Wrinkles of the face may not be removed with surgery alone (i.e. facelift or browlift), especially those around the mouth and crow's feet. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels act by removing the top layers of skin, allowing it to heal in from the bottom layers, bringing in new collagen and elastic fibers, which results in fewer wrinkles.
For wrinkles really to be removed, the laser must go deep enough in the skin. Many “spa” laser treatments don’t go deep enough in the skin, and patients may feel that they do not get the result they expect from these services. A real peel of the skin, whether with a laser or with a chemical, will remove wrinkles. The chemical peel usually goes deeper than the laser peel, and can remove even stubborn wrinkles as shown in this 71 year-old patient. This deep peel will also remove some of the sun-damaged brown pigment in the skin, so the skin will be lighter in this area.
After a deep peel, it will take 10-14 days for the skin to heal, and then 2-3 months for the red color of the skin to fade. Because the skin may be lighter in the peeled area, peeling the entire face may be preferable to just peeling certain areas, like just around the mouth.
Surgery: Laser resurfacing and chemical peels requires light sedation, takes appx. 1.5 hours, and you go home the same day.
Healing time: You will look as if you have a bad sunburn for weeks. At first, you will cleanse your face and apply ointment. This helps the healing process and soothes the skin. After 2 weeks, you can cover the red color with makeup. Walking is started immediately, exercise can be started at 10 days. Most people take 10 days to 2 weeks off from work.
Pain level: Variable. The ointment helps, but most people take pain pills for 3-4 days. Rank=3-6 Pain information
Risks: The persistence of the red color is normal for the first few months, and makeup will be required to cover the areas. Infection is extremely rare. Most people will have some permanent lightening of their skin, and this may be more noticeable in dark-skinned people. Other risks. Risk information
Costs: Full face=$6,000 to $7,000. Lips and mouth only=$4,000 to $5,000 Cost information