A: The proliferation of treatments to rejuvenate the skin has made it difficult to choose the best treatment for
each person. All of these treatments are attempting to do the same thing: remove the upper layer of unhealthy skin and encourage the deeper layers of the skin to replenish themselves, all without injuring
the skin. Ideally the skin becomes firmer and more resilient, pores are opened and skin blemishes are reduced or removed.
In the past chemical peels and dermabrasion were often done too aggressively, essentially creating a 2nd or 3rd degree burn. This can also occur with laser treatments. The results can be dramatic if one heals well, but scarring and discoloration are common problems. Most practitioners now use more finesse, removing only the top layers of skin in a series of treatments. The era of the “lunchtime peel” (no down time) is here.
The laser and pulsed light facial treatments are able to stimulate the deeper skin cells. Results from these treatments vary depending on the type of equipment used and the skills of the operator. Usually follow-up treatments with chemical peels and microdermabrasion as well as a good skin care program are required to maintain results.
Prices for all of these procedures can vary widely. Laser and pulsed light are the most expensive, mainly due to the high cost of the equipment. They are a good choice for patients with deeper wrinkling or severe scarring. Microdermabrasion is effective for finer wrinkles and decreasing skin lesions. Chemical peels are safe and less expensive, but may not be strong enough to get good results. Professional facials are the safest and least expensive, however they will not remove unwanted skin lesions or wrinkles.
The best advice is to get full information, including credentials, experience and training of personnel. Have realistic expectations before committing to any of these exciting treatments.