Intimate area laser resurfacing is a general term that covers a number of procedures for women. Though patients might not have thought intimate area laser resurfacing would apply to their particular situations, the list is quite robust, and includes modest vaginal tightening, long-term non-hormonal therapy for vaginal atrophic changes, intimate vulvar and perianal color bleaching, intimate vulvar tissue shrinkage, and finally, a possibility for real help for Lichen Sclerosus sufferers.
There are many candidates for Pixilated Fractional CO2 Laser Intimate Resurfacing Therapy:
- Women who wish to lighten skin color (“bleach”) intimate vulvar and perianal skin.
- Women who wish to resurface and/or tighten lax skin of intimate areas.
- Chronic lichen sclerosus sufferers: this is a possibility, but it is not yet evidence based. It may work for women with late-stage lichen sclerosus who have had little or no success with traditional clobetasol and hormone-based therapies.
- Women who want modest vaginal tightening.
- Women requesting modest tightening of the vaginal walls and/or non-surgical relief from modest, “genuine stress” urinary incontinence. This therapy is perfect for a woman requesting modest tightening if she is now with a partner who has a smaller penis or who is in-between childbirths, awaiting a surgical repair after her final childbirth.
How is laser technology and pixilation applied for intimate shrinkage and de-coloration – also known as “bleaching”?
First, a bit of background: The word “laser” is an acronym that stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” In this specific pixilation case, a hand piece connected to the laser generator — which is sized at around 3/4 inch at the tip — is applied to the external skin to be shrunk, bleached, or rejuvenated. Laser emissions penetrate and stimulate the skin. Depending on the power settings in watts and joules, this will cause shrinkage, a peeling off of the surface layer allowing lighter-colored skin to form underneath, or penetration into the dermis (the deep layer of the skin) to change the collagen and elastin content of this lower layer. This results in greater resiliency, stretchability, or shrinkage, depending on wavelength and power setting.
With a different probe (one that is cigar-shaped, or “vagina friendly”), the inside of the vagina may be resurfaced to stimulate the basal layers of the vaginal mucosa to form more collagen and elastin fibers. This allows it to stretch better for women with atrophic changes. Also, it can provide a more trampoline-like effect for support of the bladder, and provide more springiness to help with intra-vaginal tone.
In a different power-setting mode, the laser may be used to treat tissues of the vulvar vestibule, including the inner surfaces of the vulvar vestibule, labial and clitoral hood skin, and the anterior and posterior fourchette in women with lichen sclerosus. In this application, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is sometimes used to provide for a greater chance of successful resurfacing. This latter use is not yet evidence-based, although initial trials by individual practitioners have yielded promising results.
Pixilated Fractional CO2 Laser Intimate Resurfacing Therapy is also suitable for women with modest sagging and redundancy of the outer lips (labia majora) and perineum. For women with significant camel toe or skin redundancy, surgical removal of redundant skin is probably a better option.
The procedure also works on these issues:
- Women with localized darkening of sex skin, and specifically that of the vulva/labia majora, perineum, and perianal areas where this darkening is of significant bother to them.
- Women having a surgical tightening procedure, i.e. perineoplasty/vaginoplasty (aka vaginal rejuvenation) who also have modest urinary incontinence. In our office, a FemiLift laser bladder support procedure can be added to an in-office surgical perineoplasty/vaginoplasty performed under local anesthesia. This provides non-invasive treatment of minimal/modest urinary incontinence during the same sitting.
Our small and comfortable office in Davis, CA, just west of Sacramento, serves Northern CA, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, the Central Valley, Coastal counties, Lake Tahoe area, and the far Northern California counties. We also serve patients from out-of-state and Southern California.