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Laser Skin Resurfacing in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY

Natural Face™ Clinics, led by Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim, features CoolSculpting® treatments for patients residing in the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca and Rochester.

Finely-etched wrinkles on the skin are known as “atrophic rhytids”.  While it is easy to assume these are changes on the outer surface of the skin, in reality, they are caused by changes happening in the under-surface of the skin – a supportive layer known as the dermis.

People develop fine wrinkles on their skin because their skin’s dermis layer has thinned and undergone changes. These changes include loss of strength and the ability to stretch and recoil due to loss of collagen and elastin in the dermis, as well as permanent changes in architecture of the dermis. This is why any meaningful therapy to restore the skin’s texture and appearance has to involve treatment at the under-surface of the skin to induce repair and remodeling of the dermis.

How Do You Choose Which Laser Therapy is Right for You?

The fundamental decision process for selecting the type of laser therapy should be based on efficacy-to-risk ratio for the treatment of skin texture and wrinkles. Simply stated, the more aggressive the laser treatment, the more likely that you will have noticeable improvement. But it also means a higher risk of complications such as scarring or skin pigment changes.

There are many different types and brands of laser devices available today. A simple way to think about various lasers is to put them into one of two categories: ablative vs non-ablative. Non-ablative lasers are generally considered gentler, and therefore, safer lasers. It also means that the outcome may not be as noticeable, but recovery time is generally shorter. Newer laser devices tend to be based on non-ablative lasers to emphasize safety and a quicker recovery.

From an efficacy standpoint, ablative lasers based on CO2 or Erbium remains the gold standard.  However, first generations of CO2 and Erbium lasers had a high-risk profile due to significant collateral heat damage to the surrounding skin. The subsequent generation of CO2 and Erbium (or a combination of the two) lasers are in fractionated mode to reduce the risk profile. Fractionated means that a precise pattern of laser delivery is performed by the device to preserve surrounding tissue to enhance recovery and repair. The specific pattern of a fractionated laser also allows maximal time for cooling to prevent collateral heat damage to surrounding skin.

In experienced hands, a fractionated ablative laser delivers superior outcomes for deep wrinkles and sun damage while managing the risk of side-effects compared to non-ablative laser therapy.

What is the Recovery of Laser Skin Resurfacing?

In our practice, we utilize the ablative fractionated CO2 laser to improve skin texture and restore skin wrinkles from aging and sun damage. While the energy setting is adjustable depending on the individual patient’s outcome expectation and recovery time, typical protocol involves a recovery of 7- 10 days. If full face resurfacing is planned, then most patients will benefit from conscious sedation. Treatment itself takes 30 minutes or less. If partial resurfacing is planned (around the mouth or eyes), light sedation may be sufficient.

What is the Downtime for Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Based on our typical protocol, patients are expected to have a downtime of about 7-10 days. During this time, meticulous care of the resurfaced area is very important to ensure optimal outcomes. It is not a painful recovery, but the treated site will look impressively raw and covered in emollient. After the initial 7-10 days of downtime, your skin should have completed its initial repair. The redness of new skin will persist for several weeks, but at this stage, patients can cover with light make up, which our staff can demonstrate in the clinic. Patients are expected to avoid sun for the first 3 months. About 6 weeks after, patients will be advised to resume their maintenance skin regimen such as tretinoin and neuromodulator injection.

Double Board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim at Natural Face™ Clinics specializes in aesthetic enhancement of the face, head, and neck, exclusively. Patients come to see us from the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area, including Ithaca and Rochester. At Natural Face™ Clinics, we specialize in restoring the youthful neck contour, tired appearance of the brows and eyes, and skin laxity. We offer customized treatments, both surgical and non-surgical. Find out more by scheduling your personal consultation today.

Plastic Surgeon in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY


Dr. Sang W. Kim

Harvard Trained, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sang W Kim, MD is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, nasal/sinus surgery, and hair restoration surgery.

Natural Face Centers
I was working in Central New York and had an upcoming event and needed to get 2 areas of Dystport done. They were able to accommodate my schedule( as it was short notice) Dr. Kim’s entire staff was so friendly and welcoming!! During the procedure , even Nurse Dan held my hand and kept me smiling the whole time!! I was incredibly impressed with Dr Kim as he made sure he took the time to explain the process as well as not “ being rushed” something I have experienced with previous Doctors. I live in Florida but will be seeing Dr Kim from now on, and will be recommending their office to my fellow New Yorkers! It’s been almost 2 weeks since my appointment and the results are amazing!!! So happy! Thank you so much Dr Kim, Mary and the rest of the staff !

- michele goodwin

Dr. Kim is a world-class facial plastic surgeon. I’ve been to the top surgeons in the country from Beverly Hills to Miami and I found Dr. Kim to be superior. His face and neck lift were flawless and so natural that no one could tell I had anything done, but everyone said I looked ten years younger. As Syracuse is a discreet location, I would highly recommend anyone who wants a top notch face and neck lift to fly in. His bedside manner is as fantastic as his work. I can’t recommend Dr. Kim enough. I think he is the best Facial plastic surgeon in the country.

- Shelly Cohen

I am very happy with Dr. Kim and all of his staff. Not only did I have a surgical procedure done but I also go there every week for allergy shots and they couldn't be nicer. And Dr. Kim is awesome - - great bedside manner! I highly recommend them!!!

- Sheila Guenette

57 years old and wanted to start my new path in life retired...not looking tired! I did extensive research and sought out 5 surgeon recommendations. I was extremely impressed with Dr. Sang Kim for several reasons: 1 - He specialized in and only performs /neck surgeries, 2 - Dr. Kim is younger and probably more newly established, but there was no doubt that he is a perfectionist and a professional in his field, 3 - He is patient and really listens. I felt confident and trusted that he was giving me his best recommendation for my concerns, 4 - He didn't try to push unnecessary or extra procedures, 5 - I was impressed by how obvious it was that Dr. Kim's administrative and medical staff liked him and respected his work. But most of all, I am extremely satisfied with the results of my face lift!

- Shannon F

I can't say enough good things about Dr. Kim. He is the most patient, professional, and personable physician I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Instead of being rushed through the practice, every member of his staff made me feel welcome and important from the moment I walked through the door. He wouldn't perform a single procedure on me until he fully answered every minute question I had (all of which he eloquently and candidly answered); you can tell that his formal training was exceptional. His bedside manner and skilled technique easily make him one of the best kept secrets in Syracuse. I have referred numerous friends to him who have also, in turn, referred their friends. Make the consult and see for yourself... you won't be disappointed!

- Deanna Hillman

Dr. Kim and his staff were incredible. I had a face lift done this past summer and I was treated with dignity and respect by everyone. Dr. Kim is an exceptional surgeon and one of the nicest and kindest doctors I have ever met. I had a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend Dr. Kim and his entire staff. I recently went back to Dr. Kim for injections. Again my experience was wonderful. He explains everything he is going to do and what to expect. I didn't bruise and I love the fact that he doesn't overdo. He and his staff are just incredible. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.

- Debbie Ely

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