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Laser Resurfacing

Nothing reveals our age quite like our skin. Sometimes those facial lines, wrinkles, and color problems don’t adequately respond to other treatments, especially when they are located in the upper layers of the skin. Laser skin resurfacing, also known as a laser peel, is one of the most effective treatments for the improvement of facial wrinkles, color problems, scars, and blemishes. Total Aesthetics ™ of Connecticut is pleased to offer state-of-the-art resurfacing with the Sciton® JOULE™ for the safe and effective treatment of fine lines, deep wrinkles, and uneven color. Each treatment is custom tailored to you and performed safely in our office without the need for general anesthesia. Whether it’s a gentle and freshening Sciton® MicroLaserPeel® or treatment of those annoying lines around the mouth and eyes, we believe that no other non-surgical technology can turn back the clock as effectively as JOULE™.

How is laser resurfacing at Total Aesthetics ™ of Connecticut different?

Because the skin is the largest organ in our body and because there is no single treatment that addresses its full thickness, it’s necessary to have available the full spectrum of the latest technology in order to offer our patients a comprehensive skin rejuvenation. We’ve made the commitment and we’re fortunate to offer the latest technology to rejuvenate your skin, including both ablative and non-ablative, fractionated laser treatments with Sciton®’s ProFractional™ and Fraxel® Dual. To further expand your treatment options and enhance your results, we offer skin rejuvenation with the latest medical skin care, intense pulsed light and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). As you can see, we’ve made a substantial investment in skin care simply because it’s a vital component of your individualized rejuvenation and maintenance plan.

Sometimes the real power of non-invasive aesthetic procedures is found with combination therapy, and at Total Aesthetics ™, we’ve taken the PRP-facial several steps further. Dr. O’Connell’s unique “PRP LaserPeel” begins with a gentle MicroLaserPeel® to exfoliate within the epidermal layer followed by Sciton®’s ProFractional™ resurfacing. PRP is then added to help build additional collagen and shorten the healing time. Best of all, your entire face can be treated only with topical anesthetic cream. Our PRP LaserPeel is the latest, most high-tech solution for aging, sun-damaged skin.

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What can laser resurfacing correct?

Facial Imperfections

Laser resurfacing can improve facial flaws
and scars such as:

  • Uneven skin texture and dullness
  • Scars from acne, chickenpox, or other sources
  • Sebaceous hyperplasia
  • Enlarged oil glands on the nose
  • Some skin moles such as nevi

Aging and Sun Damage

Laser resurfacing can also correct manifestations of aging and sun damage, including:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles that result from the aging process and sun damage
  • Liver spots and other discolorations
  • Wrinkled skin of the lower eyelids
  • Non-responsive skin after a facelift

Laser resurfacing may not be the best choice if you have: Sagging skin or soft tissue laxity, darker skin type, active acne, or an inexperienced health care provider performing the procedure.

Laser Resurfacing Options

To help obtain the best results, patients are commonly started on a small number of topical creams to prepare the skin for the procedure and to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation. Medication to prevent viral infection is also commonly prescribed.

At Total Aesthetics ™, laser resurfacing is done on an outpatient basis and typically takes less than one hour. Laser services at our center can be performed with only topical anesthetic cream, except for full-field Sciton® JOULE™ resurfacing, which often requires lidocaine injections. A mild sedative can be given to help you relax and reduce anxiety.

Eye protection is used during the laser procedure, and topical creams and gels are applied as the skin heals. After healing is complete, patients are counseled on resuming their daily skin care regimens.


  • Recovery

    In general, the length of recovery as well as the amount of flaking and redness are proportional to the depth of the resurfacing and type of laser used. Makeup can be applied once healing is complete. Expect some redness and swelling, and you may experience itching, stinging, or the feeling of a sunburn following the procedure. Recovery is longer with CO₂ resurfacing in comparison to erbium laser resurfacing.

    For a superficial treatment such as a NanoLaserPeel™ or MicroLaserPeel®, the downtime is only slight redness for one or two days. ProFractional™ resurfacing involves about 72 hours of superficial peeling and flaking, while full-field erbium resurfacing, such as that used to rejuvenate the lower eyelids and treat deep lines around the mouth, ordinarily requires about seven days for full healing. Fraxel® Dual typically involves about 72 hours of redness and swelling, and some peeling/flaking may occur from day three through day seven.

