Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Skin Resurfacing?
In a perfect world, our faces would glow with youthful exuberance forever. In the real world, age spots, wrinkles, and scars reveal our true age. Luckily, there’s an easy, effective procedure called laser resurfacing that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, rejuvenating skin and returning that youthful glow.
What Is Laser Resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a procedure dermatologists use to remove wrinkles and blemishes from the face, hands, neck, and chest. Also called a laser peel, laser vaporization, or lasabrasion, a doctor skillfully uses a laser to direct short bursts of light to the treatment area one layer at a time. The laser uses heat to destroy blemishes and wrinkles on the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, which then stimulates collagen production underneath. The new skin that grows in its place is smoother, firmer, and blemish-free. There are two kinds of lasers used for the procedure:
CO2 laser resurfacing—This laser directs short pulses of light energy or continuous light beams to remove thin layers of skin without damaging the surrounding tissue.
Erbium laser resurfacing—This laser is used to remove superficial to moderately deep wrinkles on the face, chest, neck, and hands.
What Areas Respond Best to Laser Resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a great choice to treat the following:
- Acne scars
- Chickenpox scars
- Wrinkles on the forehead, under the eyes, and around the mouth
- Sun-damaged skin
- Liver spots
- Yellow or gray skin patches
- Enlarged pores on the nose
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Laser Resurfacing?
Anyone with mild to moderate wrinkles and the aforementioned skin blemishes will respond well to laser resurfacing. The procedure is not recommended if you have:
- Current acne outbreaks
- Extremely dark skin
- Very deep wrinkles
- Excessively saggy skin
Those with darker complexions face the risk of the treatment area turning darker after healing. Blondes and redheads should be aware that they face a longer recovery time for new, pink skin to return to its normal color.
What Should I Expect During My Procedure?
There may be some prep work before you undergo your laser resurfacing procedure. Depending on your unique case, your doctor may put you on a customized series of skin treatments six weeks prior to the procedure to set your skin up for optimal healing and to minimize complications.
Before the procedure, your doctor will numb the treatment area with topical anesthetics to reduce discomfort. Depending on the size or sensitivity of the area, you may be given a sedative or even general anesthesia. Expect the procedure to take 30 minutes to two hours. After the resurfacing is complete, you’ll be given medication to reduce pain. Side effects can include:
- Redness (like a sunburn)
After the procedure, your doctor will set you up on a skin care regimen designed to reduce discomfort and promote healing. Most patients experience peeling of the treatment area after three to seven days. Your new skin will be pink for a few weeks, but will eventually return to its normal color. It’s vital to wear sunscreen during this healing time to protect your skin from the sun. Results of laser resurfacing are long-lasting but can be repeated as necessary.
If you’d like to learn more about laser resurfacing, make an appointment today with the medical professionals of Sanctuary Medical Center. We offer a wide variety of laser cosmetic procedures to our patients in South Florida, helping you regain your confidence and youthful appearance.