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Differences between Laser microdermabrasion and chemical peel

Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel

I often get questions about the difference between a Laser peel and other modalities for facial rejuvenation like Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels and of course CO2 laser. And why chose Erbium Laser over the others.

Similarities in Modalities:

They all address similar concerns and treat similar problems. All work by removing the most superficial layer of skin, increase the production of new collagen. They all aim, some more successful than others, to remove age spots, sun spots, improve wrinkles and correct skin color and tone giving patient a more youthful look.

Why I prefer Lasers:

However, I like lasers in general over Chemical peels because it is laser it is extremely precise and an experienced operator can exactly control the depth of the peel. Going deeper in areas where you need to go deeper, like acne scars and wrinkles and more superficial if the goal is to improve age spots and sun damage. I can precisely control that machine. Chemicals peels on the other hand, although very effective, lack such precision. Think Laser vs Potion.

Microdermabrasion is also another option and although effective it is very limited in depth making it better for superficial lesions and problems but not for deep wrinkles.

Erbium over CO2:

Finally, why Erbium laser (we use Sciton) vs CO2. I used CO2 laser a lot in the past and although it is a great option I was always concerned and worried about hypopigmentation (loss of color) that some patients get when getting laser resurfacing especially, in Asians and dark skinned individuals. With lasers we can even control the pattern of the penetration so when we need to go really deep to get the depth of an acne scar or a deep wrinkle we can use something called profractional laser where instead of peeling the entire area we only poke holes into the scar minimizing down time and lowering potential side effects.

Although CO2 lasers have been used effectively for many years, the heat dispersed around CO2 lasers could potentially cause some melanocytes (cells producing color to our skin). What attracted me to Erbium Laser (Sciton) was the ability to control the heat generated by the machine. This has enabled us to minimize the risk of heat related hypopigmentation. Or at least lower than that associated with CO2.

You Deserve Optimum Care:

So in general different modalities used for same purpose with different degrees of effectiveness and success. I have researched and continue to research all different options to provide what I believe was the best for my patients. Some providers may choose other options which I respect and believe the key is to talk to your provider about the best option that can fit your needs specifically.