Insights from a Skin Care Expert into the Latest Rage in Dermatology – Laser Skin Resurfacing

Adam Wallach, M.D.
Adam Wallach, M.D.

One of our local cosmetic dermatology experts, Adam Wallach, M.D., answers our questions about laser skin resurfacing.

Q: What is laser skin resurfacing?

A: Laser skin resurfacing is performed using either an erbium or carbon dioxide laser. Essentially, it is the process of removing some of the epidermis or outer layers of the skin in order to improve its texture and color. Today this procedure is most often performed on the skin using a matrix of tiny dots, also known as fractionation, which provides quicker healing and less risk.

Q: Who is a prime candidate for laser treatment?

A: Anyone who feels like they would like to refresh or even out either the color or texture of their skin. Light to olive skin tones respond best to laser treatments. Darker skin tones can also be treated if the skin is properly prepared, which consists of halting the use of certain skin care products with specific ingredients and commencing the use of other creams like hydroquinone weeks in advance to make sure the skin does darken.

Q: For best results, how many laser treatments are needed?

A: It depends on how strongly the procedure is performed. If done at higher power, a single treatment can result in tremendous change. When lower settings are used, patients may require additional treatments spread out over several months, although there is less downtime per treatment. 

Q: Besides redness in the treated area, what can be expected post-procedure?

A: Some laser procedures, like the treatment of facial blood vessels, produce a noticeable change the moment you leave the office, with only a few days of redness.

Other procedures can cause some slight swelling and light crusting, lasting about three to five days.

Q: Will it hurt and is it safe?

A: Many laser procedures require no anesthesia, but a topical anesthetic cream can be used for those who might be more sensitive. The procedures are very safe when performed by experienced clinicians.

Q: Are there any risks associated with laser treatments? 

A: Laser treatments should be performed by physicians or trained providers not only with laser experience but also knowledge of which skin type is appropriate to laser, and which is not. Dermatologists have more knowledge in this area than any other specialist. Hyperpigmentation (darkening) or hypopigmentation (lightening) of the skin rarely occur, but are possible side effects.

Q: The Truckee location has a new laser – the Quanta Evo Light™ – tell us a little more about this laser and its benefits.

A: The Quanta Evo Light is a state-of-the art laser with impressive technology. It performs the function of many individual lasers in one. There is no longer a need to have more than one laser at a practice, as this laser provides almost every functionality one might need as a dermatologist! We are incredibly lucky to have this hi-tech device and experienced practitioners right here in Truckee.

About Our Dermatology Provider

In private practice since 1997, Dr. Wallach treats patients at Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute’s Truckee location. He diagnoses a full range of dermatologic problems for both adults and children, and specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology, including the use of various lasers over the last 25 years. He is a strong proponent of patient education in his practice and is a contributing author to the chapter on skin in the upcoming book, “The 21st Century Man.” Dr. Wallach and his family live in the North Tahoe area. Get to know Dr. Wallach and book an appointment online here.

Bringing you patient-centered, world-class dermatological care with nine locations in the Reno-Tahoe area. Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute specializes in medical dermatology, Mohs skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology.

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