Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Work?

Laser skin resurfacing charlotte nc is a procedure which uses a laser to improve the appearance of the skin. The following types of lasers can be used for the resurfacing:

  1. Ablative laser: This type of laser is a wounding mechanism that removes the epidermis, the thin outer layer of the skin. The laser then heats the dermis, the underlying skin, which results in the stimulation of new collagen fibers. As the epidermis heals and regrows, the area which was treated appears tighter and smoother. The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the erbium laser and combination systems are all different types of ablative last treatments.
  2. Nonablative laser: This is a non-wounding type of laser which stimulates the growth of collagen. Over time, this aids in improving the tone and texture of the skin. This treatment can be performed with various types of lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices. Nonablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less down time compared to ablative laser resurfacing. In addition, it is also considered to be less effective.

Both of the above methods can be delivered with the use of a fractional laser. This type of laser leaves microscopic columns of untreated tissue throughout the treated area. Fractional lasers were developed to reduce the recovery time and minimize the risk of side effects.

Laser resurfacing can be used to minimize the appearance of fine facial lines. It can also treat dull skin tone and improve the complexion when scars or sun damage is present. Laser resurfacing is not an effective treatment option for eliminating excessive or sagging skin.

Laser resurfacing can be used to treat the following skin imperfections:

  • Age spots
  • Fine wrinkles
  • Mild and moderate acne scars
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Uneven skin tone or texture

The most common side effects associated with ablative laser resurfacing includes:

  • Acne – Continuously applying thick creams and bandages to the face following treatment can make acne worse or cause the temporary development of milia, tiny white bumps, on the treated area
  • Changes in skin color – Ablative laser resurfacing can cause the treated skin to become darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) than it was prior to the treatment. This change in color typically appears a few weeks after laser resurfacing.
  • Permanent changes in the skin are more common in people with darker skin complexions.
  • Ectropion (turning of the eyelid) – While it is rare, when ablative laser resurfacing is completed near the lower eyelid, it can cause the eyelid to turn out and expose the inner surface
  • Infection – Ablative laser resurfacing can cause a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. A common infection patients experience is a flare-up of the herpes virus which causes cold sores.
  • Redness, itching and swelling – Following the treatment, skin can be red, itchy, and swollen. Redness can last up to a few months. Skin conditions which previously existed, such as rosacea, can also contribute to the increased redness.
  • Scarring – There is a low risk of permanent scarring from ablative laser resurfacing

Nonablative laser resurfacing can cause the following side effects:

  • Infection: Nonablative laser resurfacing can cause a herpes virus flare-up which often results in cold sores on or around the lips
  • Mild swelling and redness: In most cases, swelling or redness only lasts for a few hours or days
  • Skin color changes: Nonablative laser resurfacing can cause the treated skin to have hyperpigmentation which results in the skin being temporarily darker than it was prior to treatment

Not all patients are good candidates for laser resurfacing. If you meet any of following conditions, your doctor may advise that laser resurfacing is not a good solution:

  • Darker skin tone
  • Have an autoimmune disease or a weakened immune system
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Prone to cold sores or had a recent outbreak of the herpes virus or cold sores
  • Radiation therapy on the face
  • Take acne medication isotretinoin (Claravis, Myorisan, Zenatane) within the last year
  • Tend to form scars

More on Laser Skin Resurfacing : Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery Time