  • Scars

    Scarring after laser resurfacing is rare, but it can happen—scars tend to fade over time.

  • Cost

    Costs of laser resurfacing will depend on the laser used, the depth of resurfacing, and the size of the area treated. Other factors that can affect price can be the expertise and training of the person performing the treatment, the type of procedure being performed, the anesthesia technique, and the geographic location of the facility.

    A superficial laser peel can cost just a few hundred dollars, while a deeper, full-face resurfacing can cost upwards of $3,000.

    When choosing a plastic surgeon, remember that your satisfaction involves more than a fee - your final result, comfort, and safety are more important than the cost of the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is laser resurfacing?

    Laser skin resurfacing is simply removing the top layer or layers of the skin using beams of light. It’s similar to chemical peels, dermaplaning, and dermabrasion except that concentrated beams of light remove the unwanted, damaged skin in a more precise and controlled way.

    But… there’s significantly more to resurfacing—new resurfacing technologies like ProFractional™ and Fraxel® Dual actually stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin to rejuvenate your skin from within, and the technologies can be combined for added effectiveness. During resurfacing, laser light is used to remove the skin’s outer layers and to heat the underlying skin to help shrink loose, wrinkled tissue and stimulate the growth of new collagen. As the treated areas heal, the new skin that forms is smoother, firmer, and tighter.

  • What types of resurfacing lasers are used at Total Aesthetics ™?

    All resurfacing at Total Aesthetics ™ is performed with erbium-based technology in order to minimize the risks of lightening the skin and prolonged redness following the procedure. We also offer skin rejuvenation with Fraxel® Dual that utilizes both erbium and thulium laser beams and also intense pulsed light that utilizes multi-chromatic light.

  • What are some key laser skin resurfacing words I should know?

    • Erbium: A type of laser commonly used for laser skin resurfacing
    • Carbon dioxide: Another type of laser commonly used for laser skin resurfacing generally carries higher risk of hyperpigmentation, prolonged redness, and late hypopigmentation
    • Milia: Small white bumps on the skin resembling white heads that can form following resurfacing
    • Laser Peel: A superficial resurfacing procedure with a brief recovery period
    • Dermabrasion: A procedure where the top layer of the skin is removed with a type of sanding wheel
    • Dermaplaning: A procedure where the top layer of the skin is removed with a surgical scalpel
    • Chemical Peel: A procedure where the top layer of the skin is removed with a chemical
    • PRP LaserPeel: Dr. O’Connell’s unique resurfacing procedure that combines a MicroLaserPeel® with ProFractional™ treatment and platelet-enriched plasma
    • Ablative: A treatment that works from the “outside in” by treating the skin from the outermost layer to the deepest point of the treatment
    • Non-ablative: A procedure that treats the skin but bypasses and preserves the outer layers of the skin examples of non-ablative treatments would be Fraxel® Dual, PicoWay skin rejuvenation, and intense pulsed light therapy
    • Fractional Resurfacing Involves many separate laser micro-beams that provide the therapeutic effect with preservation of adjacent tissue (think of aerating your lawn)
    • ProFractional: An erbium-based ablative fractional treatment from Sciton®
  • What are the risks of laser resurfacing treatment?

    Like all aesthetic treatments, laser resurfacing carries uncertainty and risks of potential complications. Possible complications of laser resurfacing include:

    • Prolonged redness
    • Swelling
    • Patients with darker skin tones are at greater risk of healing with darker pigmentation
    • Milia—these small white bumps can be removed by gentle cleansing
    • Activation of cold sores (it is important to discuss any history of cold sores with your plastic surgeon prior to laser resurfacing)
    • Bacterial or fungal infection
    • Acne flare

Dr. O'Connell - a 2017 Connecticut Magazine Top Doctor

Dr O'Connell Top Doc 2017

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Total Aesthetics

208 Post Rd. West, Westport, CT 06880

Tel: (203) 454-0044

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