Erbium Laser Skin Peels

The Erbium laser can resurface facial skin with only a few days of downtime. Acne scars, rough texture, fine wrinkles and deep pigmentation can all dramatically improve with only a few days of redness. It is referred to as a “weekend peel” in some centers. The surface of the skin is changed in a matter of days and deeper layers continue to improve as collagen continues to grow and remodel which makes the skin more firm. MicroLaser Peel is a term for a peel which is less than 50 microns in depth, which is about half the thickness of the epidermis. The laser scans the skin and is able to perfectly remove the required depth of skin. Picture putting pennies in rows. There remains holes at the edges, so we overlap by 30% to cover the area. This is done in an even fashion across the face. We call this "full-field," as the entire area is treated. Next we are able to use another handpiece on the same laser and do a fractional procedure. This means we treat just a percentage of the skin. It is like dots of treated areas with normal, untreated areas in between.

Ablation is best!
Most importantly about these lasers is whether they remove cells or not. Our Erbium laser is ablative, which means "to remove" as it will vaporize the cells. By removing the cells we allow new fresh cells to grow in their place. Some other technologies use a wavelength which only heats and kills cells, this is non-ablative, which then remain for your body to remove inorder to heal.

More to tell
We primarily use the Erbium to smooth the skin and remove fine wrinkles. We also find it improving collagen in the dermis which makes the skin more firm. Aging occurs primarily as a result of UV light. This causes collagen to be destroyed which leads to laxity of the skin. There is also abnormal blood flow through the dermis which leads to the formation of telangiectasias, those fine blood vessels which become visible. Pigment problems also occur which can be seen as freckling. All of these problems are repaired with an Erbium laser peel. MicroLaser Peel is a term used for a peel of less than 50 microns. The epidermis is approximately 100 microns in thickness of which 10 to 15 microns is the upper cornified, or hard dead layer. A light 25 micron peel shows some redness at day 3 and shows dramatic improvement of most skin texture problems. Pigmentation which would require 3 to 5 IPL treatments is removed very easily. Although we do not generally do laser peels for pigmentation alone, it is dramatic how quickly the pigment is removed as a result of this treatment for wrinkles. For a treatment less than 50 microns, only a topical anesthetic is required. After the treatment we apply specific emollients to the treated area and request the patient use these agent for the next few days to keep the skin from drying.


How safe is the Erbium laser?
The Erbium laser is absorbed by skin much more efficiently than a CO2 laser. This leads to less excess heat being produced. This enables us to remove skin cells from the epidermis with less risk of damage or scarring. Pigmentation problems are markedly reduced compared to CO2 as the pigment producing cells are not destroyed by heat. CO2 lasers cause much excess heat to be produced, which may lead to hyperpigmentation in anyone with darker eye color.

How long do I need to be out of work having this done?
The typical 25 micron peel only shows mild redness on day 4 which can be covered up with makeup.

Does this procedure hurt?
Most patients have graded the pain level to be very low due to anesthetic cream. However at the end of the treatment the pain is more and then we put cooling on your skin.