Skin Conditions

Laser Resurfacing: Learn About the Types, Conditions, and Pictures

Picture of Laser resurfacing
Written by David

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a treatment to reduce facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes or acne scars.

The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin, precisely removing skin layer by layer. This popular procedure is also called lasabrasion, laser peel, or laser vaporization.

Laser resurfacing can be done with two types of lasers:

  • A wounding (ablative) laser, which removes thin layers of skin
  • A nonwounding (nonablative) laser, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin

Although nonablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less recovery time, it’s less effective than is ablative laser resurfacing.

Laser resurfacing can decrease the appearance of facial fine lines. Laser resurfacing can also treat loss of skin tone and improve your complexion if you have scars or sun damage. Laser resurfacing does have limitations, however. Understanding the specific techniques, risks and possible results can help you decide if laser resurfacing is right for you.

Good Candidate For Laser Resurfacing?

For some patients, the laser skin resurfacing procedure does an excellent job of diminishing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, scars, and irregular skin pigmentation. However, patients with certain skin types, skin tones, and medical conditions may suffer an increased risk of developing unpleasant side effects. Laser skin resurfacing may, in fact, worsen such a patient’s facial appearance. Consult a dermatologist to discover if you are a good candidate for the treatment.

What are the potential complications of laser resurfacing?

  • Swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Itching
  • Scarring
  • Pigmentation issues
  • Infection
  • Bumps due to obstruction of sweat glands

Complications of Laser Skin Resurfacing

Although skin resurfacing cannot produce perfect skin, it can improve the appearance of your skin. Potential risks of the procedure include:

  • Burns or other injuries from the laser’s heat
  • Scarring
  • Changes in the skin’s pigmentation, including areas of darker or lighter skin
  • Reactivating herpes, cold sores
  • Bacterial infection

Milia, which are small white bumps, may appear in the laser-treated areas during healing. Your doctor can treat those.

Laser resurfacing can be used to treat:

  • Wrinkles
  • Liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines)
  • Uneven skin tone or texture
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Scars caused by acne, chickenpox or injuries

Laser resurfacing can’t eliminate excessive or sagging skin (jowls).

Pictures of Before and After  Laser Skin Resurfacing

Most recently, however, the popularity of laser resurfacing has declined, probably because of a desire to avoid its complications. Check out the gallery of Laser Skin Resurfacing and view the before and after photos to see what can be expected during and after Laser Skin Resurfacing. Before and After images of breasts treated with fractional laser resurfacing; the striae (the clinincal term for stretch marks) were noticeably reduced following the procedure.

About the author

David

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