Laser resurfacing is a laser treatment that aims to remove wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as acne scars, skin tone imperfections and other skin conditions. Laser resurfacing uses focused laser beams to target the dermis and the epidermis of your skin, which are the two uppermost layers of our skin. Skin resurfacing aims to boost the growth and formation of new collagen, which will encourage the skin to iron out impurities such as wrinkles, skin tone, and much more.
The two main types of laser resurfacing include:
- Ablative laser skin resurfacing
- Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing
Both can be effective, although they are slightly different. Ablative is somewhat more aggressive and produces faster results. But this leads to a longer downtime. Non-ablative is less aggressive and will require you to have several treatments monthly. Both aim to improve your skin and rejuvenate it, making you appear younger and refreshed. Laser resurfacing improves your skin and protects it from sun damage, scarring, wrinkles, ageing, and irregularities.
Non-Ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing
Non-ablative face laser resurfacing is a slightly less aggressive lasering face procedure. With this treatment, you will also experience significant effects, just not as quick. It’s somewhat different from erbium laser resurfacing – it goes even deeper, as it affects the dermis and encourages collagen growth. This is a critical component in promoting the skin to form new growth cells, making a face appear younger and rejuvenated.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing will require you have the resurfacing treatments several times. It may take several weeks or even months of procedures with non-ablative lasers for your face to start seeing more significant results. This type of treatment also offers a completely safe skin resurfacing solution to treat pigment imperfections, sun damage, age spots, and other blemishes or defects on your skin.
Ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing
With ablative laser resurfacing, the results tend to be slightly faster and more effective than with the non-ablative treatment. That’s because ablative laser resurfacing targets the epidermis, which is the upper-most layer of the skin. This facial laser treatment encourages the growth of new collagen in the epidermis, making your skin appear younger, smoother, and free of acne scars, pigmentation issues, and more.
The recovery time of ablative laser skin resurfacing can be anywhere between a week and three weeks. You can expect some downtime with this treatment, but you will also see faster and better results. This laser on face treatment might cause some side effects, which tend to be minor. Typically, you can expect to undergo this procedure under anaesthetic, which makes the treatment more comfortable.
In the days following the treatment, you can expect to see some redness in the treatment area. However, this will go away with time, and the skin will start peeling off. This means that the skin is regenerating and re-growing which is a good sign. Ablative treatments include CO2 laser treatment and erbium laser treatment. Both can be effective, and the doctor will decide the right treatment for you.
Ablative treatment is the most commonly selected form of laser resurfacing. The erbium laser resurfacing, or CO2 laser resurfacing, is just as effective as cosmetic surgery, and you will still look natural and yourself. Carbon dioxide is sometimes used, as well as erbium laser treatments. Erbium laser procedure will usually go deeper than carbon dioxide procedure and will cause fewer side effects. The doctor will decide based on your requirements whether to use the erbium laser procedure or carbon dioxide.
Who is Laser Resurfacing For?
Lasers for face resurfacing is for anyone who is experiencing skin problems and abnormalities. These treatments have shown promising results with a wide variety of skin irregularities, such as:
- Acne scars and other scars on the skin;
- Age spots and wrinkles from ageing;
- Dropping eyelids, sagging skin;
- Sun-damaged skin;
- Wrinkles and fine lines.
People of all ages continuously undertake both erbium laser resurfacing and CO2 resurfacing, as well as non-ablative therapies, and experience significant results in little to no time. In essence, there are no limitations as to who can undergo the procedure – older people and young people continuously use the treatment. Also, the dermatologist will review your medical situation and record to establish whether you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure.
People with a history of skin problems, such as melasma, should not undergo the procedure, and those with a very dark skin type are probably not the best candidates for this type of treatment. You will also receive a complete check-up that will determine whether you are a suitable patient or not for laser resurfacing.
Safe and Reliable Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing has been tried and tested on millions of people worldwide. For the vast majority of patients, laser resurfacing has shown very promising and encouraging results, even after just one procedure. With these treatments, most people will be back to normal in a matter of days, however, for a few, it may take slightly longer to bounce back after the procedure.
After the procedure (usually just a few days), you will start seeing some noticeable changes in your skin. It should begin to feel smoother and rejuvenated already. The results are most likely to be progressive, so you might have to undergo several procedures to see long-term tangible results. After 3-4 months of treatments, you will start seeing major results and skin changes. With the ablative treatment, the results are even faster.
Are There Side Effects?
For relatively small operations with laser resurfacing, a topical anaesthetic may be used to numb the pain and ease the procedure. For more extensive procedures, we may use a general anaesthetic, the decision on the use of a general anaesthetic will always be yours to make. Some people have reported minor discomfort during the treatment, but if an anaesthetic is used you should be able to go through the procedure relatively painlessly.
After the procedure, you can expect redness, swelling, and some numbness. But that will only last a few days; after which, your skin might start to peel off, this is entirely normal and is an encouraging sign that your skin is healing. You may be encouraged to use different conditioners that are gentle for the skin, and which will ease any pain and enable better skin recovery.
In rare cases, patients report that they experience more significant pain, which might be caused by an infection. In that case, you may be prescribed antibiotics.
What Results Can I Expect?
Laser resurfacing offers promising and encouraging results for patients who undergo the procedure regularly. It is typical to start seeing results straight after the treatment, although the results at this stage tend not to be as significant as after a few months. You can expect your skin to look and feel younger, rejuvenated, smoother, and without wrinkles and scars.
The best results come after long-term treatments, and these results are also more effective in the long run. After you undergo treatment for 3-4 months, you will start to see noticeable, tangible, and dramatic effects – especially with non-ablative treatment. With ablative treatment, you can expect to see significant results even faster. This is all achieved safely, and without the need for substantial transformations – you remain your natural self!
Skin resurfacing has proven positive effects for your skin, whether you’re suffering from ageing and age spots, skin impurities, imperfections, acne scars, surgery scars, freckles, and other skin conditions.