Laser skin resurfacing is a type of skin care procedure performed by a dermatologist or physician. It involves using lasers to help improve skin texture and appearance.
Depending on your individual needs, your dermatologist may recommend either ablative or non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers include carbon dioxide (CO2) or Erbium. CO2 laser resurfacing treatments are used to get rid of scars, warts, and deep wrinkles. Erbium is used for finer lines and wrinkles, along with other superficial skin concerns. Both types of ablative lasers remove outside layers of the skin.
Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, don’t remove any skin layers. These include pulsed light, pulsed-dye lasers, and fractional lasers. Non-ablative lasers may be used for rosacea, spider veins, and acne-related skin concerns.
What You Need To Know?
You might consider this procedure if you have age-, sun-, or acne-related skin care concerns that aren’t treatable with over-the-counter (OTC) products.
Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat one or more of the following skin concerns:
- age spots
- acne scars
- fine lines and wrinkles
- crow’s feet
- sagging skin
- uneven skin tone
- enlarged oil glands
Your natural skin tone can also determine whether this is the best type of cosmetic procedure for you. People with lighter skin tones are often good candidates because they carry a reduced risk for hyperpigmentation.
Although some dermatologic surgeons perform laser resurfacing, these procedures aren’t classified as surgeries. You can leave your doctor’s office immediately following the procedure.
Still, downtime and recovery are necessary to make sure your skin heals properly. This reduces your risk for side effects and helps you achieve the desired results.
Side effects and duration
Healing usually takes between 3 and 10 days. As a general rule, the bigger the treatment area and the deeper the laser, the longer the recovery time. Recovery from ablative laser treatment, for example, may take up to three weeks.
During recovery, your skin may be extremely red and scab over. Slight peeling will occur. You can use ice packs to help reduce any swelling.
While you don’t need to be at home during the entire recovery process, you’ll want to avoid known areas of germs — such as the gym — that could increase your risk of infection.
You’ll also need to adjust your daily skin care routine. According to the ASPS, you’ll need to clean the treated area two to five times per day. Instead of your usual cleanser, you’ll use a saline or vinegar-based solution recommended by your doctor.
You’ll also need to use new dressings to ensure your skin stays clean.
A daily moisturizer can also help with the healing process, but be sure to run this by your doctor first.
You should apply sunscreen every morning (even when it’s cloudy) to protect your skin. Make sure to reapply as needed throughout the day.
1.What to expect from the results?
Non-ablative laser treatments don’t pose as great of a risk for side effects, but you may need multiple treatments to achieve your desired results. Ablative lasers, on the other hand, may correct your concerns in one treatment.
Individual results vary based on the extent of the initial concerns being treated. You can expect your results to last for several years once you’re done with your treatment sessions. However, the results aren’t permanent. You may need to repeat the procedure at some point.
2.How to select your dermatologist?
Given the delicate nature of this procedure, it’s important to work with an experienced dermatologist. Rather than settling on the first dermatologist you find, you might consider interviewing a few different candidates.
Before booking a laser skin treatment, ask your dermatologist the following questions:
- What experience do you have with laser skin resurfacing?
- What is your experience with my skin tone and specific skin concerns?
- Do you have a portfolio with before-and-after pictures from your clients?
- How might my health affect the results? Is there anything I need to do ahead of time?
- What can I expect during recovery?
- How many sessions do you think I will need?