Laser ResurfacingWednesday, March 21, 2012 - 12:55
Lasers can be used to create a controlled burn of the most superficial layers of skin and achieve the same results as chemical peels and dermabrasion.
Laser resurfacing offers greater control of the depth of the burn and more precision for use around delicate areas such as the lips and eyes.
Lasers can also be used to treat the entire face, or in combination with face-lift procedures to produce a comprehensive rejuvenation.
Laser resurfacing can be used to treat:
- fine lines and wrinkles, including crow's feet around the eyes
- brown spots and splotchy discolorations
Duration of laser resurfacing depends on the extent of the treatment; it can take up to two hours. Repeat procedures are sometimes required. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetics and an intravenous sedative to relieve tension. A topical anesthetic cream may also be used.
Ointments and topical bandages will be applied to the treated area. Bandages will be removed within the first week.
As with other resurfacing techniques, a crust may form over the treated area and the skin will be red or pink. It may be slightly swollen. Within two weeks, the swelling should disappear and the redness should soften to a color that can easily be covered by cosmetics. The redness may take several months to disappear completely.
As with other cosmetic procedures, sun should be avoided during the recovery period. A commitment to the use of sun blocks is required if the resurfacing is to succeed.
Fine lines and wrinkles are caused by the deterioration of the connective fibers (collagen and elastin) in the skin. Like dermabrasion, laser resurfacing forces the growth of new tissue in which fibers are more plentiful and better organized. Although it may take several months for skin to recover from laser resurfacing, the end result is skin that is smooth, soft, and silky.