Laser skin resurfacing is an extremely versatile alternative to chemical peel skin treatment that can address several skin conditions and cosmetic concerns.
The versatility of this procedure stems from the fact that a variety of laser technologies and brand name laser devices with a variety of customizable penetration settings are available for cosmetic skin resurfacing treatment, including:
Laser Skin Resurfacing Indications
Different types of Yag lasers, such as the Fraxel Laser and Affirm Laser, are ideal for correction skin discoloration, including hyperpigmentation and redness, sun damage, fine lines and surface irregularities, such as acne scars, through a series of 3 - 6 treatments.
CO2 laser resurfacing procedures, such as SmartXide DOT therapy, are best suited to correct skin conditions associated with more advanced skin aging, such as deeper wrinkles and more numerous fine lines and lax, crepey skin. CO2 lasers are also effective acne scar treatments and require only a single treatment to produce significant results.
Although laser resurfacing is appropriate for adult men and women of all ages, your skin characteristics, including your skin tone and thickness, along with your cosmetic goals will dictate which laser resurfacing procedure is right for you.
Due to potential laser resurfacing side effects, such as permanent pigmentation changes and scarring, patients with dark or ethnic skin tones and those prone to keloid scarring may not be good candidates for laser skin resurfacing. Additionally, patients must wait at least 12-18 months after completing a course of Accutane acne treatment before undergoing laser skin resurfacing.
Laser skin resurfacing treatments may trigger oral herpes outbreaks, so be sure to let your doctor know if your are prone to cold sores so that preventative treatment may be started prior to your laser resurfacing procedure.
Laser Resurfacing Treatment
Laser resurfacing is performed using a beam of laser energy that targets the upper layers of damaged skin at specific and controlled levels of penetration. Depending on the aggressiveness of your laser treatment, anesthesia may be recommended.
Ablative laser resurfacing procedures work by vaporizing the damaged outer layer of the skin while also heating deeper skin layers. This allows new, healthy skin cells to form during the healing process and stimulates collagen remodeling, which eventually results in smoother, tighter, younger-looking skin.
Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing procedures gently penetrate the skin's outer layer, heating deeper skin layers without vaporizing any tissue. Although non-ablative lasers also stimulate collagen remodeling and improve skin tone and texture, the lack of skin vaporization that reduces the downtime with these laser treatments also makes the results of a single treatment less dramatic as compared to ablative laser resurfacing results.
Laser skin resurfacing procedures may be performed on the entire face, or on targeted facial areas, such as around the eyes, around the mouth or on the cheeks. Laser resurfacing may also sometimes be performed on the neck, chest and hands.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery
With non-ablative laser procedures, downtime is typically no more than a few days to a week, during which time the skin appears red and possibly flaky, as if it was mildly sunburned.
Ablative laser resurfacing, however, warrants at least one to two weeks of recovery time and may produce more significant redness, bleeding, crusting and blistering. Lingering skin redness may last several months after ablative laser resurfacing.
It is extremely important to follow aftercare instructions following laser resurfacing and to refrain from picking at or scratching skin in the treated area. Keep your skin moisturized as directed and avoid the sun.
The results of any laser skin resurfacing are cumulative over a period of several months, regardless of whether you pursue a single ablative laser treatment or several non-ablative laser treatments. This is due to the fact that results are seen as the skin goes through a natural healing process that is not immediate.
Continue to follow a daily skin care regimen that involves medical grade skin care products and cosmeceuticals, as well as a broad spectrum sunscreen to maintain your laser skin resurfacing results.
Would you like to learn more about Laser Skin Resurfacing? Call 212-772-7242 to schedule a consultation at Sadick Dermatology.