers are, chemical peels are still the gold standard. “Ever since Star Wars, we’ve been captivated with the laser sword, and we have to be wary of the hype surrounding laser devices in plastic surgery. I think we can’t forget our roots. Peels started the whole skin rejuvenation game. It still plays a tremendous role in my practice and you still can’t beat it for getting a big bang for your buck.”
Many patients have turned to chemical peels for a variety of facial skin issues. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has this to say about peels:
“Sun exposure, acne or just getting older can leave your skin tone uneven, wrinkled, spotted or scarred. If you want your skin to look smoother and younger, consider a chemical peel, which uses a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers.”
Even for laser specialists, chemical peels have a very important role in plastic surgery. “We like peels for difficult pigments, and I think they’re more of an art,” says Dr. Pozner. “For the average physician, they’re going to get a better result time after time with a laser. But for those physicians who are experts with peels, I agree, they’re a great way to go.”
Which one, then, is better?
The addition of lasers to the toolbox gives board certified plastic surgeons another great tool to get better results. It doesn’t have to be one or the other; utilizing both chemical peels for certain cases and lasers for others, or both, can only lead to better results for patients. Pozner says, “There are a lot of different types of peels. Some of the lighter ones can be delegated to estheticians and nurse practitioners. But we use lasers, too. I don’t think you can beat a laser for deeper skin resurfacing.”