About Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that uses pulsating beams of light to remove damaged skin layer by layer. The treatment is performed to reduce facial lines and wrinkles, as well as diminish skin irregularities such as acne scars, blemishes, pigmentation, and other flaws. Also referred to as a “laser peel”, laser skin resurfacing is an effective treatment for patients desiring a softer, clearer, younger complexion. Depending on the condition of the skin, the laser can be adjusted accordingly. There is some downtime associated with most laser skin resurfacing treatments, which can be discussed during the initial consultation with Houston, TX plastic surgeon, Dr. Edward Lee.
There are many factors to consider when choosing which laser peel is right for you. Laser skin resurfacing is geared towards patients who are unhappy with their overall complexion. If you have sun-damaged skin, acne scars, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, redness or pigmentation issues, this treatment can help correct these imperfections. In addition, it works great if you have scaly patches, rough texture, or other irregularities. This treatment is not recommended if you have very dark skin or active acne. In addition, it is important to understand that there is downtime associated with this laser therapy. Some patients, depending on the condition of their skin, may need up to 2 – 3 weeks to recover.
Plan Your Procedure
Types of Laser Treatments
There are three types of laser skin resurfacing treatments that are chosen based on the condition of your skin. Some are performed for milder cases of skin damage, while others are more aggressive.
- Ablative Laser Treatments
Ablative lasers remove thin layers of skin, like a deep chemical peel or dermabrasion, with a precision that allows the technician to minimize skin damage. Ablative lasers are best for skin tightening and to remove wrinkles and acne scars.
- Non-Ablative Laser Treatments
Non-ablative lasers do not remove any skin, the light simply creates micro-damage to the skin to promote natural healing. Non-ablative treatments are best to remove fine lines and wrinkles on patients who are able to wait a few months for results.
- Fractional Laser Treatments
Fractional lasers are both ablative and non-ablative that create tiny holes in the deep layers of the skin. The skin's natural healing process creates tighter skin. Fractional lasers may also be used for fine lines, deep wrinkles, acne scarring, sun damage, and uneven pigmentation.
If you are undergoing a deeper or more intense laser peel, you may be asked to use a topical retinoid for a few weeks prior to your laser treatment. This helps prepare the skin better for the effects of the laser. Medication will be given prior to treatment to help reduce pain and help you relax during your session. If your skin needs mild correction, a topical anesthetic will be used to numb certain areas where the laser will target. However, for full-face or more intense laser treatments, some type of sedation may be necessary. During the procedure, you will relax in our treatment chair, and the laser will glide over the skin, precisely targeting the designated areas for improvement. You will feel heat, followed by coolness from the built-in cooling system of the device. The laser works to destroy damaged skin cells, while also stimulating new collagen growth.
What to Expect
For mild cases, a healing ointment will be applied to the skin and you can return home to recover. The skin will appear red, and there will be some irritation and swelling. This subsides within a couple of days and the peeling process will begin over a 3-5 day timeframe. If you are undergoing a more intense laser treatment, your downtime will be longer. The treated areas will most likely be covered by dressings and the swelling, irritation, and burning sensation will be intensified. Medication can be prescribed to help reduce these side effects. The downtime associated with a deeper peel can be 2-3 weeks. All patients should limit their sun exposure after their laser treatment and apply sun protection regularly. Regardless of the intensity of the peel, the skin will naturally flake, crust, and peel away. It is important to not assist this process to both avoid scarring and to protect your face at all times from sun exposure. Once the peeling process has been completed, your skin will feel softer, while looking clearer, younger, and rejuvenated.
A Softer, Clearer Complexion
Laser skin resurfacing offers outstanding results for patients who want a younger looking complexion. If you are considering a laser peel and would like to learn more about them, as well as the other nonsurgical options we offer, we invite you to call our office today to schedule your consultation.