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Looking Beautiful on a Budget
by: Dr. Bunkis
Refissa treats fine wrinkles and mottled hyperpigmentation.
Refissa treats fine wrinkles and mottled hyperpigmentation.

Dr. Bunkis answers your questions in this column weekly but to give the best answer to the question below, Dr. Bunkis asked his skin care team, Tracey Prescott, R.N. and medical aesthetician, Anne Floerchinger, to provide the following response.

Q: I am in my early 50’s and I’m starting to see wrinkles. Many of my friends have gotten facelifts and Botox injections but I’m terrified of needles and knives! Are there any over the counter products that will tighten my skin?

-Kathryn M., Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

A: Great question! You will know when you are saggy enough to warrant surgery, but in the meantime, there are many non-surgical treatments that can improve the quality of your skin.

Most of us do not appreciate fine facial wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and tactile roughness. Now you can have smoother, less pigmented skin with the newest FDA approved Tretinoin cream, Refissa®. It is emollient based and does not dry out your skin. This product has become the gold standard medical treatment for photo-damaged skin. It works by stimulating cell turn over and causing the sun damaged outer layers to slough off. Refissa® is the first important step to healthier skin. . Always remember sun protection year round!

The next step, now that your skin is healthier, may be one of the many peels we offer. Here at Orange County Plastic Surgery we have many peels to choose from. For the purposes of this article we will focus on the Microlaser peel. Microlaser peel, the “week-end” skin peel, treats skin conditions more aggressively than the Refissa® is capable of doing. The Microlaser peel is performed with Sciton’s Erbium laser which uses a computer guided scanner to ensure maximum precision treatment uniformly. You will see improvements in just a few days

What exactly does the Microlaser peel treat?

It is a minimal to full epidermis laser peel that precisely removes the outer most layers of the skin. The procedure is individually tailored to the nature of the problem to be corrected: wrinkles, scars, keratoses, pigmentation problems, overall sun damage.

How often does a Microlaser peel need to be done?

As mentioned above, year round sun protection is a key to healthy skin. The results of any treatment, not just the Microlaser peel, will last longer and be more efficacious if you avoid future sun damage. One Microlaser peel procedure will usually be sufficient for a few months but subsequent treatments may be required. As mentioned earlier treatments are customized to each person. During your consultation we can determine what will be best for you.

What can I expect from the treatment?

Smoother, healthier, more vibrant skin. A blended complexion with a lessening of fine lines.

Is the treatment painful?

When you come in to the office, a topical triple anesthetic cream will be applied. This application will make the procedure quite tolerable. Afterwards you will have a surface Oxygen treatment (Oxymist®) created especially for our patients at Orange County Plastic Surgery.

What is my aftercare? Do I need to wear any bandages or dressings?

Noļ Microlaser peel is not like a CO2 laser and requires nothing more than a protective ointment like Aquafor or vaseline. This is used as a barrier while you grow new epithelium(baby cells, new skin) You will also come back in to our office for oxygen treatments for the next two days.


(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis; your results may vary.)

Mention this article when calling our office and receive a complimentary consultation and 25% off your Microlaser peel or 20% off your Refissa®!

As you can see, there are options to a scalpel and needle when making your skin look better! You are in good hands at OCPS and we look forward to seeing you so we can customize a skin care program for you!

Merry Christmas from all of us at OCPS!

949.888.970 | 30212 Tomas Ste. 275, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 |


As Medical Director of Orange County Plastic Surgery, Juris Bunkis, M.D., F. A.C.S. brings 30 years of surgical expertise to our communities. Dr. Bunkis is a Harvard trained, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Member of numerous prestigious organizations including the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Bunkis, a former faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco, has published more than 40 scientific publications, abstracts and book reviews, and 17 book chapters in plastic surgery text books. For questions or advice, please contact Dr. Bunkis directly at

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