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Today you have a variety of options when it comes to rejuvenating your appearance. One of the newest is Laser Skin Resurfacing, which can reduce facial wrinkles, scars and blemishes. Newer laser technologies give Spa Greystone's Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama Certified Laser Technicians a new level of control in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision even in delicate areas.
Laser Skin Resurfacing is also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization or lasabrasion. The laser is used to send short, concentrated, pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This removes unwanted, damaged skin in a very precise manner one layer at a time. This targeted approach means fewer problems with hypopigmentation, or a lightening of skin for procedures such as laser acne scar removal.
The laser beam used in laser resurfacing removes the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis, while simultaneously heating the underlying skin, called the dermis. This action works to stimulate the growth of new collagen fibers. As the treated area heals, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer.
Laser resurfacing can improve minor facial flaws, such as:
Laser resurfacing may not be the best choice if you have:
Patients with darker skin tones have a greater risk of healing with darker pigmentation (hyperpigmentation). This may be minimized by use of a bleaching agent after the procedure.
For best results, you may be started on a series of skin treatments to prepare your skin for the laser. These treatments often begin 6 weeks or more prior to your scheduled procedure. Skin treatments are customized for your skin type to minimize complications and get the best results.
Cosmetic laser resurfacing is usually done on an outpatient basis and takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours. After Laser Skin Resurfacing is completed, a specialized dressing is applied to protect the treated tissues. Further dressing changes or specialized topical treatments may be needed to enhance healing.
Laser resurfacing can be painful. Your skin may be numbed with local anesthetics and you may receive a sedative to help you relax. If you are opting for extensive resurfacing, or are having other cosmetic procedures performed simultaneously, you may receive a general anesthetic. Afterwards, painkillers will be provided to keep you comfortable. In preparation, your face will be thoroughly cleaned and you may be given eye protection.
Laser resurfacing with the Ebrium Laser works to vaporize superficial, damaged skin cells. This type of laser wrinkle removal is typically used to remove superficial and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on your face, but can also be used on your neck, chest or hands.
After laser resurfacing is completed, a specialized dressing will be applied to protect the treated tissues. Further dressing changes or specialized topical treatments may be needed to enhance healing.
Skin treated with Laser Skin Resurfacing may react in different ways, but most times it feels like a mild sunburn. You will have some redness, swelling and may experience itching or stinging for a few days after the procedure.
Depending on the treatment, some people may have what looks like a severe sunburn. The skin will be raw, oozing and may even blister. A yellow liquid may ooze from treated areas to form a crust. Do not scratch or pick at crusts because this can cause scarring.
To achieve an optimum look, follow these steps as part of your recovery:
Your skin will usually become dry and peel about 5 days to a week after laser resurfacing. Afterward, the new, rejuvenated skin will be pink but gradually lighten over 2 to 3 months. It may take up to a year for the pinkness to go away. It is very important to protect your skin during this time of healing. Redness tends to last longer in blondes and redheads.
You may resume application of Retin-A and/or glycolic acid products around 6 weeks after Laser Skin Resurfacing or as directed.
Complications of laser resurfacing can include:
Tips for an easier recovery:
Recovery times will vary depending on your treatment. The recovery for Erbium Laser Resurfacing is usually a full week.
Once your treated areas have healed, makeup may used to camouflage the pink or red skin. Try a green-based makeup to neutralize the red color. Be sure to opt for an oil-free makeup.
It's possible that your skin may stay red or pink for up to several months after Laser Skin Resurfacing. You may also be extra sensitive to sunlight for up to a year. Minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen liberally each day.
Some people who have laser resurfacing may see an immediate difference in the treated skin. That will continue to improve for up to a year. While the effects of laser resurfacing can last for many years, the normal aging process means that wrinkles and expression lines will reoccur. You may repeat laser resurfacing as necessary.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons