Erbium Laser Peel
The erbium laser is my favorite tool for resurfacing the skin. I recommend it any time the patient’s goal is a smoother skin texture. The erbium’s wavelength is absorbed so well by the water in the skin that there is instantaneous vaporization of old skin without depositing as much heat as other lasers. The result is less redness, less swelling, and less downtime compared to other resurfacing lasers.
The erbium laser can be adjusted for a very mild, superficial peel or deeper by tiny degrees all the way to the deepest laser peel possible.
For pain control, I recommend numbing with all laser peels. We use a combination of numbing cream and injectable numbing agent. In addition, a fan that blows cold air know as a “Zimmer Chiller” is helpful during the treatment.
After the procedure, the patient can expect significant redness and a little swelling for 1-2 days. With a very aggressive treatment, which we utilize for wrinkles around the mouth, there will be oozing and crusting for a couple of days. Healing after the Erbium peel progresses rapidly. At day 3-4 the skin has turned darker and significant peeling begins. The peeling is generally over by day 6-8. At this time the skin already looks smoother and will continue to improve for the next 3-6 months.
Most patients do very well with one treatment. For more serious wrinkling, the Erbium peel can be repeated at 3-6 month intervals until the patient is satisfied with the improvement.
Once the desired improvement is achieved, I recommend repeating a less aggressive Erbium peel every 1-2 years, to preserve the desired results.
Mack Stewart, M.D.