Laser resurfacing of skin is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help rejuvenate the skin and reduce the effects of the sun, aging, and some facial skin disorders.

The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. Laser skin resurfacing removes skin very precisely, layer by layer. CO2 Laser Resurfacing has been used for years to treat different skin conditions including wrinkles, scars, warts, birthmarks etc. 

During laser skin resurfacing, the laser is used to remove layers of damaged and wrinkled skin so that new, smoother, and more vibrant looking skin can form. Depending on the type of laser and amount of surface skin removed, you may also see a significant improvement in the tightness and firmness of the skin. 

Your doctor will begin with a complete medical history and will examine your face, both the skin and underlying bone. He/she may also take photos, give you specific instructions to follow, that may include instructions for pre-treating your skin before the operation. 

Your doctor will determine if laser resurfacing - or another form of skin resurfacing - is right for you. This decision may depend largely on your skin type and color, since laser resurfacing can cause uneven skin tone formation on people with darker skin tones. 

Be sure to tell your doctor about any allergies you have (to foods, drugs, environmental elements), if you have been exposed to significant amounts of radiation, if you have a history of unusual scarring, or if you have had cold sores around the mouth (like herpes or shingles). Also tell your doctor if you have had previous plastic surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any drugs or medications, including aspirin. 

Laser resurfacing generally removes most of the fine wrinkles and imperfections in the treated area, but natural facial movements and expressions eventually cause some of the lines to reappear. Like most other methods of skin resurfacing, laser treatments may be repeated to maintain the desired results.

Possible Complications of Laser Resurfacing, Please Note :

  1. Small white bumps [Milia], may appear in the laser-treated areas during healing. These may be removed by gentle cleansing with a washcloth.
  2. Hyperpigmentation (increased pigmentation), and hypopigmentation (decreased skin pigmentation), may result in the laser-treated areas. In general, the hyperpigmented areas may occur.
  3. Reappearance of a cold sore may occur, especially after laser skin resurfacing around the mouth. You can prevent this by asking your doctor for an antiviral medication, which you can begin taking before your surgery and continue taking seven to 10 days after laser resurfacing.
  4. You can also prevent bacterial infections by taking an antibiotic prior to the surgery and continuing for seven to 10 days afterwards.
  5. You should expect swelling after laser skin resurfacing. Ask your doctor about what you can do to lessen this effect.
  6. Patients are encouraged to sleep on an extra pillow at night to help reduce the swelling after laser resurfacing. Ice pack application is also helpful in the first 24-48 hours. 
  7. Scarring after laser skin resurfacing, although unusual, may occur in laser-treated areas. 
  8. Cessation of smoking is highly recommended because smoking is known to have harmful effects on the healing process.

Care of Skin After Laser Resurfacing, Important :
It's important to remember that skin treated with laser resurfacing may react in different ways.
Most commonly, you may feel like you have moderate sunburn. There will be swelling and redness of the skin. You may experience itching or stinging for 12 to 72 hours after the procedure. Five to seven days after laser resurfacing, your skin will become dry and peel.

New skin will form after the treated area has been peeled. This skin will at first appear pink. It should begin to gradually lighten for up to a year after treatment. Your doctor will not consider retreating the area until the area is completely healed.
Daily sunscreen application is necessary after healing to protect the newly laser-resurfaced skin. A "broad-spectrum" sunscreen, which screens both ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays, is recommended. A sunscreen specifically formulated for use on the face should be chosen, with at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15.

Liberal moisturizer application is also recommended after healing. Patients may resume application of Retin-A and/or glycolic acid products around six weeks after laser resurfacing or as directed by their physician


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