What is Laser Resurfacing?

Patients sometimes come in to us asking for ways to improve their overall skin appearance.

And so, we like to discuss ways to address that, and one of the most effective ways to manage that type of problem is to use resurfacing lasers, specifically carbon dioxide lasers or erbium lasers. And the interesting thing about lasers, or resurfacing lasers, is we’ve come a long way in terms of the technology, and how to use these layers to achieve a superior cosmetic outcome.

In the past we used to use full face carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, which had tremendous benefits in terms of skin tightening, reducing wrinkles, but it was very high risk and had a lot of complications. Technology’s evolved now to include fractionating this carbon dioxide laser.

What that means is actually you are able to provide a much smaller percentage of the laser over the skin and achieve superior cosmetic outcomes with much reduced risk, because you are leaving a lot of the skin in between the areas that you’re treating with the carbon dioxide laser untouched, which serves as a reservoir for stem cells and healing. So you have much shorter down time, much faster recovery, but still very superior cosmetic outcomes and improvements in, not only wrinkles, and sagging skin, and fine lines, but also in broken blood vessels, capillaries, brown spots, skin tone and texture. There’s great improvements there.

When you come in for a resurfacing laser procedure, the procedure itself takes probably about an hour to do. There is some anesthesia that’s required prior to the procedure to make the patient comfortable, but the procedure itself probably takes about an hour. The recovery time can be variable from 3 days to 10 days, depending on how aggressive you are with the fractionated resurfacing. You can be very light, or you can be very aggressive. And the lasers these days are very good at dialing in the exact degree of aggressiveness that you’re looking for, and that the patient’s looking for.

What patients can experience after a resurfacing procedure is redness, swelling, some discomfort which is easily managed. But they’ll see their skin start to dry and peel, and be somewhat red and pink for a few days. But this generally resolves very quickly with proper wound care, which we’re very vigilant about providing to our patients.