There are lots of exciting technological developments happening all the time in plastic surgery, which are making anti-aging safer and more accessible than ever before. Plastic surgery has been around for many, many years, but cosmetic skin and anti-aging treatments are fairly new and have come a long way in the last few decades. Facial resurfacing techniques are very popular due to their excellent, long-lasting results. One of the major drawbacks of these treatments, however, has always been the extensive downtime associated with them. Because of this, those involved in technological advancement of plastic surgery have come up with some alternatives to the traditional laser resurfacing techniques. But should you really choose new methods like plasma resurfacing over tried-and-true methods?
CO2 Lasers: A Classic Choice
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) lasers have been an option for patients for about the last decade, and their reputation for producing excellent results has kept the method in use for patients seeking dramatic skin resurfacing for anti-aging results and the treatment of acne scars. Though technology moves fast, CO2 lasers remain relevant today. This reliable method of resurfacing uses the laser’s heat to penetrate deep into the skin to destroy damaged skin cells and encourage the formation of brighter, healthier, and more youthful skin, treating problems like wrinkles, unwanted pigment, and acne scars. Laser treatments also stimulate collagen production, a component of the skin that helps lend elasticity and firmness to the skin.
Plasma Resurfacing: A New and Exciting Skin Treatment
Plasma treatments are the new addition to facial resurfacing options, and patients have been responding extremely well to the treatments. Plasma is an electrified gas which is utilized in the form of a nitrogen spray that heats the deep layers of skin, prompting peeling and collagen formation. The treatment is somewhat gentler than laser resurfacing, requiring only local or topical anesthesia. Plasma treatments can improve brown spots, tighten skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin condition and brightness.
Which Should You Choose?
When it comes to plastic surgery, there is no one-size-fits-all procedure that works well for every patient. The only way to determine which procedure will work best for you is to discuss your options during your consultations. That said, here are some factors to consider.
Both plasma and laser treatments have different levels of invasiveness, with CO2 lasers of different strengths and the option to have plasma treatments in three low energy treatments or one high energy treatment. Regardless of the option you are interested in, however, plasma tends to be the less invasive procedure of the two.
The two procedures are generally fairly comparable in price, and the difference will likely not be significant enough to influence your decision too much. Still every surgeon has his or her own pricing, and this varies by region and experience.
Recovery is very similar for the two procedures, although plasma resurfacing may involve a slightly shorter recovery period. The initial recovery process can take one to two weeks, and requires diligent care on the patient’s part to keep the skin protected while it heals.
One of the major benefits of plasma resurfacing is that the skin requires little preparation before the treatment. Laser resurfacing necessitates the use of retinols and skin lightening up to six weeks before the treatment, which can be a minor annoyance for patients.
Plasma skin resurfacing can produce great results, forcing the skin to peel and renew, as well as helping the body to create collagen for up to six months to a year after treatment. However, CO2 lasers can still be a good option for those seeking the most dramatic anti-aging results, as this procedure is better for very deep wrinkles.
Are You a Candidate?
Because both types of resurfacing procedures can be fairly invasive, there are some candidacy requirements that must be met before undergoing treatment. Potential patients must be in good health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations for the results of treatment. Resurfacing treatments can cause pigmentation problems in people with dark skin, so proceed with caution if this could affect you. Plasma treatments are less likely to cause pigmentation problems than lasers. Patients with only mild signs of aging may want to consider a less invasive treatment than full facial resurfacing.
Find a Knowledgeable Provider
If you are not sure which treatment is right for you, then it is important to speak with an expert who offers both procedures and can give you some insight on the benefits of each treatment. Plasma and laser treatments can both offer great results, but only when the procedure is performed by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.
Since plasma is a newer treatment, it can be more difficult to find an expert facial plastic surgeon who offers the procedure. Do your research and only meet with qualified surgeons who prioritize your safety and results, like Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA. Dr. Bentkover is an acclaimed plastic surgeon with decades of facial resurfacing experience. For more information and to schedule your consultation, call either location today.