Dr Kohout's Plastic Surgery Blog

How Laser Skin Resurfacing Works

Mark Kohout - Monday, April 07, 2014
shutterstock_177544718Laser skin resurfacing helps to renew the skin, making it appear brighter and more youthful. If your face has acne scarring, wrinkles, lines or blotching caused by sun exposure, laser skin resurfacing can help to restore your skin. Even smoking and simple facial expressions can contribute to wrinkles forming on the face, and through new laser technology these can now be removed. How does laser skin resurfacing work? Laser skin resurfacing has become the preferred method of rejuvenating the skin because it’s not only highly effective, but it’s also gentle. Using lasers means that skin can be removed layer by layer with precision, and even deeper wrinkles and scars can be targeted separately. As the treatment removes these skin layers, new skin cells form during the healing process. These new skill cells are tighter, giving a more youthful appearance. The procedure takes anywhere between 30-90 minutes. The time it takes will all depend on the areas that are to be resurfaced. Usually it can be performed as a day procedure, and you will be able to go home a few hours after the treatment has been done. What is laser resurfacing typically used to treat? Laser resurfacing is used to treat a range of things including wrinkles, crow’s feet, fine lines, freckles, Rhinophyma, acne or chicken pox scarring. It is also used to treat scarring due to an accident or injury, sun damage to the skin and/or lips and pigmentation caused by sun exposure or age. People with Bowen’s Disease also seek laser resurfacing for treatment. What to expect following treatment For a few weeks or so your skin will look grazed and scabs might form. You will be bandaged with a dressing or Vasaline will cover your face for a few days following your treatment. Your doctor will most likely advise that you wash your skin with a mild soap and apply diluted hydrogen peroxide or antibiotic ointment, which will remove the yellowish crust from forming on the areas which have been lasered. At first - once the crust falls off - your face will appear pinkish. This is normal, but will fade within a few months time. In most cases, people are able to return to work after 10-14 days, depending on the amount of area treated. After this time, it’s important that you follow all of the instructions as outlined by your doctor and wear moisturiser and sun block SPF 30+ for six months following treatment. Ensuring that you have the right sunblock is extremely important. As well as wearing sun protection, we advise that you also try to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun.
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