A common complaint from many patient’s who present is the desire to improve appearance over time of vertical lip lines, commonly referred to as “smoker’s lines” or “lipstick lines”. These wrinkles are caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, repetitive lifestyle habits ( i.e. drinking straw/bottle use), and in some individuals sequelae from long periods of smoking.
Beyond topical collagen repair serums, diligent sunscreen utilization, and lifestyle modification, one of the very effective treatments that can be used for these troubling areas can be CO2 Fractional Laser Therapy.
With the technological advent of fractional CO2 laser resurfacing (developed in the 2000’s), a novel mechanism in which numerous narrow, microscopic columns of laser light are emitted was created. This then allows for focused and precise treatment of a defined fraction of the skin within a targeted area, leaving intervening areas of skin between the columns unaffected. The combination of damaged and undamaged skin adjacent to sites of laser injury allows for rapid reepithelialization of tissue after treatment through the migration of viable cells into wounded areas lifting, tightening, and regenerating healthy and youthful appearing skin.
Typical treatment time, including pre-procedural preparation takes approximately 45 minutes. Recovery time can be anywhere from 3-7 days depending on the patient’s individual presentation and full effect is best observed 6-8 weeks following procedure. Most individuals require 2-3 treatments for maximal result.
Complications and adverse effects are rare but may include persistent redness, dyspigmentation, infections, and scarring. Transient postinflammatory hyperpigmentation may occur in approximately 30 percent of patients and is more likely to occur in patients darker skin pigmentation. Hypopigmentation, which is more common in light skinned individuals, may not be evident until several months after the procedure. Please contact MetroMD to schedule a consultation today!