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Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New
Ask the Surgeon
I am interested in laser resurfacing to reduce the wrinkles around my lips. I frequently get cold sores, will this affect my plans to receive laser resurfacing? Is laser resurfacing the right option for me?
No, it will not thwart your plans for laser resurfacing. Cold sores are a viral infection. In order to prevent the recurrence and spread of cold sores while the laser-treated area heals, all patients are pretreated with an antiviral medication.
Laser resurfacing is an excellent option to reduce fine wrinkles around the mouth. By delicately exfoliating layers of the skin, the deeper layer is exposed and collagen is stimulated. With time, a new, smooth layer forms. To determine if this treatment is right for you, discuss it with your facial plastic surgeon.
Recently, Reliant Technologies received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Fraxel® Laser to be used in the specific treatment of melasma.
Melasma is a skin pigmentation disorder with patterns of dark, brown patches on the face. It is often associated with pregnancy, female hormonal activity, and certain drugs.
The Fraxel Laser works by gently resurfacing small sections of the skin at a time, thereby eliminating the risk of irritation. Until now, the stubborn skin condition had been resistant to laser resurfacing due to unsatisfactory results, further irritation of the area, and risk of adverse complications. The laser is also FDA approved for soft tissue coagulation (2003) and for skin resurfacing and correction of periorbital wrinkles (around the eyes) and pigmented lesions, i.e., age spots, sun spots, and skin discoloration.
Have you tried computer imaging? Programs on the Internet take your photo and allow you to “try on” various clothing. Hair salons take your image and allow you to view various hair cuts and colors to create your ultimate hair style. Computer imaging may also be in your facial plastic surgeon’s office. In each of these instances, the consumer is allowed to see the possibilities.
Computer imaging has its strengths and limitations. In the surgeon’s office, this tool can help the patient see the enhancement potential, while also allowing the facial plastic surgeon to fine tune the treatment plan based on the feedback the patient is providing. It is powerful to see what the results may be; however, the key is to keep your expectations realistic. Changing an image on the computer screen is much different than performing the surgical process.