Laser skin resurfacing, using the CO2 laser, is a procedure that uses the laser to create new, smooth, facial skin . The laser “ablates”, or destroys, the outer layers of skin which have been damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems or spots. Following laser resurfacing, a new skin layer forms in seven to ten days, and a new layer of underlying collagen also forms which tightens and smoothes the skin. The tightness results from the reorganization of the collagen of the skin. This produces significant reduction in wrinkling and/or acne scarring of the skin thereby producing a more youthful appearance.
Reasons for Considering Laser Skin Resurfacing:
Reduce or remove facial wrinkles, creases, and lines.
Improve sun-damaged skin.
Correct pigmentation problems and spots.
To treat scars from acne.
Tighten skin that has lost elasticity due to aging.
Laser resurfacing surgery is done outpatient under anesthesia. The laser is used to ablate various layers of skin in a controlled manner until the appropriate depth of skin is reached. This procedure takes about one hour to perform.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Antibiotic ointment is applied to the face immediately following surgery in order to aid with the healing process, to minimize swelling, and to control the risk of infection. The skin will be red and may ooze for a few days. Some discomfort should also be expected for the first day or two; most patients say it feels like a sunburn.
Any discomfort associated with the surgery can be treated with oral medication which we will prescribe. 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.