When 48 year-old Margaret Miglia looked at herself in the mirror, she couldn't believe her youthful looks, free of all the wrinkles and sunspots, thanks to a new laser tool used by cosmetic surgeons.
"I had the procedure done two-and-a-half weeks ago and I love it. The experience for me was not really painful at all. It was more like a really bad sun burn," said a visibly pleased Miglia.
"My skin is smooth. The brown spots on my face are gone," she says. "It makes me feel much younger. It just feels good to look in the mirror," she added.
"Previous laser treatment for wrinkles and other textural issues like acne scarring used to create significant wounding," said Jeffrey Orringer, director of the University of Michigan (U-M) Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Centre.
"While results were terrific, the downtime for patients was substantial, and the risks were significant. Then, as technology improved, the pendulum swung the other way, providing lower risks, but with less pronounced results. This new treatment offers both improved results with much fewer side effects," Orringer said.
In developing this new method, traditional carbon dioxide lasers were modified into a fractional format. The carbon laser beam is broken into numerous microscopically thin beams that strike the skin and vaporize sun damaged or scarred tissue.
This causes the skin to tighten, and during healing, produce collagen - the protein responsible for skin structure and appearance.
"The little micro-beams essentially vaporise small columns of tissue that take about two to three days to seal back up. During that time, as the skin heals back together, the lost volume essentially creates a tightening of the skin."
"In addition, around those columns of skin where the beam delivers heat, a very reproducible wound healing mechanism is created, which leads in part to the formation of new collagen in the skin," he added, according to a U-M release.
Besides, patients who undergo fractionated carbon dioxide laser treatment can expect a more even skin tone, as well as results that last for years, not weeks or months, said Orringer.