Laser treatments can transform your skin.
Skin laser care, also called laser resurfacing or a laser peel, is a non-invasive method used to improve the appearance of the skin.
It can provide results similar to a chemical peel, and you should discuss peels and resurfacing methods with your medical professional to determine if you are a candidate and to decide on which type is right for your individual situation.
About Laser Care
During a resurfacing procedure, a laser is used to vaporize outer layers of the skin, layer by layer. The body responds by producing new, fresher skin. The procedure can be used to treat acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, discolorations (sun spots), and an uneven complexion due to sun damage. However, individuals with active cases of acne and darkly pigmented skin should avoid the procedure.
How it Works
Either a carbon dioxide laser or an erbium laser can be used. Fractionated carbon dioxide lasers deliver short bursts of energy to destroy skin cells with minimal damage to underlying tissues. Erbium lasers act similarly, but have fewer side effects and thus a shorter recovery time; they are also more suited to individuals with darker skin tones.
Starting around two weeks before your skin laser care procedure, you will need to stop taking any medication that inhibits blood clotting, such as ibuprofen, and should stop smoking since it delays healing. During the actual treatment, a topical anesthetic may be used. Treatment for small areas may take 30 to 45 minutes, while a full facial treatment can take up to 2 hours. The medication should prevent any discomfort.
The treated areas may need to be bandaged and treated regularly with an ointment, depending on your specific treatment. There will be swelling, redness, and discomfort; applying ice packs can usually relieve these symptoms. Your skin will appear slightly reddened temporarily, and will be sun-sensitive, so it is important to wear sunscreen, hats, and other protective clothing.
Occasionally, there will be areas that are lighter or darker than the surrounding skin; discoloration problems are more likely among those with darker skin tones. If small white bumps appear in the treated area, consult your clinician. These are called milia and can be treated.