Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is used to rejuvenate aging skin and battle cumulative photodamage or sun exposure that can leave patients with wrinkles and blotchy pigmentation. In determining whether laser skin resurfacing is an appropriate treatment for your needs, Dr. Scott Shadfar, our facial plastic surgeon, evaluates each patient based on their sun exposure history, skin type, and degree of skin damage. He tailors treatment for each individual patient to minimize the risks while accomplishing an effective result.

While the procedure is personalized to address each patient’s unique needs, laser skin resurfacing may not be ideal for some patients, including those who have a darker skin tone. If Dr. Shadfar determines in a consultation that you may not benefit from laser treatment, he may be able to offer other surgical and non-surgical options that can rejuvenate the skin. Chemical peels are available in multiple depths, depending on the extent of your concerns, and are generally deemed appropriate for many skin tones. Moreover, a facelift can be an exceptional procedure to treat loose or sagging skin and produce a smoother facial appearance.  

The Technique

There are various laser technologies available. Depending on the area treated and depth of resurfacing, most procedures can be performed in the office with the aid of topical anesthetic creams. For patients with more pronounced skin damage and wrinkling, a deeper sedation or general anesthetic will be required. Laser skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure.

Dr. Shadfar and his team use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), which is a state-of-the-art technique developed by Lumenis® – a leading manufacturer of minimally invasive aesthetic technologies. The Universal IPL treatment can be customized to improve the appearance of over 20 skin issues and concerns, including vascular lesions, unwanted hair, hyperpigmentation, and active acne.

Depending on the specific condition being addressed, Dr. Shadfar can seamlessly adjust the settings of the IPL device to deliver precise treatment and optimal results.

The Recovery

The amount of downtime associated with laser skin resurfacing will depend on the depth of treatment. More superficial or mild laser resurfacing patients typically have minimal downtime. Medium depth laser resurfacing patients can expect 5-7 days of recovery, while deep laser treatment patients will have 8-12 days of downtime. The morning after the deep laser treatments, Dr. Shadfar will see the patient in clinic and check all treated areas. Dependent on the depth of treatment, the patient may experience tightness to the face, skin discomfort similar to a sunburn, and facial swelling. To optimize the results, individuals should use cool compresses, keep the head elevated, and continue with local wound care measures until the skin has completely healed. We ask patients traveling from out of town to stay for routine checks during this time period.

Frequently Asked Questions (faq)

Which Areas Can Be Treated By Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Laser technology can be used to target a number of different body regions with unparalleled precision. Laser skin resurfacing can be utilized to aesthetically improve virtually any dermal area with exposure to sun damage, hyperpigmentation, acne, or other applicable cosmetic concerns. The most commonly treated areas include the face, hands, chest, and neck.

What Can Laser Skin Resurfacing Do For Me?

The results yielded by laser skin resurfacing depend on each patient’s unique needs and skin tissue anatomy; however, the treatment can generally reverse and soften visible sun damage, lighten the appearance of pigmented lesions and acne scars, and improve certain aesthetic skin irregularities.

Treatment from the targeted laser technology can also encourage skin cell turnover, thereby stimulating natural collagen production using minimally-invasive techniques. By catalyzing the growth of collagen, laser skin resurfacing can provide adjunctive benefits for skin elasticity and an overall younger-looking complexion.

Can Laser Skin Resurfacing Be Combined With Other Treatments?

Laser skin resurfacing is generally a very versatile treatment that can be combined with others to provide more comprehensive rejuvenation. When addressing the face, pairing the procedure with surgical options designed to improve skin laxity and restore lost volume, such as a facelift, can optimize the results of an individual’s facial enhancement.

Does The Procedure Hurt?

Patients generally report minimal discomfort during laser skin resurfacing, if any. Depending on the depth of your treatment and the nature of your skin concern or condition, sedation or anesthesia may be utilized. For many patients, only a topical anesthetic designed to numb the treated area is required. In cases that necessitate a larger degree of resurfacing, Dr. Shadfar may employ nerve blocks or even general anesthesia to provide the highest level of patient comfort possible.

How Does Intense Pulsed Light (ipl) Improve The Look Of My Skin?

The intense pulsed light emitted can utilize different wavelengths to non-invasively penetrate skin tissue, reaching the biological elements within the dermis that may be causing a specific skin issue or condition. The treatment emits a range of wavelengths, which can be optimized for different applications and skin types for versatile skin rejuvenation.

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