Laser resurfacing is done to renew the skin on the face, diminish wrinkles, and reduce the appearance of minor scars. It can also help reduce other signs of aging, including discoloration, age spots and sun damage. It can, and often is, performed in combination with other procedures, though it is easier and safer than a typical facelift. It is done through the use of a carbon dioxide laser or an erbium laser that that emits brief pulses of light to the skin. A carbon dioxide laser is usually used to resurface smaller areas, whereas an erbium laser is used for larger areas and is usually better for resurfacing areas affected by deep wrinkling. The skin laser removes the layer of skin that has accumulated dead cells and debris, known as the epidermis, and makes room for newer, fresher skin. This action stimulates the skin underneath to produce more collagen to heal the skin as a result of the laser procedure. This procedure is often seen as superior to other kinds of resurfacing techniques, such as dermabrasion and chemical peels, because side effects, such as bleeding or scarring, are less likely. It is also a more economical solution for wrinkle treatment than temporary solutions like Botox injections. This procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis in a doctor’s office, though it’s possible it may be performed in a hospital.
In order to prepare for this kind of skin resurfacing, it is necessary to take a few precautions. Before your skin laser surgery, it is possible that your doctor will require you to take an antibiotic. This is done to prevent an infection when the old layer of skin is taken off by the laser. You may also be prescribed a glycolic acid peel to use prior to your surgery, and you may need to wash your face with special medicated soap or possibly apply skin balm. Your doctor may also prescribe you an antiviral medication in the event you periodically experience cold sores, because this type of skin resurfacing can trigger an outbreak.
After your laser resurfacing procedure it is important that you take good care of your skin. When the procedure is over with, you will wear a dressing of gauze or some other material for 48 hours. After the dressing is removed you will need to wash your face a minimum of two times a day to prevent the skin from becoming infected, and protect it with sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 25 or greater. You may also need to apply a balm to your skin every day to keep the skin from scabbing. You will need to avoid using any products on your skin except those recommended by your doctor.
Overall, most patients will find laser skin resurfacing effective in treating wrinkles, scars and other minor skin flaws. Lighter-skinned patients tend to respond better to the procedure. It is not recommended for patients who have problems with acne, as the procedure can make that particular problem worse.
If you are interested in using laser skin resurfacing to remove wrinkles and other signs of aging, our friendly and knowledgeable staff at the American Institute for Plastic Surgery can provide you with a consultation and determine if it is right for you. Contact us today at (972)543-2477 or fill out our form to learn more about the treatment options available to you. Our clinic is conveniently located in Plano, TX to offer our services to the surrounding areas of Dallas.