Skin Resurfacing (Dermabrasion, Laser Resurfacing,
Chemical Peels, Micropen)

Skin Resurfacing (Dermabransion, Laser Resurfacing, Chemical Peels) for Patients in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto

Facial aging occurs on three fronts. First are changes associated with gravity such as loosening of the neck skin and drooping of the jowls and cheeks. Second are changes associated with volume loss, where the youthful face loses fullness and shows more of the bony skeleton. The third front is a change in texture of the skin. As our skin loses elasticity and collagen, fine lines and wrinkles begin to develop. The uniform color of the skin also changes as darker and lighter spots form. Some of these changes are inevitable, and some are aggravated and increased by sun exposure, or lessened by attentive and careful skin care.

Skin resurfacing is an essential component of the fight against aging. Put simply, skin resurfacing is the process of removing the most superficial layers of skin. This process stimulates the stem cells that live within our skin to create a fresh, healthy outer layer with fewer wrinkles and a younger glow.

Skin resurfacing can be accomplished in several ways depending on a patient's goals. Common techniques for resurfacing include chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Even within each technique there is tremendous variability in the instruments or agents used, the depth of the resurfacing and the treatment of the skin before and after the procedure. For many patients, skin resurfacing may be combined with other procedures such as a facelift.

There are options available for patients who wish to rejuvenate their appearance, but who may not wish to pursue facelift surgery. Skin resurfacing may be combined with Botox® Cosmetic which is used to treat wrinkles and folds that are due to muscle activity, such as between the brows or around the eyes and lips. It can relax certain muscles and reduce facial wrinkles and folds that contribute to an aged appearance. The use of dermal fillers such as Juvederm®, Voluma, Restylane®, Radiesse®, Sculptra® and Belotero® may also be used selectively depending on what you want to accomplish. While traditionally fillers were used to treat the deep folds and wrinkles that live in the texture of our skin, expert placement of selected fillers can now be used to lift the volume depleted areas of the face such as the cheeks, lips and jowls.

We also now offer Ultherapy®, the only FDA-approved non-surgical, non-invasive treatment that uses ultrasound technology and the body's own natural healing process to lift and tighten loose skin on the eyebrow, jawline, neck and under the chin. Ultherapy® uses ultrasound to stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin without disturbing the surface of the skin.

Am I a candidate for skin resurfacing?

Common indications for skin resurfacing include:

  • Skin textural changes including fine lines and wrinkles
  • Irregular pigmentation (age spots or sun spots)
  • Superficial to medium depth wrinkles around the mouth (smoker's lines)
  • Acne scarring
  • Melasma
  • Large pore size

Techniques and Recovery

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are time-tested skin resurfacing techniques that provide reliable results and outstanding outcomes. There are several different agents and strengths available that must be chosen based on the patient's skin type and the goals of treatment. Each of these agents creates a controlled peel, removing the top layer of skin to allow regeneration of fresh and healthier skin cells.

Chemical peels are categorized based on the depth of treatment. Superficial chemical peels are powerful exfoliators, making an impact on fine lines and pigmentation issues by shedding the top layer of skin. Many patients come in for a superficial peel during a lunch break and return to work that same day with a healthy glow from the peel. If a patient chooses a superficial peel and wants to maximize the benefit in terms of wrinkle reduction, a series of 4 to 6 treatments is recommended. Please see our menu of services on our Professional Esthetician Services page to learn more about the medical aesthetic and skin care services offered.

Medium and deep chemical peels are powerful ways to treat mild to deep wrinkles, sun damage, and a wide variety of texture problems. A trained medical professional should perform these treatments. Though the recovery from the deeper peels is longer, the improvements achieved are worth the wait!

Recovery depends upon the depth of the chemical peel. After a superficial peel any redness should resolve within 24 hours and patients often return to their normal schedule immediately. For deeper treatments, the peeling phase can last between 5-10 days and requires more intense care on both your and our parts. While the peeled areas can remain pink for up to six weeks, this can easily be covered with makeup starting seven days after treatment. Many patients have stated that the recovery period is a worthwhile sacrifice given how happy they are with the results.


Dermabrasion is another controlled resurfacing technique with powerful results. This treatment involves mechanical removal of the outer layers of skin, stimulating the skin's stem cells to replenish the superficial layers with a more youthful surface. Dermabrasion is an extremely effective treatment of the lines around the mouth, raised scars, and deeper acne scars. When done by the right person, results from dermabrasion are unparalleled, and can leave the skin looking much more youthful and rejuvenated.

Laser Resurfacing

Advances in laser technology have resulted in a fantastic array of treatment options for the face. We employ lasers to treat a full range of concerns including laser scar removal, treatment of fine to medium depth wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and large pore size. CO2 laser resurfacing is frequently used at the time of a facelift to create a comprehensive rejuvenation of the face.

Skin Resurfacing and Facelift Surgery

We understand that facial aging occurs on multiple fronts. People seeking a comprehensive rejuvenation are often interested in facelift surgery. While this surgery provides the ultimate treatment to correct aging changes in the neck, jawline and cheeks, a facelift alone will not revitalize the skin. Combining a skin resurfacing procedure such as a chemical peel or laser treatment with a facelift will create the most comprehensive and transformative rejuvenation. Please ask about skin resurfacing options during your consultation.

Skin resurfacing is a powerful way to correct changes in the skin's texture that come with aging, such as lines, wrinkles, and uneven color changes. During your consultation, we will take the time to understand what you want to accomplish and design a treatment plan to suit your goals and your schedule. Our core objective is to provide a safe, comfortable surgical experience that aspires to restore your appearance and aims to produce natural results. We have provided skin resurfacing before and after photos and of our patients to help you visualize the possibilities.


Micropen is a new and exciting in-office skin resurfacing procedure that uses tiny needles to create controlled micro-channels in order to stimulate new collagen and elastin production. This repair process begins almost immediately. As a result, new collagen and elastin produce softer, firmer skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars and textural issues. For optimal results, Micropen is recommended within a series of treatments and an aftercare skincare protocol will be created for you as well. With minimal downtime, we finally have a powerful in-office treatment for challenging skin concerns!