I have used tanning salons for the last ten years. I am also a smoker. I bring these two facts up because I believe they are the reason that I look so much older than I am. I am interested in the strongest or deepest laser treatment that you provide. Does the Fraxel laser remove most facial wrinkles, including those around my lips? What about the deeper creases?

You are correct in thinking that tanning salon use and smoking contributed to changes in the appearance of your skin. First, I recommend avoidance (if possible) of both. Smoking may increase the risks of skin resurfacing, such as poor wound healing and increased scar formation. Second, I recommend hydration; smoking and tanning both dehydrate the skin, resulting in increased appearance of lines/wrinkles. Third, proper skin care regimen is essential. Fourth, sunblock. Fifth, you would benefit from skin resurfacing to address the facial wrinkles. Fractionated lasers are an excellent option for individuals with fine lines and wrinkles. Depending upon the severity of the lines, you may benefit from “turning up” the intensity of a fractionated laser to achieve the most benefit. The DOT CO2 laser is an excellent option for this. Finally, if there are deeper lines around the mouth, proper dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion) may be the most effective treatment option; however, this is associated with a significant downtime and recovery period.

Posted by Rami K. Batniji, M.D., F.A.C.S.