Laser resurfacing is a procedure to reduce the severity of skin irregularities in
the from of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and scars. The technique involves directing small, concentrated pulsating beams of laser
light at irregularities on the skin, removing the damaged skin layer by layer
with extreme precision. Newer laser technologies give a
new level of control in laser surfacing, permitting extreme precision,
especially in delicate areas. This popular procedure is also called lasabrasion, laser peel, or laser
How does laser skin resurfacing work?
Laser skin resurfacing procedures are done using highly specialised laser
machines which emit a concentrated beam of light. This beam of light has
specific features with respect to its absorption by specific target molecule and
depth of penetration in the skin. The laser light is selectively absorbed by the
water molecules present in the skin at different levels. This removes the
scarred and damaged skin layer by layer with extreme precision.
The laser light beam used in laser resurfacing removes the superficial layer of
skin, the epidermis. Simultaneously, the deeper layer, i.e., the dermis is also
heated. This heating of the dermis stimulates the growth of new collagen
fibres. After the healing process is completed, the new skin that is formed is
smoother and firmer.
What laser skin resurfacing can improve?
A large variety of conditions associated with skin ageing can be improved and
corrected with this treatment. Some of them include -
Fine lines or wrinkles below the eyes, on forehead or around mouth
Scars from acne or chickenpox
Non-responsive skin after a facelift
Aged or sun-damaged skin
Improve your complexion if you have yellowish or grayish skin tones
Birthmarks such as linear epidermal nevi
Enlarged oil glands on the nose
Who is a good candidate for skin resurfacing?
If you have remnant scars from acne of adolescence, or have started to
notice a change in your skin texture and colour, the pores have started to
dilate, fine lines and wrinkles are developing on the face, making you look
older, it is the right time for you to think about this treatment.
It can do wonders for you and boost your confidence!
What are the steps of a skin resurfacing procedure?
There are two types of lasers most commonly used:
Ablative laser - Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Erbium: YAG
Non- ablative laser - Erbium: Glass
Ablative laser vaporises the upper most layer of the skin (epidermis) in
addition to heating the deeper layer of the skin (Dermis) to bring about
collagen and elastin remodelling.
Non-ablative laser, on the other hand, does not remove the epidermis, but
only heats the dermis to stimulate collagen and elastin remodelling.
Steps of the procedure -
The area to be treated is thoroughly cleansed.
Protective eye glasses are worn by the patient and the provider.
Pre-treatment cooling done with an ice pack.
The skin is dabbed with a tissue to make sure it is completely dry.
Laser shots are given systematically covering all the affected areas.
Post- treatment cooling is done, soothing cream and sunscreen applied.
What should I expect during my recovery time?
The treated skin feels like a mild sunburn. You'll have some redness and
swelling. You may also experience itching or stinging for a few days after the
procedure. If an ablative laser treatment was done, you may also develop few scabs 2-3
days post-procedure. Make sure you do not scratch or pick at crusts because
this can cause scarring.
Follow these steps during the recovery period
Clean the treated areas two to three times with a non-soap cleansing
solution as prescribed by your doctor.
Apply protective skin care treatments as recommended by your doctor
to help healing of the skin.
After healing, you'll need to use a broad spectrum sunscreen,
particularly one that's formulated for the sensitive, rejuvenated skin on
your face. Every day. No exceptions!
Use a liberal amount of moisturiser each day on your new skin.
Usually, 5 - 7 days later, your skin will become dry and peel off. After that, the
new, rejuvenated skin will look brighter and cleaner with improved acne scars.
Collagen remodelling is a slow process, so you will notice an improvement in
fine lines and wrinkles after a couple of months.
What results should I expect after the procedure?
You can appreciate improvement in your blemishes, skin texture and acne
scars as the skin recovers in a week’s time. As collagen remodelling is a slow
process, the fine lines, wrinkles and deeper acne scars improve gradually
over next few months. That will continue to improve for up to a year. It is always advisable to use a broad spectrum sunscreen every day to
prevent any unwanted effects.
Is the procedure painful?
Laser skin resurfacing can be little painful. To minimise the discomfort, a
topical anaesthetic cream is applied on the treatment area for 30 minutes
prior to the procedure.
You may also experience burning and stinging sensation for a couple of days
post procedure which can be relieved by icing the area.
How much time does it take for each session?
Laser skin resurfacing is usually done on an outpatient basis and typically
takes around 45-60 minutes.
How many sessions do I require for best results?
Depending on the severity of the skin damage, one may require a series of
4-6 sessions to get the best results.
What is the interval between the sessions?
Laser resurfacing treatments are repeated at gap of 6-8 weeks.
Can I use make-up after the treatment?
With ablative laser, it is recommended to avoid using make-up for at least 1
week post-procedure, whereas in case of erbium:glass laser, the skin
recovers faster, and you can start to use make-up 3 days post-procedure.
What are the complications of laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing is a very effective treatment modality with gratifying
You may experience burning and stinging sensation for a couple of days
post procedure which can be relieved by icing the area.
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