Meet Dr. Moelleken

Dr. Brent Moelleken - Board Certified Plastic SurgeonBrent Moelleken, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon practicing in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara. Double board certified, he received his training at Harvard University, Yale University, UCSF and UCLA...

Read More

Dr. Brent Moelleken - Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Pixel Erbium Resurfacing

For years, skin resurfacing with fractional lasers has helped many men and women reverse the signs of aging. Unlike topical creams, laser skin resurfacing works deep in the underlying tissues to fight those fine lines, wrinkles, and the uneven skin tone that often accompanies growing older. By removing dead, unhealthy skin and exposing a softer and younger-looking complexion, laser skin resurfacing treatments are also an effective method for reducing the appearance of scars, broken blood vessels, age spots, and other skin imperfections.  It has been proven that we basically age in three ways.  Most people are aware of the effects of gravity and they recognize that dynamic muscle movements can cause crow’s feet and frown lines over time.  The third way we age however, that many people do not consider is our skin itself.  When our skin appears old, it significantly detracts from our overall appearance and laser resurfacing is an optimal approach when dealing with aging skin.  Anyone who has skin that has been harmed by dryness, sun damage, wind, or other environmental factors is a good candidate for laser resurfacing.

There are many types of laser treatments available to rejuvenate your skin ranging from mild, outpatient procedures to a more aggressive approach performed under general anesthesia.  Skin resurfacing treatments may be superficial or deep.  Superficial treatments target only the outer layers of the skin, removing the dead cells (exfoliation) and allowing skin cell regeneration.  Deep treatments penetrate the deeper layers to stimulate changes beneath the skin’s surface.  The most common methods are chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing.

Some methods of laser skin resurfacing treatments include:

  • Ablative resurfacing is the process of vaporizing or eliminating the skin being treated. The vaporization occurs immediately upon contact with the laser and ablation is caused by heat.  Depending on the laser, there is always a non-ablative injury surrounding the ablative injury.
  • Non-ablative resurfacing is a process in which the tissue is heated to various temperatures.  High temperatures can kill the tissue in question while other temperatures have the potential to denature protein and damage the tissue, which prompts a healing response. This healing response forces your body to produce new collagen in the target area.  Lasers are able to target the obliteration of sun-damaged skin as well as stimulate new collagen and most lasers will restore and rejuvenate sun-damage with some mixture of these mechanisms.
  • Erbium laser resurfacing is a procedure that offers the best results for rejuvenating your skin. This technique is an ablative technique and literally removes the upper layers of skin.
  • Fractional resurfacing (ablative and non-ablative options) is an approach that is relatively new.  A fractional approach means that a fraction (usually 20-40 %) of your skin is treated, but to depths 3 to 5 times deeper than standard techniques.  The sparing of normal skin allows faster healing and the advantage of this approach is a quicker recovery and fewer potential complications. There are two types of fractional resurfacing approaches.
    1. Ablative fractional resurfacing is usually performed with the CO2 Fraxel Repair laser that can be used in combination with Erbium laser resurfacing. This is the most aggressive of the fractional approaches and the average improvement is 40-50%.
    2. Non-ablative fractional resurfacing is the most popular outpatient rejuvenation procedure.  This can be performed under topical anesthesia and because there are no open wounds, there is little downtime.  Multiple treatments can be utilized to maximize results yet minimize significant side effects.  Four to five treatments are recommended for maximal results and the average outcome after multiple treatments is a 20% improvement in wrinkles.

Fractional laser treatments are a popular and long accepted technology that has normally been ablative, which means that some portion of the top layer of skin is deliberately damaged.  Unhappy with the pain and downtime associated with lasers of the past, Neo Surgery Center, located in Beverly Hills, California, is proud to offer the new Pixel® Erbium Laser: a superior aesthetic laser treatment that helps reverse the signs of aging.  The Pixel® Erbium Laser is an FDA approved laser that uses fractional ablative skin resurfacing as opposed to complete ablative skin resurfacing.  The Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing procedure is performed as a localized ablation versus total ablation as seen in other technologies.  Skin resurfacing occurs as the laser passes over the affected skin to remove damaged outer layers and through heat, stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells in the underlying layers.

Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing is a type of skin resurfacing procedure that uses light technology to resurface your skin.  Pixel® Erbium Laser skin resurfacing is based on the principle of micro-thermal treatment zones.  A pre-programmed laser beam passes through the patented Pixel® micro optics lens and penetrates your skin.  It creates an ablative and thermal effect at the pixel area (a micro-injury) removing the epidermis and upper dermis while leaving the surrounding tissue untouched and intact.  The Pixel® Erbium Fractional laser proficiency allows the primary laser beam to be divided into multiple smaller laser beams allowing the laser’s energy to be introduced into your skin in multiple tiny spots. Once the energy enters your skin, it spreads to gently heat the tissue to cause contraction and stimulate collagen production. The treatment then triggers your body’s natural healing process, prompting the growth of new, healthy tissue.  Improvement in your skin occurs in a two-fold process as the laser removes damaged tissue at the surface of the skin and also generates heat below within the dermis to stimulate collagen growth and remodeling.

The Pixel® Erbium Laser allows approximately 65% of the lasered skin to remain “as is” and untreated around the Pixel® therapy treated areas.  The untouched skin may then act as a reservoir for the promotion of rapid healing to the newly lasered skin, reducing downtime significantly.  The Pixel® Laser is a fractional ablative laser that represents the best of both worlds for skin resurfacing because it combines the proven effectiveness of an ablative approach with the patient comfort level and convenience of a non-ablative approach.  The Pixel® Erbium Laser is a specialized and computer-controlled technique with the ability to produce outstanding results.  A Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing treatment can remove both superficial and medium depth lines, depending on the controlled depth of the ablation and the amount of “passes” you need.  The result is overall skin quality by manipulating with the less than tight collagen fibers in your skin while transitioning new cells with limited surface damage.

The Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing treatment will enhance the tone and texture of your skin as well as smooth fine lines and wrinkles, lessen the appearance of pores, fill in acne scars, clear sun-damaged skin, and blend un-even pigmentation.

The Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing treatment works well for:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Uneven tones
  • Visible pore size
  • UV ray sun damage
  • Melasma of the face, cleavage line, and arms
  • Acne scarring on any body area including face, back, and chest
  • Superficial to moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face and neck
  • Aged and photo-damaged skin

Skin resurfacing with the Pixel® Erbium Laser is a gradual process that happens over several treatments. Protocol calls for a series of five treatments over the course of 2-4 weeks and the risk of infection is reduced significantly from previous conventional methods.  Usually completed in less than 20 minutes, the results have been equal to those of traditional laser resurfacing techniques and the procedure prides itself on being performed with minimal downtime and discomfort.  After your Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing procedure, new epidermal skin will develop within 24 hours and this process of skin repair involves various stages.  Your skin will have a bronze appearance that lasts anywhere from three to fourteen days, depending on your treatment level and this is a normal sign that your skin is healing deeply.  Your skin will naturally and vigorously exfoliate as the reorganized epidermal skin replaces dead tissue and the flaking is similar to that of minor sunburn without the associated pain.  You will experience the sunburn sensation for approximately one hour and after that, you will virtually have no further discomfort.  Swelling is mild and generally resolves in 2-3 days and you will be required to use sunscreen to protect your skin from sun exposure during the healing phase.

The Pixel® Erbium Laser is developed for all skin types and can be used on the face, neck, chest, arms, and hands, which represents a much wider scope than traditional ablative technologies.  Candidates for Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing include healthy individuals and it is often a good choice for darker skinned patients who are not good candidates for other laser treatments.  For some individuals, the Pixel® Fractionated CO2 Laser may be a better option and this will be discussed with Dr. Moelleken during your initial consultation.  During that time, he will fully evaluate your medical history, physical condition, and your overall expectations and goals to help determine which cosmetic procedure(s) is best for you.  Dr. Moelleken performs the Pixel® Erbium Laser resurfacing at his state-of-the-art Neo Surgery Center and any risks or complications associated with Erbium laser resurfacing are generally mild.

Click Here for Pixel® Erbium Laser Details