Electrosurgical Resurfacing, Facial Rejuvenation

Released: 11-Mar-2000 12:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: American Academy of Dermatology
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only

Missy Gough
(847) 240-1734
mgough@aad.org

Karen Klickmann
(847) 240-1735
kklickmann@aad.org

EMBARGOED UNTIL MARCH 10, 2000

ELECTROSURGICAL RESURFACING:
A NEW OPTION IN FACIAL REJUVENATION

SAN FRANCISCO (March 10, 2000) - As the baby boomer population ages, more and more people are turning to dermatologic surgery to keep Father Time at bay. With the increase in demand for these types of procedures, new techniques are being developed to reverse the appearance of aging and sun-damage.

Speaking today at the American Academy of Dermatology's 58th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, dermatologist Tina S. Alster, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, discussed electrosurgical resurfacing, the latest development in facial rejuvenation.

An alternative to laser skin resurfacing, electrosurgical resurfacing is a more patient-friendly procedure which allows healing to occur more rapidly with minimal discomfort. Prior to the development of this process, patients could only choose from the most effective therapies which involve long, inconvenient healing periods or more simple procedures that provide only moderate skin rejuvenation.

"Electrosurgical resurfacing successfully removes unwanted skin and, at the same time, seals unnecessary blood vessels and may even shrink collagen," stated Dr. Alster. "Since this procedure tightens patients' skin without bleeding, it offers patients the combination of successful facial rejuvenation and rapid post-operative healing."

Electrosurgical resurfacing uses coblation, a micro-electrical radio frequency, to achieve precise tissue removal. Coblation, short for "cold ablation", delivers electrical energy to the skin rather than heat, as lasers do. This approach minimizes skin damage and other side effects, as well as offers a speedy recovery. While this therapy does not replace laser skin resurfacing, electrosurgical resurfacing increases the treatment options available to patients and enhances the dermatologist's ability to match patients' needs more closely with the specific advantages of a particular procedure.

"Electrosurgical resurfacing is ideal for patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s with mild to moderate skin damage and wrinkles, especially around the mouth and eyes," explained Dr. Alster. "Due to its precision, electrosurgical resurfacing may also be a good choice for scar revision."

Another benefit of electrosurgical resurfacing is that it can be used on all skin types. Traditionally, ethnic skin has been difficult to treat as the resurfacing process can cause hypopigmentation, or loss of color. Electrosurgical resurfacing may be a better option for patients with dark complexions because the skin's pigments do not hinder the transmission of energy to the treatment area.

While traditional laser resurfacing requires an extended recovery period, the electrosurgical resurfacing patient's healing process typically will be completed in one month. Immediately after the electrosurgical resurfacing procedure, which lasts approximately 30 to 60 minutes, the patient's skin will appear pink. For the first few days, the patient may experience mild to moderate swelling and skin redness. Within a week, the patient's skin will be only moderately pink and makeup can usually be applied. After two weeks, the patient will have virtually no redness.

The American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership over 13,000 dermatologists worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the skin; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; supporting and enhancing patient care; and promoting a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails.

For more information, contact the AAD at
1-888-462-DERM or http://www.aad.org.

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