Laser Resurfacing FAQs

Woman Getting Laser TreatmentLaser resurfacing is a skin rejuvenation procedure that helps create a smoother and healthier skin appearance. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about laser skin resurfacing.

What is laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is a laser procedure that treats and rejuvenates damaged, aging skin.

How does laser resurfacing work?

During the treatment, the laser destroys the damaged outer layers of skin that have begun to show signs of aging, wrinkles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, or acne. The ablation of the older skin layers causes the body to generate new skin cells. These new skin cells are healthier and younger, and they produce a more youthful complexion.

What can laser resurfacing fix?

Laser resurfacing can correct facial wrinkles and lines, improve sun-damaged skin, eliminate spots and pigmentation problems, tighten loose skin, and treat scars from acne, birthmarks, moles, and tattoos.

When is the right time to get laser resurfacing?

If you notice signs of damaged skin that laser resurfacing can fix, it could be the right time for this treatment. As is the case with most skin treatments, it is usually better to undergo laser resurfacing sooner than later. It may also be best to receive laser skin resurfacing treatments during the cooler seasons, where there is less exposure to potentially damaging sun rays.

What areas can be treated with laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing can be used anywhere on the face. Treatment may be performed on the entire face or on specific target areas, such as on wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and forehead.

What will my laser resurfacing treatment be like?

For your treatment, your face will first be cleansed and treated with an antibiotic ointment. You may be given a local anesthetic or sedation for your comfort. Sedation is more likely if your whole face is being treated. The laser will then be used to ablate the outer layers of skin to the appropriate skin depth. Treatment can take up to two hours if your full face is being resurfaced. This treatment is an outpatient procedure, and you can return home once it is complete.

What is recovery like for laser resurfacing?

During recovery, ointments and bandages are applied to the affected areas to minimize swelling and assist with healing. The skin will appear red and may ooze, and you may experience some swelling, itching, or stinging. Oral medication can alleviate any discomfort. You will need to carefully follow postoperative instructions for wound care and cleansing the skin. Five to seven days after treatment, your skin will become dry and peel. The treated area typically heals within 10 days to three weeks after your treatment. Redness may take a few months to completely dissipate. Be sure to minimize sun exposure and use plenty of moisturizer.

Is laser resurfacing safe?

Laser resurfacing is considered safe for most skin types. Some lasers are inappropriate for darker skin complexions. If there is any concern, speak with dermatologist or Dr. Mesbahi to learn more.

Is laser resurfacing permanent?

Laser resurfacing can reduce many signs of aging and skin damage. However, the new skin will continue to age naturally. Good skin care and restricting sun exposure can help reduce future skin damage.

Is laser resurfacing painful?

Laser resurfacing is generally well tolerated, and anesthesia prevents any discomfort during the procedure. During recovery, prescribed pain medications can alleviate any discomfort.

Will laser resurfacing help me look younger?

Laser resurfacing removes the outer layers of aging, damaged skin and causes new, healthy skin to form. This will give you a more vibrant and youthful complexion.

Can I combine laser resurfacing with other treatments or procedures?

When needed, you can combine laser resurfacing with certain other facial rejuvenation treatments. Talk to your surgeon about which procedures are best for your needs.

When will I see the results?

You should begin to observe results just a few weeks after treatment. The results will continue to improve for the next several months to one year.

If you would like to learn more about laser resurfacing and its many benefits for the skin, request your consultation today with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alex Mesbahi. Call 703-287-8277 or contact us online to schedule your appointment now.