Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help rejuvenate the skin and reduce the effects of the sun, aging, and some facial skin disorders. Treatments are safe, effective, and convenient. Also, the cost of cosmetic laser skin resurfacing is minimal compared to many other treatment options. Learn more about how laser skin rejuvenation, or laser peel as it is often called, removes damaged outer layers of skin and stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells in the underlying layers, bringing about smoother, younger, healthier-looking skin.
What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Cosmetic laser skin resurfacing is a method for diminishing the appearance of imperfections on the skin’s surface. During the laser skin resurfacing procedure a laser is used to dissolve the molecular bonds of the damaged skin cells layer by layer until a smoother, more uniform skin appearance is achieved. The procedure may also be referred to as laser skin rejuvenation because of its anti-aging benefits, or laser peel because the damaged layers of skin are peeled away.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Candidates
Laser skin resurfacing is appropriate for patients seeking treatment for discoloration, wrinkles, sun damage, acne marks, or other types of imperfections in skin appearance. The procedure does have limitations and individuals with severe scarring may need to use additional scar revision techniques to achieve the best possible results. An ideal candidate for laser skin resurfacing is someone who has realistic expectations and is open to discussing any laser skin rejuvenation concerns at the time of consultation.
Cost of Laser Skin Resurfacing
There are a variety of factors that go into determining the exact cost of cosmetic laser skin resurfacing treatment. There is the surgeon’s fee, the cost of the facility and anesthesia, and also the expenses incurred from the pre- and post-operative care. Scheduling a complete patient consultation with a laser surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist is the best way to achieve the most accurate cost estimates for your specific procedure.
Laser Types – CO2 Lasers
The CO2 laser is the highest intensity laser treatment currently available. After being treated with the CO2 laser, the surface of the skin appears tighter and smoother because the laser uses heat to restrict the collagen bands found in the lower dermis. The CO2 laser can eliminate or diminish the appearance of most wrinkles, scars, warts, and birthmarks. It has even been used to treat skin cancer in its earliest stages.
Laser Types – Erbium Lasers
Erbium lasers are able to remove thinner layers of skin than the more powerful, but less precise CO2 laser. Erbium lasers are often a better choice for patients with dark skin because there is less risk of permanent changes to skin pigmentation. With a shorter healing, they are also better for patients with generally healthy skin who wish to treat only minimal fine lines and wrinkles.
Fraxel® Laser Skin Resurfacing
The Fraxel® laser skin resurfacing treatment is distinct from other laser rejuvenation treatments that use either the erbium or the CO2 laser. Because the Fraxel® laser procedure is non-invasive, there are few post-treatment side effects. There is virtually no skin tenderness or pain after undergoing treatment and no downtime is required after the procedure. It should be noted, however, that this is not a single session treatment. Improvements to the skin’s appearance will appear gradually over the course of weeks or months.
The Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
A laser skin resurfacing procedure can be performed either in a hospital or, more likely, in an outpatient surgical facility. The procedure is typically performed with local anesthesia (a numbing injection at the treatment site). An oral sedative may or may not be used as well. More extensive laser skin resurfacing procedures can require intravenous or general anesthesia, although this is less common. A knowledgeable cosmetic surgeon can determine with great accuracy how each laser skin resurfacing patient can best benefit from treatment and the necessary anesthesia needed to provide them adequate comfort.
Once the necessary anesthesia has been administered, the surgeon uses a special laser to perform the skin resurfacing procedure. Using a precise and controlled beam of laser light, the outer layers of skin are vaporized, revealing the smoother, younger-looking skin beneath. While the old layers of skin are removed, the growth of new skin cells is stimulated.
A partial laser skin resurfacing procedure typically takes 30 to 45 minutes and a full treatment can take up to two hours. Both of these lasers help to minimize the potential for laser skin resurfacing complications by limiting the amount of heat damage to the skin and offering the cosmetic surgeon an extremely high level of precision. Your physician will help you prepare for a beneficial laser skin resurfacing recovery.
Risks and Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing
As with any medical procedure, there are both cosmetic laser skin resurfacing risks and benefits. Some of the risks include infection, permanent changes to skin pigmentation, and laser scarring. Possible benefits to your skin include new collagen production and tighter, smoother skin, as well as a diminished appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin coloration, sun damage, scars, and other facial imperfections.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery and Results
Laser skin resurfacing recovery and results vary depending upon the type of laser that is being used and the size of the area you wish to have treated. The most invasive treatments may produce enormous improvements, but may require an extended recovery time of multiple weeks. A gentler laser skin rejuvenation treatment may reduce the appearance of some imperfections and may require little or no downtime. Consult a dermatologist to determine the most appropriate treatment as well as a case-specific estimate of healing time and likely results.
Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQs
For answers to all of your laser skin resurfacing questions and more visit our FAQs page. None of the information provided to you by DocShop is meant to serve as a replacement for the informed opinion of a cosmetic dermatologist. For information that pertains specifically to you, be sure to schedule a comprehensive patient consultation.
Find a Dermatologist in Your Area
Cosmetic laser skin resurfacing treatments can help reduce the effects that sun exposure, aging, and acne has on the skin in order to reveal a healthier, younger-looking complexion. Laser peel procedures are also surprisingly cost effective. To find out more about what laser skin rejuvenation can do for you, contact a dermatologist in your area to schedule a personal consultation today.