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Is Fractional Laser Resurfacing Comparable to a Facelift?

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    "I had some questions on facelift, and another I want to address today is the overplaying of the value of lasers.

    Lasers are wonderful tools, I have 15 of them that are used for various different indications. These machines are invaluable parts of what we do in managing the aging face and the aging skin that we take care of everyday.

    With that said, it doesn't mean that the lasers are a magic wand that can cure every malady that we have. One patient wrote to me that she had a doctor that lives nearby her, I won't mention the area, and that the doctor was recommending a certain type of fractional laser that was an alternative that would lift her skin like a mini facelift would do, and that's just simply not true.

    There is a skin tightening effect with any type or resurfacing whether it's fractional, laser, chemical peel or dermabrasion, which is not commonly used anymore. The skin tightening effect is not a substitute for lifting, which improves the contours of the face.

    So if you think of it simply, contours of the face are improved using resurfacing devices, very common areas, the fine lines around the mouth, cheeks and even in the full face, where there are fine wrinkles, brown spots which we call discromias, those are very good indications for laser resurfacing.

    If someone has hanging jowls, has a really significant contour change, we really need surgical or filler options to improve those. Obviously the surgical options include mini facelift, neck lift, lower facelift or full facelift, which would include brow. All those options are available and are certainly great in the right patient.

    I think there's a tendency in our field to, it's like the old adage, if you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. Just because you have a laser doesn't mean resurfacing does a facelift. It does a great job on its specific indication in any good derma surgeon, aesthetic plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, anyone that is involved in this field should be able to honestly tell you what the limitations of lasers are, and what the benefits are.

    So thanks again for that question, and don't forget to send your question, videos and photographs on"