A hi-tech treatment is designed to fade wrinkles, blotches, sun damage and other signs of aging. A Carmel dermatologist says smoother skin is just a matter of connecting the dots.
Mariola Beszter hopes a new treatment can even out her blotchy skin. The process is called Dot Therapy, and it uses a CO2 laser to resurface the skin.
"It's used for sun-damaged skin and acne scars," explained Dr. William Hanke who described the process as more gentle than traditional laser therapies which cover the entire surface of the skin. He also said this particular laser which targets a smaller area makes the difference.
Dr. Hanke said, "just dots of skin are treated with skip areas of normal skin in between -- the skin around, being normal, allows it to heal rapidly."
Mariola remained awake during her treatment. Both she and the doctor say there's minimal pain.
"Patients don't have to be put to sleep. We apply topical anesthesia for about half an hour and then we use cold air anesthesia during the procedure. That's usually enough to get them through it, explained Dr. Hanke. He continued, "there is some sensation. Some patients will describe it as a dull pin prick type of sensation, but the topical anesthesia and the cold air anesthesia blunt that."
The treatment takes about 15 minutes. It can also be used on the neck and hands. However Dr. Hanke warns "if you have very severe wrinkling, it's not going to give you the effect that you get with the deeper resurfacing.
The main side effect is redness which lasts about a week, but patients are reportedly able to cover it with makeup in about three days. The treatment costs about $1,000 per visit, and often patients will go for more than one session.