Skin resurfacing helps rejuvenate the skin by revving up cells called fibroblasts that produce collagen, the most important substance for youthful skin tone and elasticity. Over time, age, smoking, and sun exposure cause collagen to break down, which can lead to fine wrinkles as well as loose, saggy skin. Texture and pigment differences can also occur from acne, age, and sun damage.
You can come to Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, Maryland, for skin treatments, including:
Microdermabrasion is a lighter form of dermabrasion that uses abrasive particles to remove sun-damaged skin and remove or lessen scars and other blemishes as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles. You may need several treatments to achieve the look you want.
It’s not very painful and doesn’t require any anesthetic. Your face may be slightly red for an hour or so after treatment.
Glycolic acid peels refine the texture and tone of the skin. On the surface, they give immediate smoothness by removing the dull, rough layer of dead skin cells. Over time, they also fade uneven pigmentation and promote skin-firming collagen. These peels generally do not cause any social downtime. It is best to avoid intense sun exposure in the two weeks following each peel. They should be performed at least monthly for optimal improvement.
TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels act more deeply in the skin. They can be used as spot treatments for pitted acne scars (called the "TCA Cross Method") or all over the face to address sun damage. These peels are best for lightly pigmented skin types as darker skin types can have unwanted loss of pigmentation from this treatment. There are several days of redness following the peel which could mean social downtime if the whole face is treated.
Salicylic acid peels are best for treating acne and rosacea as they dissolve in oil and penetrate the pores most effectively. These can cause mild redness on the day of treatment, but do not involve social downtime. They can achieve great results on other parts of the body as well and are often used on the chest or back.
Laser resurfacing can effectively treat skin tone and texture, with different devices targeting uneven pigmentation, prominent blood vessels and redness, scars, and wrinkles. The lasers that improve skin texture are ideal in conjunction with aesthetic surgeries as surgery will achieve a lifting and repositioning of the skin that laser cannot, but laser treatments will smooth the skin's surface in a way that surgery cannot. Additionally, the scars that inevitably result from a surgery can be blended into the surrounding skin with laser treatments. This is very effective, but should be started within weeks of surgery for best results. The effects of the procedure last for years, providing effects similar to a facelift.
If your plastic surgeon recommends laser treatment for you, you will be referred to a laser specialist.