Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing, also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization, and lasabrasion, can reduce facial wrinkles, scars, and blemishes. Newer laser technologies offer a new level of control in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision, especially in delicate areas.
Why You May Want to Consider Laser Skin Resurfacing?
- If you have lines or wrinkles around or under your eyes, forehead, or mouth
- If you have scars from acne or chickenpox
- If you have non-responsive skin after a facelift
- If you have aged or sun-damaged skin
- If you have liver spots
- If you have yellowish or grayish skin tones
- If you have warts
- If you have birthmarks such as linear epidermal nevi
- If you have enlarged oil glands on the nose
- Minimizes sun damage, acne scars, and fine lines.
- Improves skin texture and evens skin tone.
- Stimulates collagen for firmer, more youthful skin.
- May help treat pre-cancerous skin lesions.
- Minimal downtime.
- Treatment can be painful
- Care must be taken to avoid sun exposure
- Darker skin tones are not good candidates
What Makes You a Good Candidate for Laser Skin Resurfacing?
- You have active acne
- You have deep acne scars
- You have deep wrinkles
- You have excessive or sagging skin
How Should You Prepare for Treatment?
For best results, your technician may first start you on a series of skin treatments to prepare your skin for your laser procedure. Often these treatments begin 6 weeks or more before your scheduled procedure. These skin treatments are customized for your particular skin type to minimize complications and obtain the best result from your laser resurfacing.
How is Treatment Performed?
- In preparation, your face will be thoroughly cleaned, and you might be given eye protection.
- Your skin will be numbed with local anesthetics. You may also receive a sedative to help you relax.
- Two types of lasers are commonly used in laser resurfacing: carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium. Both works to vaporize superficial, damaged skin cells.
- CO2 lasers deliver very short pulsed light energy or continuous light beams. This type of laser precisely removes thin layers of skin with minimal damage to your surrounding tissue.
- Erbium laser resurfacing is typically used to remove superficial and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on your face, but can also be used on your neck, chest or hands.
- Cosmetic laser resurfacing typically takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
- After laser resurfacing is completed, your technician will apply specialized dressing to protect the treated tissues.
What Will Recovery Involve?
Recovery can vary depending on the type of peel you receive.
Light chemical peel recovery:
You are likely to experience some redness, stinging, skin flaking, and irritation from a light chemical peel. After repeated treatments, these will likely subside.
Medium chemical peel recovery:
When trichloroacetic acid is used in a medium chemical peel, you’ll experience some redness, stinging, and flaking of the skin. Commonly, symptoms are similar to those of a deep sunburn. Although these chemicals won’t bleach your skin, you may see some color changes. Avoid the sun and use sunblock for several months to protect that fresh new layer of skin.
Deep chemical peel recovery:
Results are dramatic, but recovery takes the longest. You will experience peeling, crusting, skin redness, and discomfort for several days to weeks. You will be prescribed painkillers to keep you comfortable. Although the swelling is likely to disappear in about two weeks, your skin may remain red for up to three months. Patients typically can return to work and some of their normal activities two weeks after treatment.
How Long Will the Results Last?
Some people who have laser resurfacing may see an immediate difference in the treated skin. That will continue to improve for up to a year. While the effects of laser resurfacing can last for many years, the normal aging process means that wrinkles and expression lines will reoccur. You may repeat laser resurfacing as necessary. It’s possible that your skin may stay red or pink for up to several months after laser skin resurfacing. You may also be extra sensitive to sunlight for up to a year. Make efforts to minimize sun exposure and use that sunscreen liberally, every day.