Hands, Resurfaced

We know how meaningful it is to hear the testimony of someone who has actually experienced a cosmetic procedure, so we asked one of our real patients who recently had CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing on her hands to share about her experience. Here is what she had to say:

Life and time. They're catching up with me more quickly than I'd like! Like everyone else, I was once young and completely carefree, with the world at my feet. Over time, I took on more and more responsibilities, along with countless joys and, of course, the inevitable moments of worry or stress.

In college, I discovered the first sign of a life well-lived: a solitary gray hair. It rocked my 17-year-old world. From college to career, to marriage and babies, more signs of the passage of time showed up. Weight gain and weight loss, pregnancies, sun exposure, gravity, and natural aging... in the 30 years since I discovered that first gray hair, all these harbingers of aging have knocked on my door and left their marks on me. Badges of honor, beacons to the world that I have lived and loved.

To be honest, at forty-seven, I'm not ready for every badge of honor that comes with aging. I could do with fewer wrinkles and not quite as many freckles. That solitary gray hair was followed by more, and they're not my favorite thing. So I decided to take action.

I think the facial wrinkles and freckles are the hallmarks of time that bother me the most. The freckles were cute when I was a child; after years of sun exposure (and probably not enough sunscreen) and four pregnancies, I heard the word melasma used once in awhile and decided those freckles were no longer as "cute" on me as they once were. I heard that great advancements had been made in laser technology, and that my freckles (or melasma?) could become a thing of the past. I decided a test run was in order, and went to Meadows Surgical Arts for CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing on my hands... and if that went well, I'd think about having it done on my face.

CO2 fractional laser skin resurfacing works by applying a series of tiny pulses of laser energy to the skin, creating microscopic holes in the skin. As these holes heal, new younger-looking skin is revealed. Fine lines are smoothed, brown spots are treated, skin irregularities are improved, and any scarring is flattened. That sounded good to me!

I made an appointment at Meadows Surgical Arts at their Buford office. I was led to the laser room (do they call it that?), and Caitlin and Nicole explained the procedure to me. It was pretty straight-forward: all I had to do was allow them to carefully position each hand in turn in the laser machine, put on safety glasses, hold still, and let the laser do its thing.

And it did! The back of each hand was treated with what looked like hundreds of tiny pulses of laser light. It reminded me of what would appear on a piece of paper in an old-fashioned typewriter when in use... letters and spaces would steadily appear along the page, until the carriage reached the end, scrolled down, and returned to the beginning point of a line. Same with the laser, row after row of little pinpricks of light. After the back of the hand was finished (2 passes with the laser on each area being treated), they repositioned my hand and then did one pass over my wrist, to feather in the newly resurfaced skin with the untreated skin.