Pixel Laser Skin Resurfacing
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Who is a candidate?
Pixel Perfect is a good choice for patients who want to regain a youthful appearance that has been lost through sun damage and the aging process. It helps to improve mild to moderate fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin pigmentation, enlarged pores, and acne scars.
How does Pixel Perfect work?
This fractional ablative laser precisely penetrates the outer layers of the dermis using microscopic perforations. Through these perforations, laser energy creates micro thermal injuries that stimulate the body to begin the healing process. Surrounding tissue and skin is left untouched. As healing continues, the body produces collagen that also tightens and tones the skin over the long term. The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure using topical anesthetic. Less intense treatment could be performed without the topical anesthetic. Most treatments sessions take no more than one hour to complete, depending on the size of the treatment area.
What about results?
Pixel Perfect provides noticeable results often after a single treatment session. Multiple treatments can be performed. Because the procedure stimulates additional collagen production, results continue to improve over the next few weeks to months.
What parts of the body is Pixel good for?
The face, neck, chest, and hands are the most commonly treated areas. Often patients start with their face, and like the results so much that they now want their neck, chest, and hands to match the younger looking skin on the face. The laser settings are adjusted based on body area to since certain areas are more sensitive to the laser than others.
What should I expect at my visit?
Once you have been evaluated and found to be a good candidate for the Pixel, topical numbing cream will be applied to your skin to provide the most comfortable treatment for you. Topical numbing takes about 20-30 minutes to take effect. While most patients find the topical numbing to be sufficient for pain control, some patients prefer to be given oral pain medication. This decision is dependent on each individual patient and their pain tolerance. If you choose to have pain medication, you must have someone available to drive you home after the treatment. If you have a history of cold sore or herpes breakouts, we recommend pre-treating and post-treating with an anti-viral such as Acyclovir, as Pixel treatments can activate outbreaks in some patients. A prescription for medications determined by your provider will be written for you and you will have the option of using your insurance or to pay cash for the medication.
After the topical numbing has had time to take effect, the numbing cream will be wiped off, and you will be given a gentle cleanser to use to wash the area completely clean of any makeup and numbing cream. After drying the skin, you will be given a headband to keep hair out of the area, and protective eyewear to wear during the procedure. It is also recommended to remove jewelry at this time. Next the areas are treated with the laser. When the pulse is delivered to the skin you may feel a warm sensation, like a sunburn over the areas being treated. On average, the treatment time of a Pixel is about 30 minutes. After the treatment is finished, a soothing recovery cream or lotion will be applied to the skin.
What are the risks of the procedure?
While the Pixel laser is very safe there are some risks associated with the treatments. These risks include: pain; infection; bleeding; redness; local tenderness; swelling; allergic reactions; bruising; painful or unattractive scarring; pigment changes (hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation); poor or delayed healing; burns/blisters; visible skin patterns; unsatisfactory result; lack of permanent results; sun exposure sensitivity; eye damage; hair growth disruption; risks of any medications used.
Post Procedure Instructions
Sun protection is of utmost importance after Pixel treatment, and you must be vigilant in avoiding sun exposure while healing. Those with more pigment in their skin or darker skin should be careful since they are more likely to hyper-pigment than those with fair skin or less melanin pigment. In general, you should avoid unprotected natural and artificial sun exposure until healed and always use a broad spectrum sunscreen (UVA & UVB) with a SPF of 30 or greater between treatments. Make sure you reapply throughout the day, not just once in the morning. Keeping the treatment areas hydrated and moisturized is important for efficient healing after Pixel treatments. We have post procedure kits available for purchase at the office which include everything needed for a quick recovery while being gentle on your skin.
RECOVERY: What to expect and when?
Immediately following a Pixel, and for the first 2-3 days after treatment, you will have redness and the appearance of the pixel grid pattern on your face (looks almost like the imprint of a window screen). This can be covered by makeup to some degree, though it is still evident. From days 3-7 patients typically experience redness and peeling, and the grid pattern may darken and peel or flake off. By days 5-7 the peeling and redness subsides. The skin will feel especially dry during this recovery period, maintaining proper skin hydration will not only aid in the healing process, but will provide you with comfort. Over the subsequent period your skin will continue to heal further. Many patients see improvement within 1-2 weeks of the Pixel treatment. You will notice a reduction in fine line and wrinkles, acne scars, and an overall improvement in the texture and quality of your skin. The more consistent with the pixel treatments you are, the better the results. Each treatment, if properly timed, builds upon the last treatment. The timeline above is typical of most Pixel patients receiving a standard treatment, however the recovery time is not exact and does vary patient to patient, and also based on aggressiveness of the treatment. Certain patients will have much greater swelling or redness than average, and recovery plans are modified in those cases. Pixel treatments are recommended every 4-6 weeks, for a total of 3-6 treatments, with a maintenance treatment every 6-12 months or as desired
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