Dr. Hause treats Sacramento laser skin resurfacing patients. In the paragraphs below, Dr. Hause describes the laser resurfacing procedure and how he has helped Sacramento and Modesto patients.
In the late 1960’s women were being treated by European Spa “Peelers” who would treat wrinkles with topical agents. They would not tell anybody their secret until two Plastic Surgeons from Miami, Tom Baker and Howard Gordon, were able to scientifically analyze their techniques. And thus the Baker Gordon Phenol Peel was developed. The results were dramatic with even the deepest wrinkles being improved. The take home story is that if you can precisely destroy the upper layers of the skin without going through the skin (which results in a scar and lifetime enemy for the doctor) you can stimulate the skin to produce a new layer of collagen and elastic fibers. Although this makes the resulting skin a little bit thinner, it increases the two things that are diminished in aged skin, namely collagen and elastin. The phenol peel is just carbolic acid and crotin oil. It turns out that when precisely mixed they will result in a non-full-thickness deep second-degree burn that will treat the wrinkles. The problem with the Phenol Peel is that it is very toxic to the cells that produce pigment. So the wrinkles improve at the expense of having lighter colored skin with a rather obvious line of demarcation.
Dermabrasion (a sanding wheel; sounds horrible) has also been employed with excellent results. However, it is too risky for around the eyes because the skin is so thin.
The newest advances have been the use of Lasers to resurface the skin. They have many advantages. One, they tend to be more precise, although some would argue about that. Two, they were thought to produce less pigmentation change than phenol, although now we are seeing more of this complication. Three, they are really impressive, cool and easy to market. The dirty secret is that they are much easier to use than Phenol or Dermabrasion. This is why so many different types of doctors offer these treatments. Usually all you need is a weekend course to be proficient in their use. I personally prefer the Coherent Ultrapulse CO2 Laser. It is reliable and I can rent it for the days I need it. However, there are now many different lasers on the market that can give comparable results.
The planned skin resurfacing procedure depends on the type and depth of the pathology one wants to treat. The deeper the problem, the more progressive the treatment needs to be. The deeper the treatment, the longer the recovery.
Problems of complexion can usually be improved with mild topical agents that have essentially little if any recovery time. Examples of mild topical agents include glycolic and alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoic compounds and topical vitamin C. These may plump up the skin and slowly treat mild pigmentation problems but have not really been found to be very effective for severe sun damage, deep wrinkles or severe pigmentation problems.
In the case of pigmentation problems, a less aggressive treatment than phenol, dermabrasion or Laser Resurfacing may be the ticket. One example is Tri-chloracetic Acid (TCA). TCA is an intermediate-depth peeling agent. Since pigmentation problems usually exist in the superficial dermis, treating the skin to this level can “wipe the slate clean” and produce a lighter and even complexion.
For the deeper problems such as deep wrinkles, Phenol, dermabrasion or Laser Resurfacing are the options that are usually performed.