Laser resurfacing has evolved significantly over the past decade. Newer technology, different wave lengths, and treatment protocols have all led to improved outcomes, reduced complications, and reduced downtime. Laser resurfacing can now be performed in an ablative fashion to treat deep wrinkles and textural problems, in a fractional fashion to treat acne scars and in a superficial fashion to improve tone, texture and fine lines. These procedures are typically done in the office with light sedation and local anesthesia. These procedures can also be done in stages to achieve excellent outcomes while reducing recovery and downtime.
Deep laser resurfacing is indicated for treating severely sun damaged skin with deep wrinkles and textural changes. It is also indicated for patients with a condition called rhinophyma. It can also be used for scar management in some situations. Fractional laser resurfacing is indicated for treating acne scarring, large pores and moderate textural changes. MicroLaserPeel® or superficial peels are indicated for treating mild to moderate sun damaged skin with sun spots, mild textural changes, and fine lines and wrinkles.
The premise is simple, if some or all of the top layer of the skin is removed, then new skin will regenerate, and new collagen is deposited leading to a healthier appearance with even color tone and consistency.Schedule Your Consultation
|Local with sedation or general
|Duration of Procedure
|Return to regular activity
|Return to exercise
Deep Laser Resurfacing
For the right patient, laser resurfacing can be extremely gratifying. The advantages are natural looking results, long-term skin enhancement with what is usually a difficult problem to address, and no scarring from the laser resurfacing itself. This procedure takes about thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the areas being treated.
The procedure is relatively simple and straightforward. A patient, who is deemed a good candidate for this procedure, is given antibiotics and anti-virals. The patient is given a mild oral sedative and topical or local anesthesia is administered. Next, the laser is used to precisely, resurface the skin in either a deep, fractioned or superficial fashion. The early result appears as either mild redness or moderate redness with minimal bleeding. A thick ointment or ointment and dressings are placed on the treated area. Frequent washes and ointment reapplication are initiated once you get home. The skin is pink for a few days to two weeks, and gradually starts looking natural and vibrant. Patients are cautioned to stay out of the sun the first few weeks after this procedure. As new skin is forming, it is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation when exposed to the sun. Smoking delays wound healing, which can lead to permanent scarring.
Transform your skin with a MicoLaserPeel for treatment of fine lines, sun damage, and pigment irregularities. This unique laser/peel combination improves skin tone and texture with a short downtime. Multiple treatments may be required depending on severity of skin condition.
Your treatment is customized to your skin type and condition. Prior to treatment, the skin is numbed topically. The laser/peel may take about 30 minutes or longer, depending on your skin concerns. Immediately following the treatment, you may experience redness, which can last for three to four days. You will be advised on after-care, which includes use of a protective ointment to keep the skin moist. Over time, your skin will show increasing improvements, revealing new, healthier skin.
Discover the benefits of laser resurfacing with the NanoLaserPeel. This mild resurfacing laser uses light energy to instantly remove the top layers of the skin at just the right depth to accelerate the skin’s renewal. The combination of heat and laser mechanics resurface the skin by stimulating more collagen production and treat fine lines, sun damage, and pigment irregularities.
The NanoLaserPeel is a great “weekend peel.” After your treatment, you will be instructed to use a protective ointment and redness may occur for up to one day, with maximum down time of three days, so you are able to return to work looking refreshed after the weekend. The treatment results in luminous skin without the time and harshness of chemical peels or microdermabrasion.
Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs.
What Do Lasers Treat?
Lasers can treat a wide range of skin concerns, including lines and wrinkles. Depending on the strength of the laser, the treatment can be useful for very fine lines or for more deep-set wrinkles. Lasers also help treat a number of scars, such as raised scars created by acne or chickenpox, as well as scars from surgery or from an injury.
Laser skin resurfacing can improve the appearance of skin that’s seen extensive sun damage. For example, it can help erase areas of hyperpigmentation, such as sun spots. It can also remove hyperpigmentation related to hormonal changes or pregnancy. The treatments can help smooth skin and improve its overall texture.
Is There More Than One Type of Laser?
Nowadays, there are several different types of laser treatments. They vary in terms of what they do to the skin and in terms of how deep they penetrate. One type, known as an ablative laser treatment, damages the top layer of skin, which encourages the production of new skin cells. An ablative treatment is commonly used when a person has deep wrinkles or significant texture issues.
Another type of laser treatment is known as a fractional laser. While an ablative treatment focuses on the entire surface of the skin, a fractional laser treatment focuses on just one small section. The laser beam is focused on one small area and penetrates deep into the skin. Instead of damaging the epidermis, a fractional laser focuses on stimulating the production of collagen beneath the surface of the skin.
A third type of laser treatment, known as a microlaser peel, is the most superficial treatment option. It’s ideal for patients who only have a mild amount of sun damage, very fine lines or some areas of hyperpigmentation.
Will It Be Painful?
You may feel some discomfort after a laser skin resurfacing treatment. To minimize any pain or discomfort, your surgeon may prescribe pain medication. You’ll also most likely be given an ointment to put on your skin to soothe it and help speed its recovery. Washing the skin as directed and using the ointment will reduce discomfort. During the procedure itself, you may be given a sedative or a topical anesthetic to numb the skin so that you don’t feel anything.
What Is the Recovery Like?
The amount of recovery time you need after a laser treatment depends on the type of treatment you’ve had. You may need just a few days to recover from a superficial peel, for example. Deeper laser treatments may require up to 14 days of downtime. You may need to wait longer before you start working out again.
After a laser skin treatment, it’s common and expected for the treated skin to be red and swollen. There may be crusting as the area heals. Usually, it will take a few days to a week for a new layer of skin to develop. Depending on the depth or type of treatment, you may experience redness for up to a month after the treatment. In some cases, it can take up to six months for you to see full results from the treatment.
As your skin heals after laser skin resurfacing, you’ll want to do your best to protect it. Avoid direct sunlight immediately after the treatment. After that, always wear sunscreen when going outdoors. Your habits in the weeks after treatment can impact the healing. If you smoke, your surgeon will ask that you quit for at least a few weeks before and after the procedure.
Is This the Right Procedure for Me?
Laser skin resurfacing isn’t right for everyone. Your surgeon will review your overall health, habits and skin type before recommending it. Since the treatment does cause changes to the pigment of your skin in some cases, your surgeon may or may not recommend it based on your skin tone. People with darker skin may experience pigmentation changes after laser skin resurfacing.
For more information about this procedure, call our office at 703-206-0506.
Content on this website is for information only and should not be used to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.