How Long Is Recovery After Laser Skin Resurfacing?

young woman

Following laser skin resurfacing, the length of any necessary recovery time will be dependent upon the depth of treatment. Generally speaking, when the procedure is administered to target superficial tissue layers, patients experience minimal downtime and are able to return to their daily routines relatively quickly, most often the next day. In contrast, individuals whose resurfacing treatment reached medium depths can typically expect approximately five to seven days of “downtime,” and those who received deep laser treatment usually require about eight to twelve days of recovery before resuming normal schedules and activities in public.

During the recovery period, it is common for patients to experience some degree of skin irritation (similar to that of a sunburn), skin tightness, and facial swelling. While these side effects may happen to anyone, they tend to be more common among individuals who underwent deeper skin resurfacing. Keeping the head elevated, using cool compresses, and closely following post-treatment instructions can help to ensure these symptoms resolve as soon as possible.

Ultimately, every patient heals differently, so the recovery timeframe and side effects associated with treatment may vary. If you are interested in laser skin resurfacing, I encourage you to seek the expertise of a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in this advanced cosmetic technique. After reviewing your unique needs and goals, he or she should be able to provide a close estimate of how long recovery will be based on the specific laser technology and necessary depth of treatment.

Scott Shadfar, MD