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Thousands of men and women already are enjoying the benefits of beautiful, smooth skin thanks to facial laser resurfacing procedures. Laser resurfacing to remove facial scars and wrinkles has become one of the most popular new cosmetic procedures. Remarkable results are commonplace with the use of CO2 and Erbium lasers which selectively remove skin layers to reveal smoother, younger looking skin. The procedure is quite effective for wrinkles around the mouth, the eye, and forehead, as well as facial scars from acne, chicken pox or trauma.
Laser skin resurfacing is a procedure that uses lasers to create a new, smooth skin appearance. The laser “ablates”, or destroys, the outer layers of skin which have been damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems or spots. The destruction of the older layers of skin prompts the body to generate a new layer of skin cells which are unaffected by the previous skin condition. Some lasers may be inappropriate for darker skin complexions.
Laser resurfacing is typically performed on an outpatient basis with either local or intravenous anesthesia. Most physicians first pre-treat the patient’s skin with specific creams for a few weeks prior to the procedure to increase the impact of the laser treatment.
This also can be performed either in the hospital or in an outpatient surgical facility and lasts from a few minutes for isolated treatments to an hour for more extensive areas. The doctor will assess whether minimal anesthesia or intravenous sedation should be used.
About a week of postoperative care is required, and most patients choose to avoid social situations because treated skin becomes reddened or pink. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Antibiotic cream and bandages are applied to the affected area immediately following surgery in order to aid with the healing process, to minimize swelling, and to control the risk of infection. Cover creams can be applied after seven days to camouflage the skin and enable patients to return to their normal daily routine. Results can last 7 to 10 years.
Any pain associated with the surgery can be treated with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions. Recovery time varies with the extent of the resurfacing and the number of procedures completed.