Laser Resurfacing: All You Need To Know About This Wonder Treatment

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laser resurfacing
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All women are a sucker for spotless, wrinkle free and glowing skin. Especially women in their late 30s and 40s aspire to have finer and younger looking skin. In that case, laser resurfacing may really come to your rescue.

In this article, we’ve listed down all the things that you need to know before you decide to opt for the treatment.

What is laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is a skin care procedure that involves the use of lasers to improve the texture and appearance of skin. It is used to treat minor facial imperfections by removing your skin layer by layer.

The two most common types of lasers are ablative and non ablative lasers. A dermatologist will recommend either one of them depending on your skin needs.  

Ablative lasers – They are composed of two components – carbon dioxide and erbium. CO2 laser resurfacing treatments are used to get rid of scars, warts, and deep wrinkles. Erbium is used for finer lines and wrinkles, along with other superficial skin concerns. Both types of ablative lasers remove outside layers of the skin.

Non ablative lasers – Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, don’t remove any skin layers. These include pulsed light, pulsed-dye lasers, and fractional lasers. Non-ablative lasers may be used for rosacea, spider veins, and acne-related skin concerns.

Who should opt for this treatment

You can opt for Laser skin resurfacing if you are suffering from one or more of the following skin problems 

laser resurfacing treatment

Laser resurfacing before and after

Laser skin resurfacing targets the outer layer of your skin while simultaneously heating the lower layers in the dermis. This will promote collagen production. Ideally, the new collagen fibers will help produce new skin that is smoother in texture and firmer to the touch.

The procedure involves the following steps:

  • Before laser skin resurfacing, your skin needs to be prepared. This involves a series of treatments done several weeks prior to the procedure. The purpose is to increase your skin’s tolerance to professional cosmetic treatments. It can also decrease your risk for possible side effects.
  • On the day of the procedure, your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic to the area being treated. This is used to reduce pain and make you feel comfortable during the procedure. If a large area of skin is being treated, your doctor may suggest a sedative or pain killers.
  • Next, the skin is cleansed to remove any excess oil, dirt, and bacteria.
  • Your doctor begins the treatment, using the selected laser. The laser is moved slowly around the designated area of the skin.
  • Finally, your doctor will dress the treatment area in wraps to help protect the skin at the end of the procedure.

After the treatment

After 24 hours, you will need to clean the treated areas four to five times a day and then apply an ointment such as a petroleum jelly to prevent the formation of scabs.

Like all other cosmetic treatments, laser resurfacing too has its own share of side effects. Some of the possible side effects include – burning, bumps, rashes, swelling, infection, hyperpigmentation, scars and redness.

But if you follow your doctor’s pre-care and post-care instructions carefully,  then you may greatly reduce the risk for these types of complications. Depending on your medical history, you may be prescribed precautionary antibiotic or antiviral medications. 

Laser resurfacing recovery time

Healing usually takes between 3 to 10 days. As a basic thumb rule, the bigger the treatment area and the deeper the laser;  the longer is the recovery time. Recovery from ablative laser treatment may even take up to three weeks.

During recovery, your skin may be extremely red and scabbed. Slight peeling will occur. You can use ice packs to reduce any swelling.

While you don’t need to be at home during the entire recovery process, you’ll want to avoid known areas of germs — such as the gym or public places  — that could increase your risk of infection. You should prevent going out as much as you can. 

Cleansing

You’ll have to adjust your daily skin care regimen accordingly. you’ll be required to clean the treated area two to five times per day. Instead of your usual cleanser, you’ll use a saline or vinegar-based solution recommended by your doctor.

You’ll also need to invest in  new dressings to ensure your skin stays clean.

A daily moisturizer can also help with the healing process, but be sure to approve this by your dermatologist first.

laser resurfacing treatment

Protection

Your skin may be sun sensitive for up to one year following each laser skin resurfacing procedure Wearing sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 can help reduce your risk for sunburn and sun damage.

You should apply sunscreen every morning even when it’s not sunny; to protect your skin. Make sure to reapply as needed throughout the day.

Benefits and Potential Risks 

Although laser resurfacing cannot produce perfect skin, it can improve the appearance of your skin. Potential risks of the procedure include:

  • Burns or other injuries from the laser’s heat, 
  • Scarring
  • Changes in the skin’s natural tone , including areas of darker or lighter skin
  •  cold sores
  • Bacterial infection

Laser resurfacing cost

Laser resurfacing is usually expensive and may burn in a hole in your pocket. The average cost for laser skin resurfacing ranges between rs 5000 to 30000 per session. However, costs vary widely depending on where the procedure is being done.

Because laser skin resurfacing is considered a cosmetic procedure, most medical insurance companies would not be willing to  cover it. There may be an exception if you get the procedure to modify scars or remove precancerous growths from your skin.

Talk with your dermatologist and your insurance company before the procedure about what the costs will be and what, if anything, insurance is  willing to pay for. Most doctors offer financing options too.