From our diet and lifestyle choices to family genetics and the natural process of aging, numerous factors both in and out of our control can affect the appearance of our skin—and not always in ways we desire. Fortunately, when wrinkles, sun damage, texture irregularities, and/or other perceived skin imperfections manifest, there are many solutions available to help restore a refreshed, rejuvenated aesthetic. One such option that has proved to be an exceptional treatment for a variety of skin concerns is laser skin resurfacing.
- What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Benefits
- Laser Resurfacing Procedure
- Laser Resurfacing Recovery
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Results
- Cost of Laser Resurfacing
- Frequency of Laser Resurfacing
- Laser Skin Resurfacing Safety
- Makeup After Laser Resurfacing
What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing—often shortened to “laser resurfacing”—is an advanced cosmetic treatment designed to address various aesthetic issues and improve the overall appearance of the skin via non-surgical laser energy. The technique works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process, effectively spurring the production of new collagen and healthy tissue to rejuvenate the skin from within.
What Can Laser Skin Resurfacing Treat?
At Cytryn Cosmetic Surgery, our experienced oculoplastic surgeon—Albert Cytryn, MD—performs laser resurfacing using a state-of-the-art erbium:YAG laser. Depending on your unique needs and goals, this skin resurfacing method can help treat the following concerns:
- Mild to moderate lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage and age spots
- Scarring (including acne scars)
- Hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone
- Skin texture irregularities
- Superficial vascular lesions
The erbium:YAG laser can be used on most skin types, making it an excellent option for a broad range of patients. In fact, unlike some laser resurfacing treatments, it is particularly effective on darker skin tones due to the reduced likelihood of hypopigmentation (skin lightening) occurring after treatment.
How Is the Laser Resurfacing Procedure Performed?
As a non-surgical procedure, Dr. Cytryn performs laser skin resurfacing on an out-patient basis. To begin treatment, a topical numbing agent is typically applied to the surface of the skin in the targeted area(s). In some instances, a mild sedative and/or local anesthetic may also be administered to further improve comfort during the procedure.
Once the skin is sufficiently desensitized and you are completely relaxed and comfortable, Dr. Cytryn will adjust the erbium:YAG laser to the proper wavelength and tissue depth based on the concern(s) being addressed, and laser energy will be directed into the targeted region(s). Upon delivery, the controlled laser energy works to heat a precise portion of tissue within the treatment area(s), kick-starting the natural generation of collagen, elastin, and healthy skin cells that will eventually move to the surface of the skin to take the place of older and/or damaged tissue. Due to the ultra-precise control of the erbium:YAG laser, healthy tissue surrounding the targeted region(s) is able to remain unharmed, which can result in faster healing in comparison to other resurfacing methods.
On average, laser resurfacing with the erbium:YAG laser takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on the specific skin concern(s) and size of the treatment area(s). Immediately following the procedure, Dr. Cytryn will usually apply a topical ointment to help soothe the skin and keep it hydrated while facilitating the initial stages of healing.
What Is Recovery from Laser Resurfacing Like?
Dr. Cytryn recommends most patients reserve five to seven days for recovery following laser skin resurfacing with the erbium:YAG laser, after which time the skin has usually healed well enough to return to work and other daily activities. Some of the most common side effects experienced initially include redness, inflammation, and peeling, though these are temporary and should resolve as the skin progresses through various healing phases. Throughout the entirety of the recovery process—and even beyond—it is important to avoid sun overexposure, so Dr. Cytryn typically advises wearing a hat and/or adequate SPF protection to defend against harmful UV rays and help ensure the skin remains looking its best.
What Results Can I Expect from Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Initial enhancement from laser resurfacing should be visible after skin peeling has subsided. The results will typically improve over the course of about three months as new collagen, elastin, and healthy tissue continue to form, ultimately revealing smoother, more balanced and youthful-looking skin. Depending on your unique aesthetic concerns and goals, up to two to three treatment sessions may be needed to achieve an optimal outcome.
How Much Does Laser Resurfacing Cost?
The cost of laser skin resurfacing at Cytryn Cosmetic Surgery generally ranges from $700–$2,000, with exact pricing being dictated by the size of the treatment area and severity of skin concerns addressed. For example, treatment of the entire face will be more expensive than simply targeting lip lines or lines around the mouth. Likewise, the cost of more aggressive laser resurfacing needed for deeper wrinkles will be higher than that of less invasive treatment for mild wrinkling.
It is important to note that this price range is not an actual quote, and your cost may fall inside or outside of these numbers based on your needs and goals. To receive a personalized price quote, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cytryn, at which time he can assess your particular case and provide a cost estimate after developing a customized treatment plan.
How Often Should I Get Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Oftentimes, consistent treatments lead to better, longer-lasting results; however, some patients may only need one laser resurfacing session to reach their desired outcomes. The frequency of treatment will be highly dependent on how severe the patient’s concerns are. During the consultation, Dr. Cytryn will carefully evaluate the skin and create a treatment plan that fits the person’s lifestyle, unique needs, and cosmetic goals.
One-time treatments are typically recommended for younger patients who have minimal signs of aging. With a good skin care routine, results for patients who only need one-time treatments can typically last several years before they would need to schedule another laser resurfacing session. Individuals with minor or average skin concerns like noticeable acne scars, uneven skin texture, and more prominent signs of aging usually are recommended to have yearly treatments to maintain their results. Patients with moderate to severe complaints including very apparent acne scarring, wrinkles, discoloration, and more typically need monthly laser resurfacing sessions to keep the skin looking young and healthy. Dr. Cytryn understands that every person is different, which is why he will thoroughly assess the patient’s skin before determining how often treatment is needed.
Is Laser Skin Resurfacing Safe?
When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, laser skin resurfacing can be a safe and effective way to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. It is important for patients to do thorough research on the professional who will be performing the procedure to ensure they feel comfortable and confident in their care. Individuals should seek out a cosmetic surgeon or qualified skincare professional who has successfully performed laser skin resurfacing many times before and has achieved beautiful, natural-looking results for their patients.
When Can I Wear Makeup After Laser Skin Resurfacing?
After laser skin resurfacing, the treated skin will be tender and vulnerable. Patients should avoid using makeup for at least 10 days after treatment or until given clearance to do so. Wearing makeup before the skin has had the chance to heal can increase the risk of infection by inviting unwanted bacteria onto the freshly treated skin.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have additional questions about laser skin resurfacing, or if you are interested in treatment and wish to book a consultation with Dr. Cytryn, please feel free to contact our practice online or by telephone today.