Our Palo Alto plastic surgery center offers laser skin resurfacing for patients desiring a smoother, clearer complexion due to sun damage. Dr. Schendel prefers the CO2 Laser known as Fraxel. This is an advanced skin rejuvenation treatment that improves fine lines and lightens skin blemishes. By using laser beams of light and heat to target localized trouble areas on the face, it strips the top layer with control precision. Both men and women prefer this noninvasive treatment to treat sun damage that includes sunspots, blemishes, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles.
"Dr. Schendel is helping me feel like myself again after a tumor changed my life. - I am 28F and was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumor resulting in a condition called acromegaly in 2015. Because of this condition my brow grew, the soft tissue in my face increased and the right side of my jaw grew asymmetrically which resulted in a quickly developed underbite. After surgically controlling the tumor by an SF neurosurgeon to ensure no more growth would occur, my husband and..."- B. / RealSelf / Apr 28, 2017
"Best decision I ever made! - Best decision I ever made was to have a mid-face lift with Dr. Schendel. He listened to my concerns and came up with a strategy that I would be pleased with. Dr. Schendel has a great bedside manner and put my fears to rest pre-surgery. He and his staff were very attentive post surgery as well. I look renewed and refreshed not "done". I no longer cringe when I look in the mirror. Thank you for giving me a decade+ back."- C. / RealSelf / Mar 24, 2017
"Dr. Schendal is a consummate professional with a warm caring disposition. He is held in very high regard by everyone I spoke to at Stanford Hospital. I had absolute confidence in him and my surgery held no surprises due to the care he took in explaining everything and setting realistic expectations. His post op care was just as good."- L.G. / Healthgrades / Oct 23, 2016
"Dr. Schendel is a great doctor. My family and I have been fortunate enough to be under Dr. Schendel's care for many years. He has been helping me look and feel beautiful since my 50th bday... many years ago. He and his staff are wonderful in every way. His office manager, Carol Oderio, and everyone in his office treat you with the greatest care and make sure everything is perfect:) Dr. Schendel is able to enhance your beauty in an amazing way, all while looking very natural."- J.H. / Yelp / Mar 14, 2016
"I've been getting Botox from Dr. Schendel for several years - and I still look forward to my appointments because he always manages to make me smile and laugh. The office is clean, easily located by the freeway, and the staff is courteous and always prompt."- C.R. / Yelp / Nov 01, 2015
Laser skin resurfacing removes the outer layer of skin and heats the underlying layer to stimulate growth of new collagen fibers. During this process, damaged skin cells on the outer layer are stripped away, leaving a new layer of healthy skin to grow. If small sections of the face are being addressed, the procedure will typically take about 45 minutes. A full-face treatment, or larger areas of skin, can take up to 2 hours. Multiple sessions are sometimes needed to attain the desired results.
Ablation VS. Non-Ablation
Laser skin resurfacing is either ablative or non-ablative. During an ablative procedure, an intense beam of laser light energy is directed at the skin, removing the outer thin layers. This process generally results in a longer recovery. The results, however, can be a bit more dramatic. A non-ablative laser does not remove any layers of skin. Instead, it stimulates the growth of collagen, which helps tighten underlying skin. This process offers a lighter recovery. Results will not be immediate, but will appear over the course of multiple appointments.
Considered the gold standard among many practitioners is CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser resurfacing. This is an ablative method, which removes both the epidermis and some of the underlying dermis to promote collagen growth so new, healthy skin can thrive. Examples include the Sciton Laser Skin Resurfacing System, the UltraPulse CO2 and the Fraxel re:pair (fractional CO2) lasers. These are newer generation lasers that deliver short-pulse light energy as well as continuous light beams to produce customized results for each patient’s specific needs.
During/After the Procedure
Some mild swelling will occur after a laser resurfacing treatment. It is common for the face to have crust and scaling as it heals. The treated area may appear red or pink for several weeks. Normal activities can usually resume within a couple of weeks. Patients who have sensitive skin or who have had adverse reactions to facial products may have increased side effects. Laser skin resurfacing will leave the face exposed with a new layer of healthy, yet sensitive, skin. It’s advised to wear sunscreen every day and limit sun exposure as much as possible.
The cost for laser skin resurfacing varies according to the technology used and the number and size of areas treated. The average cost can range between $1,000-$2,500. Factors included are medications (including anesthesia if needed), practitioner’s fee and machine use costs.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $1,000 - $2,500
- Recovery Time
- 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 4-6 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQs
Can it Damage Your Skin?
This procedure was created to improve the appearance of the skin. However, an inexperienced individual can damage the skin unintentionally. It is important to find a laser skin resurfacing professional who understands how the various laser technologies interact with different skin types. If done correctly, the results can be effective and long-lasting.
While laser skin resurfacing does not stop the aging process, the results can still be lasting. As patients continue to age, they may consider additional treatments.
Ablative or Non-Ablative?
While one is not better than the other, they have varying degrees of intensity and recovery. Both techniques provide nice results. During your initial consultation, we will discuss which is best for you. Factors include the patient’s aesthetic goals, skin type and how much downtime can be tolerated.