Laser skin resurfacing uses laser light to treat deeper layers than microdermabrasion, but not as deep as laser scar removal. Laser skin resurfacing is also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization or lasabrasion. Laser skin resurfacing removes skin very precisely, layer by layer, resulting in fewer problems with hypo-pigmentation (lightening of skin).
Skin resurfacing includes varieties of major permanent and long-term plastic surgery, less invasive mid-range surgical procedures, and non-invasive temporary skin treatments. Skin rejuvenation can be achieved in a number of ways, ranging from laser, light and other energy-based treatments to chemical peels and other non-ablative methods.
Laser treatment lasts longer and produces less discomfort than many alternatives. Treatments can get quite hot, but topical numbing ointments and air cooling alleviates most discomfort. For best results, your plastic surgeon may first start you on a series of skin treatments to prepare your skin for your laser procedure. When compared to a chemical peel, dermabrasion or other forms of laser treatment, a laser allows the surgeon to customize the surgery not only for each patient but also to each area of the face.
Be prepared to discuss: Why you want the procedure, your expectations and desired outcome, medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments, use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, past cosmetic treatments. Your surgeon may also: Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors,discuss the options available to you for facial rejuvenation, examine and measure your face, take photographs for your medical record, discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment, discuss likely outcomes of a skin rejuvenation and any risks or potential complications, and important facts about the safety and risks of skin rejuvenation treatment. Both erbium and CO2 laser resurfacing are performed on an outpatient basis, using local anesthesia (pain relief at the site of the procedure) in combination with orally- or intravenously-administered sedative medications. Recovery time from the procedure isup to two weeks.
To enhance the effectiveness of skin rejuvenation treatments, gentle exfoliation using Microdermabrasion takes place between the skin rejuvenation treatments.
Many different types of scars can be treated with scar revision techniques to refine and improve their appearance. The result is a smoother, clearer and more youthful appearance to your skin. Your skin will have a bronze, suntanned look appearance that may last 3 to 14 days depending on treatment level. People who have dark complexions, such as those that are olive in appearance, are more likely than people with lighter complexions to develop hyper-pigmentation as a consequence of laser skin surgery.
Thermage, Fraxel Laser treatments, and Profractional Erbium Laser Skin Resurfacing can dramatically rejuvenate your skin and take years off your appearance. It is common for a plastic surgeon to perform laser skin resurfacing during another cosmetic procedure involving the facial skin, such as a facelift. The possible complications for laser skin resurfacing are relatively rare and usually not major. You will need to set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon in your area to discuss whether laser skin resurfacing is right for you.