Laser Facial Resurfacing Guide
Do you want to look younger, but aren’t keen on surgery? Then laser facial resurfacing may be for you. This cosmetic procedure isn’t invasive like surgery but still offers incredible results. With just a few treatments, you can turn back the clock.
But what exactly does laser skin resurfacing entail, and are you a prime candidate? To help you decide if this procedure is right for you, we’ve curated and answered a few frequently asked questions.
What Is Laser Facial Resurfacing?
Laser facial resurfacing is a cosmetic skin treatment that addresses several concerns:
- Fine lines
- Broken blood vessels
So how does a laser, which is essentially light, accomplish all this? For one, lasers can produce heat, which stimulates collagen production. Collagen is naturally created by our bodies and is responsible for skin elasticity; the more collagen you produce, the more your body can repair skin and keep you looking younger.
Lasers are also capable of removing skin layers; these are called ablative lasers, while those that don’t remove skin are called non-ablative. Ablative lasers are used to remove the epidermis, exposing the newer, healthier cells underneath. This process also stimulates collagen production as your skin heals its top layer.
In addition to ablative and non-ablative lasers, there are several types that accomplish different things:
- Intense Pulsed Light: Also called IPL, this type of treatment can help with hyperpigmentation, acne, rosacea, and sun damage. It’s not technically a laser, but it is used like one.
- Fractional: These lasers treat blemishes and age-related discoloration. Downtime tends to be shorter for this treatment due to the dispersed nature of the laser.
- Pulse-Dye: This type of laser can treat broken capillaries, redness, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation by generating heat.
- Erbium: This laser helps with age spots, wrinkles, skin laxity, and fine lines through collagen remodeling.
- CO2: These lasers treat deep skin flaws such as wrinkles, scars, and warts.
Which lasers are used during your procedure will be decided by you and the specialist based on your specific needs.
Who Could Benefit From Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Anyone looking to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, discoloration, sun damage, and other aging signs can benefit from this treatment. This includes individuals with darker skin tones; the variety of laser types means that professionals can choose one with the lowest risk of cell damage to ensure that patients of all skin colors can benefit from this amazing procedure.
What Should You Tell Your Provider When Discussing Laser Resurfacing?
Like any medical procedure, you should discuss it with your provider beforehand. Certain conditions may make you ineligible for this particular treatment or require more extended downtime, so make sure you give a full account of your medical history. Based on this, your provider may choose a different laser type or suggest an alternative procedure.
Go over your medication list with your provider, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. Many common medications can have a significant impact on treatment results; for example, aspirin increases bleeding risks. You’ll also want to discuss oral and topical acne treatments, as some of these make the skin more sensitive.
Laser facial resurfacing can do wonders for specific skin conditions, such as rosacea. However, it’s essential to discuss precisely what conditions you experience to ensure the right lasers are chosen for your particular issue. Otherwise, you may not see the results you hope for.
Certain medical conditions can put you at higher risk for complications. For example, diabetes may result in poor circulation, which can lead to infection. Make sure you discuss all medical conditions with your provider, even those currently under control. This will inform the laser treatment professional in how to proceed.
What Can You Expect From the Process?
Laser skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, which means there’s no hospital stay required — you can go right home to relax and recuperate. However, there is a bit of downtime, so it’s not recommended that you schedule it for your lunch break. You also don’t want to schedule it right before an important event or a vacation, even if you’re staying within Texas.
Does It Hurt?
What you feel during the procedure depends on the type of laser being used. Ablative lasers may be accompanied by slight pain due to the removal of skin cells, which is why providers generally numb the area before treatment. Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, shouldn’t be painful, though you may feel heat where they’re applied.
How Long Does It Take?
A full facial treatment can take up to two hours, though you can shorten the time by only treating problem areas. “Spot treatments” take 30 to 45 minutes.
It’s important to note that most patients need multiple treatments to achieve the results they’re looking for. While one treatment can reduce blemishes’ appearance, you likely won’t see a significant difference until you’ve done three or four appointments.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Laser Skin Resurfacing?
The amount of recovery time you’ll need depends on your skin and how extensive your treatment was. More sensitive skin may require up to three weeks to fully heal, while normal skin usually only takes a week. Your face may be a little tender immediately after the procedure, but that discomfort should fade in a few days.
What Will You Look Like Immediately After?
Your skin will likely be red, and there may be swelling immediately after the treatment. You can alleviate both of these symptoms with a cold compress. There may also be some scabbing, which is entirely natural and will go away as your skin heals. Your skin may also be a little sensitive, so be gentle with your skincare routine and limit your exposure to the intense Texas sun.
How Long Do the Effects Last?
One of the best things about laser facial resurfacing is that you should see significant improvement for up to one year after treatment. This is due to collagen production, which will continue for a short time after the procedure. From that point, the effects can last for several years, though eventually, you’ll see new wrinkles and discoloration from healthy aging.
What Are the Side Effects of Laser Treatment on Face?
Side effects can vary from patient to patient. Talk to your specialist at Daireds to learn more.
Is Laser Skin Resurfacing Worth It?
Like any cosmetic procedure, whether laser skin resurfacing is worth it is up to the patient. It’s certainly less expensive than more invasive treatments and has relatively little downtime. If you want to look younger, but don’t want an in-patient procedure, laser facial resurfacing may be the right option.
Want to learn more about this state-of-the-art treatment? The specialists at Daireds are happy to help. Just give us a call at (817) 465-9797 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at our Texas-based spa today. With only a few quick treatments, you can look and feel your best.
Featured Image: dimid_86 / Getty Images