About Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that uses pulsating beams of light to exfoliate damaged surface skin one layer at a time. The treatment is great for correcting facial lines and wrinkles and for improving skin blemishes like acne scars, pigmentation, and more. Also called a laser peel, laser skin resurfacing is a great facial treatment for patients desiring a softer, clearer, and younger-looking complexion.
Depending on the condition of the complexion, the laser will be adjusted accordingly. There is some downtime needed with most laser skin resurfacing procedures. Any concerns or questions can be discussed with Scottsdale, AZ plastic surgeon Dr. James Nachbar during the consultation.
Types of Laser Treatments
There are several types of laser skin treatments that can be performed. Dr. Nachbar primarily performs the most intensive type, an ablative laser treatment, for those with more skin changes to correct. This type of treatment requires skin preparation for several weeks, and is performed under general anesthesia. The laser is used to carefully remove the outer layer of skin, leaving the deeper layer from which the new and firmer skin will develop.
This procedure does require some downtime, with a red and weeping appearance of the skin for the first week or so, and generally the early epithelial coverage is complete by about ten days after the procedure.
While non-ablative laser treatments, non-laser "Intense Pulsed Light" ("IPL") (also called "broadband light" or "BBL"), and "fractional" laser treatments are available, they do not have the same effect as the more intensive ablative laser, and generally do not require a plastic surgeon to perform. Those less-effective but gentler treatments are available in many MedSpas.
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Laser skin resurfacing is ideal for the patient with skin changes and fine lines that need to be corrected and improved. It works better on patients with lighter skin tones; darker skin carries a greater risk of pigment abnormalities, including lightening, darkening, or both.
Laser skin resurfacing also helps smooth the skin, which may be very helpful for those with acne scars. Typically, about 30-40% improvement in acne scarring is seen, and ideally a second treatment will be planned about six months after the first.
Also, because there is some downtime required, patients should have about two to three weeks during which they do not need to go out in public (although I have often seen women in Scottsdale who appear to have had a recent laser skin resurfacing!)
For two to four months prior to the procedure, an intensive skin preparation program, including retinoid and hydroquinone, is used.
The actual procedure is done under general anesthesia. Once you are asleep, the eyes are protected with metal laser shield "contact lenses." The laser is then used to remove the outer layer of the skin. Usually, several passes of the laser are required, with removal of the tissue between them.
Once the laser treatment is complete, the skin is treated with lubricating ointment, and a special dressing is applied.
For the next week or so, the skin will be moist and weeping, as the new skin develops from the deeper layers of the skin. During this time, you must be careful to keep the skin well moisturized for optimum results.
What to Expect
After the first ten days or so, the outer layer of skin will have regenerated, and will be smoother. Additional healing, thickening, and smoothing will occur over the subsequent weeks and even months.
All patients should reduce their sun exposure after their treatment and apply sun protection frequently.
Plan Your Procedure
A Softer, Clearer Complexion
A laser skin resurfacing peel provides excellent results if you want a younger-looking complexion. If you are thinking about a laser resurfacing treatment and would like to learn more about laser and other treatments Dr. Nachbar offers at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery, we invite you to call our office in Scottsdale, AZ today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Nachbar.