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Section: Asian Skin and Hair Treatments

Radiofrequency Plasma Skin Resurfacing

While most doctors agree that the stronger carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is best avoided on Asian skin, weaker non-ablative laser peels can be employed with caution on the Asian face.

The main concern is the debilitating complication of loss of pigmentation caused by excessive heat penetratation into the skin's dermis (see skin anatomy).

Some surgeons have found that Asian facial skin resurfacing using radio-frequency energy can generate results not unlike that from the carbon dioxide lasers with minimal risk of permanent and patchy skin lightening.

RF energy interacts with the skin in a very different manner than does the laser where tissue is essentially vaporized by heat from focused light. With radiofrequency resurfacing, saline solution is instead vaporized by several electrodes in a wand-like handpiece into what has been termed a "plasma" of ions. It is the energized movement of this plasma against the skin rather than heat that removes, or "cold ablates," the epithelium.

Even with multiple passes of the machine's handpiece, the plasma is unable to produce deep dermal injury, and heating in the superficial dermis is kept to a much lower level than with the more powerful lasers.

While the synthesis of new collagen is still stimulated, so-called "collateral damage" is not extensive enough to cause spotty pigment loss.

The skin's appearance after radio-frequency resurfacing can be just as extreme as with the CO2 laser or deep phenol chemical peels. Intense redness can last three months or more. In some cases, inflammation causes a temporary over-pigmentation that eventually disappears.

The major advantage, however, is that permanent loss of pigment is rare, a major benefit in very susceptible Asian skin.

The level of skin rejuvenation with radio-frequency resurfacing can be far superior to results after treatment with intense pulsed light or newer non-ablative lasers.


Next: Non-Invasive Skin Treatments


More
on Asian Skin and Hair >

Skin and Hair Medical Treatment Overview
Introduction to Asian skin physiology and general care guidelines

Asian Skin Anatomy and Healing
Overview of skin structure and why Asian skin ages and heals differently

Sun Damage and Sunscreens
Selecting sun protection lotions, creams, and gels that actually work

Bleaching to Whiten Skin Color
Effective and safer lightening options for sensitive Asian skin

Laser Resurfacing & Chemical Peel
Issues relating to resurfacing procedures on darker Asian skin

Radio-Frequency Plasma Resurfacing
Deeper skin resurfacing with "cold" RF energy to lessen pigmentary risks

Non-Invasive Treatments
Spa-level treatments such as IPL, weak lasers, microdermabrasion, and more

Restylane, Juvederm, BOTOX ®
Injectable pharmaceuticals to modulate skin and muscle appearance and movement

Scalp, Face & Body Hair Transplants
Special issues related to Asian hair replacement on the scalp and body

Asian Skin and Scarring
Prevention of keloids and hypertrophic scarring in Asian skin

Tattoos and Laser Removal
Tattoo removal using the Q-switched laser to minimize scarring and skin pigment damage

Laser Hair Removal from Asian Skin
Removing unwanted hair from the face, neck, underarms, legs, and other areas



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Note: Information, observations, and opinions are offered for general reference only and should not be taken as medical advice or diagnosis.

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