Laser Skin Resurfacing

What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Should I get It?


It seems like every other article in the cosmetic surgery world these days is about laser skin resurfacing. Blog posts promise that age spots, crows feet, and acne scars can all be gone with just a flash of light. But what exactly is laser resurfacing and who exactly is a good candidate for it?

What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Skin resurfacing is the process of removing damaged layers of outer skin to promote healthy cell growth. These procedures boast patients as having healthier, younger looking skin which can last for years at a time.

Skin resurfacing can be done with or without lasers. Traditional non-laser treatments include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and microneedling. These all are considered ablative treatments (we’ll get to that later).

Laser skin resurfacing treatments include CO2, Erbium, IPL, and pulsed dye lasers. Laser resurfacing treatments are more commonly sought than non laser treatments and they can either be ablative or non ablative.

Ablative vs. Non Ablative

Simply put, an ablative procedure means to work from the outermost layer of skin down to the innermost layer. Ablative laser treatments focus on removing layers of damaged skin to restore your skin to its youngest and best. The average cost for an ablative laser treatment is close to $2,000.

Non-ablative treatments produce the same effect, but instead work from the outside in. Instead of removing the topmost layers of skin cells, non-ablative lasers work from the inside out, bypassing the outermost layers of the skin and working more from the inside out. The average cost for a non-ablative laser treatment is around $1,200.

Pros and Cons

Laser skin resurfacing, while highly effective, is not a perfect process.

The pros of laser skin resurfacing include:

  • Skin that appears healthier
  • even skin tone
  • reduction of scarring and wrinkles
  • Long-lasting (you might be able to go several years between treatments)

That said, here are some downsides you may want to consider:

  • substantial recovery time (particularly for ablative lasers)
  • Results may not be instantaneous.
  • During and after treatments, patients can sometimes experience red, raw skin with some scabbing.

Is Laser Skin Resurfacing Right for Me?

Laser skin resurfacing works best for people with acne or pox scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and who don’t have overly sensitive skin (it is a myth that dark skin disqualifies you from benefiting from laser skin resurfacing!). However, you may want to talk to your doctor first if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have an autoimmune disease or otherwise some medical condition that interferes with healing and immune health
  • You have recurring cold sores
  • You are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding or plan on breastfeeding
  • You have taken certain types of acne medication over the past year (specifically, isotretinoin)
  • You have undergone radiation therapy on or around the face
  • You scar easily

If you think you could benefit from laser skin resurfacing, talk to your doctor to see if you might be a good candidate for a quick way towards the skin of your dreams.

Located within: Services, Skin Rejuvenation.

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