If you’re tired of using concealers or thick foundation to try to hide your blemishes, spots, or wrinkles, there is a better solution!
Laser resurfacing, also called lasabrasion, laser peel, or laser vaporization is a skin treatment that can help with a range of skin conditions, including the removal of those pesky spots and lines. The lasers essentially vaporize skin cells that have been damaged on the surface, targeting your outer layers while at the same time heating the lower layers to promote collagen production. New collagen fibers produce new skin which is smoother, fresher, and firmer.
Sounds great, right? If you are considering laser resurfacing, here’s what you need to know.
Types & Benefits
There are a few different types of treatments and lasers, and one of the most popular options is erbium lasers which can attack surface-level and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, hands, neck, and chest.
Erbium lasers, offered by Dr. Lanzer, are milder and less invasive than other options and it helps to exfoliate and renew the outer layers of your skin. It also has a faster recovery time. Erbium resurfacing is also ideal for anti-aging, reducing fine lines, and wrinkles, and it’s often more effective for darker skin tones.
Another common type of laser is CO2, which is more abrasive. This technique removes layers of skin using ablative laser, which requires fewer treatment sessions but has more side effects and requires longer recovery. CO2 lasers can treat wrinkles, scars, warts, swollen oil glands on the nose, and other skin disorders.
There are also pulsed dye lasers which are non-ablative and heat the skin to absorb pigments to reduce redness and hyperpigmentation. Another type is fractional lasers that divide the energy into tiny beams to treat small sections of the skin.
You should consult with your doctor to find out which is the best treatment option for you.
What To Expect
Before you head for treatment, talk to the dermatologist to check if your skin is suitable. Make sure you mention if you have any cold sores or ulcers, and refrain from taking any aspirin, ibuprofen, or vitamin E 10 days before a scheduled procedure.
You will be asked to follow a skincare regime in the lead-up, and on the day, your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic to the area, so you don’t feel pain. The skin will be cleansed, then the treatment will commence. At the end of the treatment, your skin will be wrapped for protection.
What’s The Recovery Like?
With erbium laser resurfacing, you can expect a shorter recovery time as the lasers don’t penetrate deeply into the skin. Recovery generally takes around one week. CO2 laser resurfacing, on the other hand, removes thin layers of skin, so recovery can generally take up to two weeks.
During recovery, your skin may be more sensitive than usual, so you need to ensure you have proper protection. In the meantime, avoid exposure to direct sunlight, avoid wearing makeup for several days, and ensure you use high SPF protection if you need to step outside.
Are There Risks?
As with any type of cosmetic treatment, there are always risks. However, these are uncommon. Risks and side effects may include:
- Burns Caused by Lasers
- Skin Pigmentation Changes
- Reactivated Cold Sores
- Bacterial Infection
- Milia and White Bumps on Treatment Area (Treatable)
How Much Does It Cost?
On average, laser resurfacing can cost between $1,500 and $5,000 per treatment, however, this varies depending on the type of treatment you get, the areas you are treating, and the clinic where you’re getting it done.
The good news is, laser resurfacing is a long-term investment and while it doesn’t stop your skin from aging, it will keep you looking younger for longer.
Dr. Lanzer recommends seeking a second medical opinion as all types of surgery have risks.