One of the most exciting new advances in cosmetic surgery treatments is laser skin resurfacing. Laser skin resurfacing treatment is a non-intrusive treatment and is often the perfect option for reducing minor lines and wrinkles, or discolorations. At Ponte Verda Plastic Surgery we use a medical laser to gently remove layers of skin to improve cosmetic flaws like wrinkles, sun damaged skin, scars from acne, tattoos, and other skin imperfections. During a laser skin resurfacing procedure, our surgeons use a small laser wand to delicately remove layers of skin with great precision. Laser skin resurfacing is also non-invasive and is most often a bloodless procedure. Your surgeon is able to control the depth the laser is allowed to penetrate the skin allowing for total control over the laser and to assure the desired result.
Laser skin resurfacing removes the outer layer of skin and heats the underlying layer to stimulate growth of new collagen fibers. During this process, damaged skin cells on the outer layer are stripped away, leaving a new layer of healthy skin to grow. If small sections of the face are being addressed, the procedure will typically take about 45 minutes. A full-face treatment, or larger areas of skin, can take up to 2 hours. Multiple sessions are sometimes needed to attain the desired results.
Ablation vs. Non-Ablation
Laser skin resurfacing is either ablative or non-ablative. During an ablative procedure, an intense beam of laser light energy is directed at the skin, removing the outer thin layers. This process generally results in a longer recovery. The results, however, can be a bit more dramatic. A non-ablative laser does not remove any layers of skin. Instead, it stimulates the growth of collagen, which helps tighten underlying skin. This process offers a lighter recovery. Results will not be immediate, but will appear over the course of multiple appointments.
Considered the gold standard among many practitioners is CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser resurfacing. This is an ablative method, which removes both the epidermis and some of the underlying dermis to promote collagen growth so new, healthy skin can thrive. Examples include the Sciton Laser Skin Resurfacing System, the UltraPulse CO2 and the Fraxel re:pair (fractional CO2) lasers. These are newer generation lasers that deliver short-pulse light energy as well as continuous light beams to produce customized results for each patient’s specific needs.
During/After the Procedure
Some mild swelling will occur after a laser resurfacing treatment. It is common for the face to have crust and scaling as it heals. The treated area may appear red or pink for several weeks. Normal activities can usually resume within a couple of weeks. Patients who have sensitive skin or who have had adverse reactions to facial products may have increased side effects. Laser skin resurfacing will leave the face exposed with a new layer of healthy, yet sensitive, skin. It’s advised to wear sunscreen every day and limit sun exposure as much as possible.
Laser Skin Resurfacing FAQs
Can it Damage Your Skin?
This procedure was created to improve the appearance of the skin. However, an inexperienced individual can damage the skin unintentionally. It is important to find a laser skin resurfacing professional who understands how the various laser technologies interact with different skin types. If done correctly, the results can be effective and long-lasting.
While laser skin resurfacing does not stop the aging process, the results can still be long-lasting. As patients continue to age, they may consider additional treatments.
Ablative or Non-Ablative?
While one is not better than the other, they have varying degrees of intensity and recovery. Both techniques provide nice results. During your initial consultation, we will discuss which is best for you. Factors include the patient’s aesthetic goals, skin type and how much downtime can be tolerated.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Reviews
"The Best - I don't know what this last reviewer was talking about. My experience with everyone at PVPS has been the best. From the office staff to the aestheticians to the nurses to the doctors service and expertise are superb. Dr. Burk just completed my third surgery--facelift followed by two full-face lasers, each surgery a year apart. He has changed my life in the most positive way. I highly recommend PVPS whether you are going for fillers, routine peels, surgery, or other procedures. They treat every patient as a VIP. Their occasional educational luncheons with speakers (that always includes one of the drs) are great events and their winter and summer events are a lot of fun with the opportunuty to save on products and fillers."- K. / Vitals / Jan 16, 2014
"I have been a patient/client of PVPS since the early 90's. I was initially referred to Chris Weber for skin care and was truly satisfied with her expertise, professionalism and warm/approachable manner. Chris has exceeded my expectations throughout the decades. As the years flew by, my face needed surgical intervention. And Dr. Rumsey was and continues to be my plastic surgeon. His calming expertise has guided me through two very successful facial procedures (2003 & 2014). I LOVE the results! And post surgeries, Claudette works with me to enhance my facial interventions with various fillers. I am a Registered Nurse and because of my professional background, I am at times overly cautious with elective surgery. Before I made my initial commitment to PVPS, Chris worked with me to alleviate my fears. As a result, I have remained a loyal patient and client of PVPS."- A.A. / Office Visit / Sep 29, 2015
The cost for laser skin resurfacing varies according to the technology used and the number and size of areas treated. The average cost can range between $3,500-$7,000. Factors included are medications (including anesthesia if needed), practitioner’s fee and machine use costs.