What is the Erbium Yag Laser?
The high-powered erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser produces energy in a wavelength that gently penetrates the skin, is readily absorbed by water, and scatters the heat effects of the laser light. These properties enable Dr. Shah or one of his medical assistants to remove thin layers of aged and sun-damaged skin tissue with exquisite precision while protecting healthy surrounding tissue.
This gentle treatment stimulates skin cell turnover and promotes the formation of collagen and elastin fibers that will strengthen the skin. The laser can remove both superficial and medium depth lines, including some scarring, depending on the controlled depth of the ablation and the amount of treatments. This Erbium YAG Laser produces thousands of deep, tiny columns in your skin. It intensively treats old epidermal pigment cells without affecting any of the surrounding tissue, which reduces healing time (about 24 hours) and promotes the skin’s natural process for creating new, healthier tissue to replace the damaged cells. It is a safe, non-invasive procedure that allows you to rediscover the fresh, healthy skin of your youth.
How does it work?
The erbium laser light is absorbed by the water in your skin cells. The absorption in turn causes the instantaneous vaporization of the cell. As the laser light is passed over the skin, a mere 30 millionths of an inch of tissue is removed at a time. This incredible control allows treatment only as deeply as needed, from removing wrinkles to refreshing your overall skin appearance. After the damaged skin is removed, new skin quickly re-grows in its place.
The Erbium Yag does not produce as much heat and penetrates only about 20 percent as deeply as CO2 lasers. They are used to treat wrinkles and scars that are less severe; treatments are less painful and produce fewer side effects. You’ll need about a week of recovery time.
The Erbium Yag Laser is most commonly used for:
- Fine Wrinkles
- Color Irregularities
- Sun Damage
- Acne Scarring
- Sun and Age Spots
- Softening fine lines
- Stimulating natural collagen production for long lasting deep wrinkle improvements
- Reducing pore size
- Smoothing the skin’s tone and texture
- Removing unwanted age spots
- Clearing sun damaged skin
Are there side effects?
Common side effects include redness (from light pink to bright red, depending the on the treated area’s size and the number of passes) and swelling during the recovery process, acne flare-ups, and skin discoloration (the last occurs mostly with dark-skinned patients).
What will my recovery be like?
The skin will slowly heal within seven to ten days after treatment. Around the two week mark, when the entire area is healed over, patients may apply makeup to the skin to cover any redness.All care must be taken to never expose the treated skin to direct sunlight in the first few weeks after the procedure. Hats and sunscreen must be used at all times, even if you are only walking outside for a few minutes. Your skin must be treated with the same care that you would treat a newborn baby.
The time for healing is variable, dependent upon the energy used and the number of times the laser passes over the area. Some superficial procedures will be healed in 3 days, whereas deeper procedures to remove fine line, blotchy pigmentation, superficial wrinkles, superficial acne scars may take around 10 days (and that’s assuming that everything heals as expected and there are no complications like infection, delayed healing, etc).
How long does this laser treatment last?
You can opt for a single treatment or a series of three monthly treatments, depending on your skin condition.
How long will this treatment take?
The procedure is usually performed under sedation or general anaesthetic and takes approximately 1 hour to treat the full face, with less time for smaller areas. The type of laser treatment and the specific areas will determine how long it will take.