Facial plast Surg 2009; 25(4): 245-251
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242036
© Thieme Medical Publishers

A Paradigm for Facial Skin Rejuvenation

Sean D. Doherty1 , Christy B. Doherty1 , Jodi S. Markus1 , Ramsey F. Markus1
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
18 November 2009 (online)


There is a significant desire by patients to reverse the signs of aging caused by photodamage. Numerous procedures for facial skin rejuvenation have been developed in an attempt to minimize the erythema, dyspigmentation, and rhytides associated with photoaging. The initial procedures developed for facial rejuvenation involve skin resurfacing via complete ablation of layers of skin. Of these procedures, ablative laser resurfacing is the most precise technique and is considered the gold standard for facial skin rejuvenation. Although ablative procedures are quite efficacious, they carry significant patient downtime and risks of adverse effects such as scarring and dyspigmentation. Concerns regarding patient morbidity have led to the development of nonablative procedures that target dermal collagen without damaging the epidermis. Of these technologies, intense pulsed light is the most commonly used because it effectively targets both the erythema and dyspigmentation seen in photoaging. Nonablative techniques minimize side effects and patient downtime; however, they do not match the results seen in fully ablative procedures. Fractional laser technologies—first nonablative and more recently ablative—represent the most recent attempt to match the results seen in fully ablative procedures with less patient downtime. Their results are promising but require further study.