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What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is a proven way to help reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne scars and other blemishes, as well as tighten and balance skin tone. But precisely because lasers do so much, and they work so differently on the skin, it can be hard to know where to start when researching treatments—even the most perfunctory search can turn up a range of competing devices and method.


We want you to be informed, not overwhelmed. Don’t be tied down by brands – instead focus on your goals: what skin problem do you want to solve, what results do you want?


1. When should I have laser resurfacing?

Did you know that fall is considered “laser season”? Since laser-treated skin can be allergic to sun exposure for up to a year after some procedures, many cosmetic surgeons recommend laser resurfacing in the fall or winter when the days are shorter and you spend most of your time indoors .


No matter what time of year you have laser surgery, apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day and reapply as needed. Not only will this help keep your results looking your best, it will also prevent skin cancer and help prevent additional premature aging.


2. Treatment may hurt—or not

Patients and doctors often liken the feeling during laser treatment to a rubber band against the skin. However, the feel of laser resurfacing depends on the laser, the depth and area of treatment, and the individual’s tolerance for pain.


Deeper ablative (removal of some of the outer skin) laser treatment may require local anesthetic injections or intravenous sedation to keep the patient comfortable. Examples of ablative lasers are CO2 lasers and Erbium YAG lasers.


Some non-ablative laser treatments (where the laser passes through the skin without removing the layers) cause little pain and only require a topical numbing cream to counteract the discomfort. Non-ablative lasers include pulsed dye, ND: Yag, and alexandrite lasers. After surgery, some degree of tenderness in the treated area is expected. When necessary, your provider will recommend safe ways to manage discomfort after laser resurfacing.


3. Darker skin does not necessarily prevent you from laser resurfacing

A common misconception is that laser resurfacing is only safe for light skin types. While some lasers do cause a higher risk of cell damage or discoloration in deeper skin, there are safe and effective resurfacing options. Erbium laser resurfacing is sometimes a good option for lighter-skinned African-American, Hispanic, or Asian skin tones, thereby reducing the risk of discoloration. Patients with dark brown or dark skin may need to consider other resurfacing options, such as radiofrequency therapy or microneedling.


The best way to ensure safe, effective treatments for your skin type? Consult a provider with extensive training and knowledge in laser resurfacing procedures and experience working with dark-skinned patients.


4. Who gets laser resurfacing makes a difference

In the hands of a trained professional, laser resurfacing is a safe way to significantly improve the appearance of your skin. Providers of laser resurfacing are selected based on individual experience, training and qualifications. Don’t make a choice just based on who offers the best price or owns a branded laser platform.


5. Certain medications or conditions can affect how the skin responds to laser treatment

Always be honest with your provider about your medical history and any medications or supplements you are taking. For example, if you are prone to cold sores or fever blisters, laser treatment may trigger breakouts. Acne medications that contain isotretinoin (aka Accutane) can cause poor healing or scarring from laser resurfacing.

Post time: May-27-2022