What You Need to Know About Laser Skin Resurfacing

Most probably you have been already wondering about the ways to stop the aging process. Currently, there are numerous anti-aging products available on the market. However, specialists say they are not going to do anything more than empty your pocket. There are also proponents of anti-aging products claiming that some of these products actually have a positive effect and can assist in making your skin look refreshed.

Studies show that the market for anti-aging products is expected to reach $331 billion by the end of 2021. In addition to that, experts expect a compound annual growth rate of 5.7 percent. According to the survey, the vast majority of people state that these products are not more than just hype. On the other side, people can make use of cosmetic procedures as another option of anti-aging treatment. One of the most common and effective types of cosmetic procedures is laser skin resurfacing. Thus, the following sections of this article will depict the answers to the most commonly asked questions about this procedure.

What is laser skin resurfacing?

This is a type of skin procedure that is normally performed by a physician or dermatologist. Laser skin resurfacing typically involves lasers in order to assist in improving skin appearance and texture. Your doctor might also recommend you either non-ablative or ablative lasers. However, everything depends on your personal needs.

When it comes to ablative lasers, they contain carbon dioxide or Erbium. Carbon dioxide is also known as CO2 and is typically used to eliminate scars, deep wrinkles, and warts. On the other hand, erbium is utilized for finer wrinkles and lines in combination with other superficial skin problems. Outside layers of skin are removed by both types of ablative lasers.

Non-ablative lasers do not have the ability to remove any skin layers. These include pulsed-dye lasers, pulsed light, and fractional lasers. These types of lasers can be used for spider veins, rosacea, and acne-related skin issues.

Who is a great candidate for this procedure?

This procedure is typically used for age, sun or acne-related skin problems that cannot be treated with over-the-counter medications. To be more specific, laser skin resurfacing can be used if you encounter the following skin issues:

  1. Scars
  2. Age spots
  3. Acne scars
  4. Fine wrinkles and lines
  5. Uneven skin tone
  6. Warts
  7. Enlarged oil glands

Specialists say that the skin tone of a person determined whether this is the best type of cosmetic procedure for him/her. Patients with lighter skin are at a lower risk for hyperpigmentation, thus, they are great candidates for this laser skin resurfacing. However, according to ABCS, which stands for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgeons, it is a common misconception that laser skin resurfacing is only for light skin people. It is rather more important to work closely with a dermatologist who will be able to determine the type of lasers that will be suitable for darker skin tones.

However, doctors claim that this procedure is not applicable for people with excessive sagging skin and/or active acne breakouts. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgeons advises making use of this procedure during fall or winter in order to eliminate sun exposure, which can damage delicate skin.

What to expect from the procedure?

From a medical standpoint, laser skin resurfacing attacks the outside layer of the skin while targeting the lower layers in the dermis, which in turn, promotes collagen production. As a result, new collagen fibers will assist in the production of new skins, which is firmer to the touch and smoother in texture. Laser skin resurfacing works in the following way:

  1. Before the procedure itself, your skin gets prepared. The preparation phase involves a number of treatments that take place weeks before the procedure of laser skin resurfacing. The main goal is to improve skin’s tolerance to professional anti-aging treatment. Additionally, these preparation techniques decrease the risk of side effects as well.
  2. During the day of the procedure, a doctor will make use of topical anesthesia and apply it to the area, which is being treated. It is normally done for the purpose of reducing pain and making a patient more comfortable. Although, a specialist might decide to use pain killers if the area being treated is too large.
  3. The next step of laser skin resurfacing is cleaning the skin in order to remove any excess dirt, oil, and bacteria. The treatment typically starts with the selected laser, which is slowly moved around the designated area of skin.
  4. The final step is dressing the targeted area in wraps in order to help protect the skin at the end of the procedure.

What are the possible side effects?

Just like any other cosmetic procedure, laser skin resurfacing involves some degree of risk and potential side effects. These are as follows:

  1. Bumps
  2. Burning
  3. Rash
  4. Swelling
  5. Infection
  6. Hyperpigmentation
  7. Redness
  8. Scars

For the purpose of decreasing the risk of these types of side effects, you should strictly follow the pre-care and post-care instructions of your doctor. You might be also prescribed antiviral medication or precautionary antibiotics. However, it depends on your personal medical history. It is also worth mentioning that there are certain medications that can increase the risk of scars such as isotretinoin. Post-laser treatment can be affected by aspirin, which tends to increase the bleeding risk. Additionally, specialists recommend quitting smoking for at least two weeks before the procedure takes place. This is due to the fact that smoking increases the risk of laser skin resurfacing side effects.

How much does this procedure cost?

First of all, you have to be aware that laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure, which is not covered by medical insurance (if not performed for medical purposes). It is extremely difficult to state the exact cost of the procedure as it highly depends on the types of lasers used.

Although, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, non-ablative laser treatments could cost around $1,000 per session. On the other side, ablative treatments could cost approximately $2,000 per session. To make it clear, the final cost normally depends on the number of sessions needed, types of lasers used, as well as the size of the area being treated. In addition to that, highly experienced dermatologists tend to charge more per session. In the vast majority of cases, a patient requires multiple sessions of this procedure before achieving the desired outcomes.

What to expect from the recovery process?

You should keep in mind that laser skin resurfacing is not classified as a surgical procedure, meaning that you can leave the doctor’s office immediately after the procedure. However, recovery and downtime are still required in order to make sure that the skin heals properly. Aftercare allows reducing the risk of side effects and achieving the desired goals.

The healing process normally takes between 3 to 10 days. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the area being treated, the longer the recovery process. Doctors say that during the recovery stage, your skin might be extremely red and a slight peeling can occur. Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling. Although there is no need to stay at home during the whole recovery process, you will need to avoid places of germs such as a gym. These places can increase the risk of infections.

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