Who Is a Good Candidate For Laser Resurfacing?
If you have fine lines or wrinkles around your eyes or mouth or on your forehead, shallow scars from acne or non-responsive skin after a facelift, then you may be a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing.
If you have acne or if you have very dark skin, you may not be a candidate. This technique is also not recommended for stretch marks. You should discuss whether laser resurfacing is right for you by consulting with the doctor before having the procedure done.
The two types of lasers most usually used in laser resurfacing are carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium. Each laser vaporizes skin cells damaged at the surface-level.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
This method has been used for years to treat different skin issues, including wrinkles, scars, warts, enlarged oil glands on the nose, and other situations.
Erbium laser resurfacing is designed to remove surface-level and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on the face, hands, neck, or chest. One of the benefits of erbium laser resurfacing is the minimal burning of surrounding tissue. This laser reasons fewer side effects – such as swelling, bruising, and redness – so your recovery time should be faster than with CO2 laser resurfacing. In some cases, recovery may only take one week.
Start by consulting a plastic surgeon or dermatologist to find out if you’re a good candidate. Be sure to choose a doctor who has documented training and experience in laser skin resurfacing. The doctor will determine which laser treatment is best for you after considering your medical history, current health, and desired results.
What to Expect
Usually, laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, meaning there is no overnight stay.
The doctor may treat individual wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or forehead or treat your entire face. For small areas, the doctor will numb the areas to be treated with a local anesthetic. The doctor may also sedate you. You may get general anesthesia if your whole face is being treated.
It’s usual to have swelling after laser skin resurfacing. Your doctor may prescribe steroids to manage swelling around your eyes. Sleeping on an extra pillow at night to elevate your head can help ease swelling. Putting an ice pack on the treated area also helps to reduce swelling in the first 24 to 48 hours after laser resurfacing.