Laser Treatments

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UCSF Facial Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery offers a wide variety of office-based laser procedures. Dr. Knott and Dr. Park themselves treat you and administer all treatments with a personal and gentle touch to provide a pleasant and comfortable experience. If you are interested in learning more about any of these office procedures, please call us today to schedule a consultation.


Great patients for laser treatments are those who notice aging changes such as fine lines and wrinkles in their skin and desire to refresh their look. Also minor skin irregularities such as acne or surgical scars can benefit from laser treatments. With age, the layers of cells in the skin regenerate less frequently and become less active. This leads to decreased production of skin collagen (which gives skin its strength) and elastin (which allows skin to stretch), producing thinner skin that is prone to wrinkling. Laser and light therapies work by stimulating your skin's cells to regenerate and produce more collagen and elastin, resulting in thicker, rejuvenated skin with less wrinkles.


During consultation, Dr. Knott and Dr. Park will analyze your skin type, discuss your aims and determine which procedure is best for you. These are important considerations as not every skin type is a good candidate for every type of laser therapy. They will also discuss the details of the therapy in detail with you along with answering all of your questions.


Laser procedures are carried out in our office at UCSF Facial Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery. You will be asked to wash your face with a gentle cleanser in the office to remove makeup and natural oils. Laser procedures are typically well tolerated, but topical numbing creams can be provided to help improve your comfort during the procedure. Laser procedures typically takes less than an hour, depending on how much of the face is being treated.


Immediately after the treatment, your face will feel warm and your skin will appear pink. To soothe your skin, you should wash your face with water and apply a lubricating ointment. You may experience some dryness and crust formation as you heal. Depending on the type and amount of laser performed, recovery times may vary, but typically your skin is back to normal in three to five days. Most swelling subsides after one week. You should also stay out of the sun and limit exercise and activity while you are healing.

Products and Treatment

iPixel Erbium Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is commonly performed in the office. Drs. Knott and Park perform erbium laser treatments to treat deeper lines and wrinkles within the face and neck and rejuvenate the skin. The advantage of the erbium laser is that may also be used for some darker skin tones because it causes less thermal damage than other forms of laser treatments. During this procedure, the laser energy is used to remove top layers of damaged skin and stimulate the skin to produce more collagen. The overall effect is to leave the treated area smoother with less wrinkles.

Some patients may require more than one procedure in order to achieve their desired results. Typically three total treatments are performed, each separated by several weeks. Results continue to improve over the next six months and the treatment sessions can be repeated after that time. Although the results are long-lasting, they are not permanent. The skin continues to be subjected to the natural effects of aging, however your skin will appear younger and smoother than if you had never had any treatment at all.

IPL (intense pulsed light) uses pulses of light to even out your skin color and reduce tiny broken blood vessels and other color irregularities in your skin. IPL can be used to treat skin lesions with pigment, such as aging spot or vascular lesions. Overall, the treatments even out your skin color and leave the skin appearing younger.

Dr. Knott and Park can "spot treat" right on a lesion by using special templates. IPL is preferably used in patients with lighter skin tones. Post-treatment care and results are similar to that described above in laser skin resurfacing.

Clearlift™ Skin Tightening

The Clearlift™ skin tightening laser system is a non-ablative laser technology that is FDA approved for skin resurfacing. It utilizes a 1064nm Q-switched pixel laser. Its primary uses also include treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity, acne scars, stretch marks and photo damaged skin.

This laser works by delivering a controlled laser penetration 3mm into the skin to its dermal layer without harming the overlying superficial skin layer (epidermis). This treatment allows all of the stages of wound healing and skin remodeling to occur under the biologic protection of the outer epidermis skin layer. Healing of the dermis skin layer promotes collagen and elastin production, rejuvenating the skin by facilitating skin remodeling and decreasing superficial wrinkle lines.


The Laser360™ program is a laser treatment schedule developed by Alma Lasers™, a leading company in medical lasers and manufacturer of the lasers we use at UCSF Facial Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery. This program utilizes all three of the above technologies (erbium laser resurfacing, intense pulsed light, and Clearlift™ Q-switched pixel laser) to deliver the "total package" of complete skin rejuvenation. Results appear to be improved by using multiple technologies together in a scheduled format, delivering skin resurfacing and tightening. Treatments are safe, comfortable and effective.

The treatments are usually administered in three combination sessions separated by four to five weeks each, equaling a total treatment time of roughly 60 days from the first to last treatment. Results are apparent soon after treatments but your skin can continue to improve six months after therapy. Maintenance therapies every six to twelve months can be performed to maintain results.

To learn more about laser treatments and whether or not these procedures are right for you, please call us today to schedule a consultation.