I was seeing a client for a brow wax, when she asked an important question. “Do you see this texture on my face, could these ripples on my cheeks be caused by a laser treatment done 4 months ago?” The answer is YES, it is directly caused by laser burns! She continued to explain that she had beautiful smooth skin all her life and had requested laser service at a local Dermatologist office to lighten her “sun spots”. Unfortunately, she now has “dimples” on both cheeks due to damage to the reticular layer of the dermis. Let me explain that the “dimples/ripples” are actual tiny hills and valleys on the skin surface, created by a faulty underlying dermis. So this is from deep under the epidermis, so it is not as simple as superficial texture.
A Non-Ablative Laser would generally be used to correct pigmentation. These lasers use heat and light to stimulate fibroblast activity, thus creating new cells to be energized and often times correcting defective cells from forming. Each layer of the skin has a certain number of cells, these cells pile on top of each other and layers are formed. An older version of a specific laser or a newer model, combined with the level the dial is placed to determine the “heat” or energy used will effect the penetration of the laser. In addition, each clients skin is different. The layers are the same but the integrity can be vastly different, even within the same ethnic groups and/or genders. I swear this article gets better…keep reading.
The client was then told that to “correct” this issue, she would be “given” a series of 6 glycolic peels. Now, that is a good start, however glycolic works on Keratinized skin cells. Keratinization happens at the surface, so it stands to reason that it will not effect the Dermis..which unfortunately for my client, is where the damage has happened. So basically, these peels will do nothing to eradicate this type of damage, glycolic peels will make the skin a little more clear and toned on the surface. Repeat, it will not correct laser burns.
This client is now going to get her 6 “free” Glycolic peels to “repair” from her Dermatologist, while she has a 12 month series set up with me to do medium depth peels consisting of TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) and other blended AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). The difference is that the peels will affect the dermis by gently, and over time, allowing the peel to rebuild the skin naturally. TCA is a very active peeling agent that will penetrate the epidermis and travel further into the skin only stopping when the skin itself has neutralized it at the beginging of the dermis, thus creating a healing effect on the damaged cells. Our plan of action over 12 months is as follows; 4 TCA blended peels every 3 months, and every month we will be doing routine facials with a Vita C enzymatic peel. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. Remember, SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.
*Note 1: My recommendation get all laser treatments at a reputable Dermatologist or Plastic’s Office and check credentials of the person administering your laser treatment. Each state has different requirements for Laser Technicians. Get a referral from someone you trust in your area!!
*Note 2: Skin can also be damaged with peels, if not handled properly by a licensed Esthetician or Doctor. Once again, get a referral from someone you trust in your area!!