Eyelid Laser Resurfacing Healing Process
At Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery we have been using various lasers for skin resurfacing of the upper layers of the skin as well as eyelid lift surgeries since early 1990’s. Carbon dioxide laser applied in a precise, painting-like, continuous fashion replaced older techniques such as dermabrasion, deep phenol and high-concentration TCA peels in the 90’s as a full face resurfacing modality. In a blood-less field the carbon dioxide CO2 laser generates brief pulses of high-energy light to vaporize the upper layers of skin and heat up the deeper skin layers. The wounded outer layer (epithelium) recovers while new collagen is synthesized in the deeper layers resulting in refreshed, smoother, younger lookng skin. While very successful in significantly improving of skin wrinkles as well as acne scars, full face carbon dioxide laser resurfacing was associated with fairly long wound healing times before the redness of the new skin layer would disappear. Along with some risk of scarring and long term skin bleaching the full skin resurfacing has been been replaced by the faster healing and much safer fractionation technique.
60-year-old woman wanted a reduction in the fine lines developing beneath her lower eyelids. She decided on treatment with fractionated CO2 laser to rejuvenate her lower lid skin. Dr Zemplenyi usually places patients undergoing laser resurfacing on an anti-viral to prevent reactivation of herpes. The treatment can be done at various depths and intensities resulting in varied amounts of redness and different duration recovery times. By around day 10 this patient was able to wear cover-up make to camouflage the pink skin.
Crusting and redness is seen below the lower eyelids. It is important to keep the area clean and well lubricated, and camouflage make-up should not yet be worn over the raw area. There is very little discomfort and the person is able to take part in every day activities.
The redness and crusting is gradually decreasing. The crusted area still needs to be kept moist with lubrication. When the skin is no longer raw, makeup can be worn to cover residual redness.
The crusting and redness have now resolved with the patient easily able to carry out all her activities. Lubrication is no longer necessary, but sunscreen should be applied on the newly rejuvenated sensitive skin. Any residual redness can be covered with makeup.
Healing is now complete with fresh skin and new collagen production reducing the fine lines and wrinkles. Multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve maximal rejuvenation. Retin-A creams and microneedling are also useful in regenerating a smoother, younger-looking complexion. Sunscreen should be worn for protection of the sensitive skin.