Laser Skin Resurfacing

eyeIn laser resurfacing, sometimes called “laser peel,” a carbon dioxide (CO2) or Erbium laser is used to remove areas of damaged or wrinkled skin, layer by layer. The high energy, amplified light waves of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser vaporize the top layer of skin instantly, with little or no bleeding and minimal trauma to the surrounding skin. The procedure is most commonly used to minimize the appearance of fine lines and resurface facial skin caused by excess sun exposure, aging, and acne. The treatment is ideal for areas around the eyes (crow’s feet) and vertical creases or “lipstick lines” around the mouth. However, it is also effective in treating facial scars or areas of uneven pigmentation. Laser resurfacing may be performed on the whole face or in specific regions. Laser resurfacing can help enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t completely remove all facial flaws, as such, the procedure is often done in conjunction with another cosmetic operation, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery. The final result from laser resurfacing may take several months to fully appear. However, once the pinkness fades, patients usually notice a significant improvement in the quality of their skin and a fresher, smoother appearance.

PARS Institute employs Pulse Erbium Laser and Scanned Carbon Dioxide Laser modalities for skin resurfacing. The right option for your needs depends on your skin type and will be discussed during your initial consultation.

The Procedure

Laser resurfacing is a relatively quick procedure. It usually takes anywhere from a few minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how large of an area is involved. During the procedure the outer layers of damaged skin are stripped away. Then, as new cells form during the healing process, a smoother, tighter, younger-looking skin surface appears. When the imperfections are especially deep, we may recommend that the resurfacing be performed in two or more stages. Laser resurfacing is most commonly performed under local anesthesia with sedation, especially when it’s used to treat localized areas of the face. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. For more extensive resurfacing, general anesthesia will be used, in which case you’ll sleep through the procedure.

After The Surgery

You are likely to experience some mild swelling and discomfort after laser resurfacing. However, this can be controlled with ice packs and medications. If a bandage was applied after your procedure, it may be replaced with a fresh one after a day or two. After about a week or so, your bandage will be removed and a thin layer of ointment may be applied to the skin. After about two weeks or so, most patients can safely apply makeup to conceal this temporary color change. During this phase of healing, it is very important that you not pick the crusts off the treated area or scarring may result. Most patients are free of crusts by about 10 days post-operatively. Redness may persist for several weeks; however, some pinkness may remain for up to six months.