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Skin resurfacing. What are your best options?

francis
Francois Le Berre

PhD Bio-Science, Plastic Surgery Coordinator, Metro Beauty Centers

For about a century, options for dermal resurfacing were limited to chemical and mechanical peelings. The patient’s skin was either smeared with a caustic chemical that would dissolve the epidermis, or subjected to spraying of liquid nitrogen to freeze the surface of the tegument, before a grinding wheel would scrape it.

laser facial treatment co2 fractional

2) Fractional High Energy CO2 Lasers Resurfacing

With the advent of the first lasers in the 1960’s, the surgical use of the first laser in 1964, the first skin resurfacing by fractional high-energy CO2 laser followed in 1993. By the end of the century, they became popular tool for skin resurfacing. They were used to remove dark spots, shallow scars and wrinkles, but significant complications appeared. Lasers use photothermolysis to induce thermal injury in cells, whereas peelings use abrasion or chemistry to induce a skin wound repair-response. Frequently, the patients have post-treatment erythema, edema, burning, crusting and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a recurrent issue. These procedures have three main drawbacks: their long downtime (up to several weeks), PIH, and because the natural skin barrier has been erased, skin infection and other complications are always a real possibility.

1) Percutaneous Collagen Induction and Dermal Rollers

Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI), first appeared in 2005, as a simple technique of using fine needles to puncture the epidermis to have an action on the underlaying dermis. This minimally invasive procedure, (think of Epipen or DermaRoller) has proven its worth in improving blood flow and wound healing in the skin. Needling alone has been used to treat various skin conditions, such as acne scars, to rejuvenate the skin, to promote blood flow in the scalp, or to address dyspigmentation on the skin. Yet, there was room for improvement, as it did not specifically address the surface of the skin.1

micro derma facial roller

3) Microneedling Radio Frequency (MRF)

The following clinical application of microneedling devices, was to use the very tiny needles as antennas to diffuse an electromagnetic field deeper in the skin. This technology would allow to leave the surface of the skin intact and to further promote the production of collagen and elastogen in the dermis by inducing microinjuries to the dermal cells.

4) NanoFractional RF™ technology

NanoFractional RF™  treatment is a safe but much better alternative to harsh laser treatments and other treatments, like chemical peels and microdermabrasion. It works firstly through a heating action on the epidermis and the dermis by using radio frequency (RF) technology, which is much gentler on the skin.

Venus Viva™ MD is a new generation of Radio-Frequency device using Nanofractional RF technology, that delivers excellent clinical results with a very good safety profile, very low downtime and minimal discomfort. This cutting-edge machine is changing the way we see skin rejuvenation. By delivering radiofrequency energy in nanosecond sections into the dermis, Venus Viva™ MD stimulates collagen growth, encourages cellular turnover, and boosts the skin’s natural healing ability by forcing the release of growth factors at a deeper level.  

Venus Viva™ MD is an advanced handheld device used to treat various cosmetic and medical conditions. It offers two modes of treatment: the 160 pin tip is the perfect tool for skin smoothing, moderate acne scarring, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation (melasma, rosacea), skin flaccidness. The dense mode is for deeper penetration, to address enlarged pores, fine lines and deeper scars. The 80 pin tip is designed for more advanced dermatological procedures such as acne scarring, deep wrinkles and skin resurfacing. This tip delivers a larger amount of energy per pin, with a lower pin density per area. The 80-pin tip targets deeper layers of the skin and delivers extraordinary results with minimal pinch sensation. It is the first handheld device to offer NanoFractional RF™ technology. The smaller pin size of this device allows it to deliver the same amount of charge in a less invasive manner, therefore reducing side effect, such as superficial tissue damage and pain. A faster recovery time is expected due to this device having a quicker charge-discharge cycle than other devices.

What Are The Current Best Skin Resurfacing Treatment Available?

NanoFractional RF™  technology lets the operators control both the heat at contact points creating ablation of the epidermis, and the coagulation in deep heating, to resurface for very precise results. Micro-injuries, treated with NanoFractional RF™ are surrounded by intact tissue and heal quicker than with other technologies. The surrounding intact skin serves as a reservoir for stem cells and proteins that will promote new dermal proteins, enabling the appearance of smoother, clearer skin.

SmartScan™ system also revolutionizes fractional technology. The SmartScan™ uses a unique algorithm and pattern selection technology that enables operator to generate customized patterns for maximum flexibility and control during treatment. The Standard protocol is of one to three treatments, at two weeks intervals.

It’s compatible with DiamondPolar™ applicator too, which offers more customized treatments with its unique MP2 technology used to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

The results are little to no downtime, and faster skin improvement compared to older treatments.

Venus-Viva Applicator
The DiamondPolar™ applicator
Venus-Viva Laser Device

Which Treatment Covers a Wide Range of Skin Types and Conditions?

 Venus Viva™ is safe for all skin types, including Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV-VI, which are notorious for Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) response to such interventions. Indeed, the Venus Viva™ MD applicator achieves equal success on patients with darker skin types than fractional CO2 lasers and fractional erbium glass lasers, with a much lesser risk of PIH, making it a safe choice for treating faces that are prone to hyperpigmentation. A clinical study on striae alba on the thighs, abdomen, and buttocks showed that post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) was low with Venus Viva™ at only 18.1%, compared to 81.8% and 36.4% for fractional CO2 lasers and fractional erbium glass lasers, respectively.

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Laser Skin Resurfacing Cost: How Much Should You Expect to Spend?

 One of the factors that may hold some people back from getting this treatment is the cost. The cost of laser skin resurfacing can vary depending on several factors such as the type of laser used, the area being treated, and the experience of the provider. Generally, laser skin resurfacing can range from $500 to $5,000 per session.

Fractional laser resurfacing tends to be less expensive than fully ablative laser resurfacing, but multiple sessions may be needed for optimal results. It’s essential to note that insurance typically doesn’t cover cosmetic treatments like laser skin resurfacing.

It’s best to consult with a licensed provider to determine the exact cost of your laser skin resurfacing treatment. Many providers offer payment plans or financing options to make the treatment more affordable. Remember that when it comes to your skin, choosing a provider based solely on cost is not recommended. It’s important to prioritize safety, experience, and quality results.