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Why We Use Erbium Lasers at Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center

September 30, 2015 - Rhys Branman, MD

Woman's lower faceSummer is not the best time for laser resurfacing. It is imperative that you keep your face out of the sun for 6 weeks after laser resurfacing. But while you are out there playing this summer, you might think about using your sunscreen to minimize skin damage, particularly if you intend to correct for skin damage later in the year. No sense in making sun damage worse. At Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center, laser resurfacing is done with the Sciton Profile Erbium Laser. We find that Erbium is less damaging, gentler, and works better than the older, and more intense CO2 laser.

One of the main benefits of the erbium laser is that it does not burn the skin as much as CO2 lasers. Erbium lasers use lower energy, and this makes for less heat. The corollary to this is that there is less damage to the surrounding tissue. The erbium laser causes less swelling, redness, and bruising than CO2 lasers. Ultimately, healing is faster, and you can expect fewer complications. In fact, erbium lasers have been used to perform eye cataract surgery, because they are so precise and do little damage to surrounding tissue. Ablative laser resurfacing is the most effective and the erbium laser “ablates” or removes the surface skin more gently than CO2 lasers.

It has also been found that erbium lasers are not only safer, and less damaging, but also safer for darker skin tones. Not only that, but it turns out the erbium laser actually promotes collagen growth. This means that not only will your complexion be smoother and more uniform, but more volume can be produced. Of course collagen growth is a secondary goal of laser resurfacing, but it is an added perk.

The last thing I want to mention is precision. With the Sciton Profile Laser, various layers of the dermis can be targeted specifically. The Sciton laser system comes with various modules to allow for different procedures. Some say that the CO2 laser can treat deeper wrinkles than an Erbium laser. Consider this however, recently the CO2 lasers have been used fractionally, and non ablatively. “Fractional” means that the intense singular beam of laser light is broken up in order to cause less damage, essentially negating the point of a laser beam. Non ablative, simply means that only some of the skin is vaporized, again, negating the point of removing the upper layer of skin. In other words, to make the CO2 laser gentle, some cosmetic surgeons lessen its intensity. I ask, what is the point of this when the gentle and more effective Erbium laser is available?

Dr. Branman

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