Laser Resurfacing: Frequently Asked Questions
Laser skin resurfacing is one high-tech option for revitalizing and rejuvenating your aging and sun-damaged skin. If you're considering this procedure, you likely have lots of questions, and possibly some concerns. We've assembled some of the most frequently asked questions, and their answers:
- What is laser resurfacing?
- How is the procedure performed?
- Is there much scarring with laser resurfacing?
- At what age is laser resurfacing performed?
- What should I expect postoperatively?
- When will I be able to go out into the sun?
- When will I be able to see the results?
- What are the risks of laser resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing (also called laser peel) is a cosmetic skin treatment that, depending on the type of laser used, can remove birthmarks, layers of sun-damaged or wrinkled skin or stimulate the skin to produce more collagen (the main structural protein that gives skin its spring).
In general, your surgeon applies the necessary anesthetic and then passes the hand-held wand or paddle that transmits the laser light beam over the skin to be treated. Once the procedure is over, the surgeon applies antibiotic cream to the treated skin. The whole procedure takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
Not usually. Scarring is not typical with laser resurfacing if the procedure is performed by an experienced surgeon. However, people with a tendency to form keloids or excessive scarring may not be good candidates for laser resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing can be done at almost any age on people with skin damage from aging, sun exposure and acne scars, or those wishing to get rid of birthmarks, lesions, tattoos, unwanted body hair and some skin conditions like vitiligo and psoriasis.
This depends on the type of laser used and the size of the treated area. Expect your skin to look like it is badly sunburned and puffy; you may also experience some discomfort. Take care of the treated area as directed by your surgeon.
Your skin will be pink for several months after your laser resurfacing treatment and very susceptible to sun damage, so you will have to protect it with a good sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher and cover it for up to a year. Excessive and direct sun exposure will undo everything that the laser resurfacing has done.
Laser resurfacing is a very effective tool in the rejuvenation of aged skin, acne scars and other scars, but you may need more than one treatment to see the results you are hoping for.
The risks and complications associated with laser skin resurfacing include prolonged hyperpigmentation (dark skin spots) or hypopigmentation (pale skin spots), allergic reaction to anesthesia, burns from the laser, abnormal scarring or keloid formation, and redness.
Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery, Inc.
116 Defense Hwy.,
Annapolis, MD 21401
10807 Falls Road, #100
Baltimore, MD 21093
Buinewicz Plastic Surgery & Medspa
3655 Route 202
Suites 225 and 230
Doylestown, PA 18902