What is laser resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a relatively new treatment for reducing facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes or acne scars.
Undesired skin cells and wrinkles are softened or removed using a small laser. The procedure is relatively bloodless and offers Dr. Cheski more control in the depth of penetration of the skin’s surface. This allows for increased precision and safety in treating delicate areas, such as around the lips and eyes.
How does laser resurfacing work?
During this procedure, an intense beam of light energy (laser) is directed at the affected area. The laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin. The, at lower power, the laser heats the underlying skin which stimulates new growth. As you heal, new skin forms that’s smoother and tighter.
The two types of lasers most commonly used in laser resurfacing are carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium. Each laser vaporizes superficial, damaged skin cells and reduces the risk for the patient by limiting the amount of heat absorbed by the skin.
Is laser resurfacing for me?
This procedure is ideal for people who wish to treat:
Fine to moderate wrinkles
Crow’s feet and frown lines
Liver spots or age spots
Uneven skin tones
Sun damaged skin
Acne or chicken pox scars
If you have active acne or if you have very dark skin, you may not be a good candidate. This technique is also not recommended to treat stretch marks.
What can I expect during the procedure?
Laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure that uses a local anesthetic in combination with either an orally- or intravenously-administered sedative. Depending on the amount of laser resurfacing needed, the procedure can be performed in nearly any setting, from Dr. Cheski’s office to an operating room.
This procedure can take anywhere from several minutes to a few hours, depending on the size of the area being treated.
After the procedure, you may experience:
Pink or red skin that is slightly crusted
Mild swelling and discomfort
Lighter or darker skin tone in the treated area
A sunburn-like sensation
What can I expect after my laser resurfacing?
An ointment and sterile dressings will be applied to the treatment area. These dressings will be removed within three days. After the dressings are removed, you will need to keep your skin moist by using protective cream and ointments (such as Vaseline, Eucerin or Aquaphor.)
It is strongly advised that you remain fairly inactive while the crust is still present and the skin is still healing.
Your new skin should be fully developed within two weeks, and once that occurs, it is perfectly acceptable to wear make up to mask the redness. Your skin can stay pink for several months following the procedure.
What are the possible complications of laser resurfacing?
The most common complication of laser resurfacing is hyperpigmentation (increased pigmentation.) Patients with darker skin tones run a greater risk of healing with darker pigmentation. This may be minimized by use of a bleaching agent before laser skin resurfacing as well as continued use of this agent after healing.
Some of the other complications that could result are:
, which can be reduced with the application of an ice pack.
(small white bumps). These can be removed by gentle cleansing with a washcloth.
-Reappearance of cold sores
, especially after laser resurfacing around the mouth. This can be prevented with an antiviral medication taken both before and after the treatment.
, which is inflammation of the skin
, though very rare, can occur
It is also recommended that you refrain from smoking before the treatment and remain clean during the healing process. Smoking is known to have harmful effects on the healing process.
How should I care for my skin after laser resurfacing?
Applying sunscreen on a daily basis is necessary after healing to protect your new skin. A sunscreen which screens both ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays is recommended. A sunscreen specifically formulated for use on the face should be chosen, with an SPF of at least 15.
Moisturizing liberally is also recommended after healing. Patients may resume application of Retin-A and/or glycolic acid products around six weeks after laser resurfacing or as directed by Dr. Cheski.
Call Today For a Free Consultation
There are many factors to consider in choosing the right surgeon for your procedure. Dr. Cheski has the experience and knowledge to perform the procedure(s) you desire, improve your self-esteem, and help you look and feel better than ever before.
Call (310) 575-1500 or (661) 575-0800 today
and speak to our knowledgeable surgical consultants and schedule an appointment for a free consultation.