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The Basics of Skin Resurfacing Treatments





John Q. Cook, M.D.

Chicago 312-751-2112
Winnetka 847-446-7562

The Basics of Skin Resurfacing Treatments

original-2There are many technologies that are designed to diminish fine lines and wrinkle on the face, neck, and other areas. Patients who come to see me often have been to a variety of different doctors, each offering a different machine that will supposedly work miracles. The purpose of this discussion is to demystify the process of skin resurfacing, so that you can make an informed choice.

Learn How the Fundamental Mechanism Is the Same

Whether it’s a deep chemical peel, laser resurfacing, deep dermabrasion, or other method, such as Fractora™, every method of skin resurfacing seeks to trigger the skin’s own natural process of healing and regeneration.

In the Days of Old

In days of old, before there were physicians and hospitals, our bodies had to rely on their own internal method of repair if there was an injury. If a wild animal swiped you with its claws or you scraped your leg against a rock, the body’s natural repair system immediately went into overdrive. This repair mechanism has kept our species alive to this very day.

The Two Main Layers of the Skin

original The skin has two main layers. The epidermis is the outer layer of tightly packed cells and serves as an automatically renewing barrier against the external environment.

The inner layer, the dermis, is made up of a moist springy combination of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. There are factory cells within the dermis that produce these substances. For more detail on this please visit my blog on this topic.

All methods of skin resurfacing seek to trigger the factory cells of the dermis so that they go into healing and repair mode.

They plump up the skin with all the extra collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid that they produce. As the dermis gets plumper, the wrinkles disappear, or at least diminish. It’s that simple.

How Skin Resurfacing has Advanced over the Years

The early forms of skin resurfacing, such as deep dermabrasion, first generation laser resurfacing, and deep chemical peels triggered the dermal healing mechanism, but they did so at a price. In order to injure or heat the dermis and trigger the healing response, they removed the entire epidermis of the treated area. The patient was left with an open wound that often took weeks to heal. original-3

Fractora, in contrast, is a fractional resurfacing technology. This means that the epidermis is largely preserved, and healing is much quicker.