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Skin Care Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Laser Skin Resurfacing - What It Does

By Staff Editor
Dec 5, 2013 - 1:23:08 PM

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( - Laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the skin on the face using laser energy. The laser treatments work to remove the top layer of skin, causing the skin to regenerate a fresh, new layer that is smoother and free of many wrinkles and other imperfections. Laser skin resurfacing is effective in treating a number of skin problems from acne scars and wrinkles to pigmentation concerns. The treatment will not only work to reduce the appearance of blemishes, but it will also tighten and firm the skin to create a more youthful appearance. This treatment can be performed on specific parts of the face or it can be done on the entire face.

Patients considering the procedure should be in overall good health and have sensible expectations about the outcome of the treatment. Many candidates for laser skin resurfacing include people with acne scars, wrinkles, and skin discoloration. People with darker complexions may experience pigment changes as a result of the treatments. Though treatment is still possible, it is recommended that darker skinned patients visit a specialist with experience in treating ethnic patients.

The laser skin resurfacing treatment is a relatively brief procedure that may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour depending on how much of the face is treated during the session. A special numbing cream will be applied to prepare the face for the treatment, and a local or general anesthetic may also be used during the procedure. The physician will then administer the laser, which is essentially a concentrated beam of light, to the targeted areas of the face.

There are a number of lasers that can be used for this treatment, but in most cases a CO2 laser is used for the procedure. This laser can be ablative and non-ablative. Both ablative and non-ablative treatments function in almost the same way, but the ablative laser is considered to be a more aggressive treatment that targets two layers of skin (the epidermis and the dermis). The laser will be applied to the targeted area and the laser will fire short bursts until the appearance of the blemish has been reduced.

Normally, the patient will experience very little, if any, discomfort throughout the procedure. After the treatment has been completed, the patient will receive a special moisturizing ointment to take home and use during the recovery period. The skin will rejuvenate and improve within a few days and the patient will be able to see a difference at that time. It will usually take roughly two weeks for the skin to fully recover and it is recommended that the patient avoid sun exposure during that time. Additionally, the patient is advised not to wear makeup or apply any other topical creams on the face during the first week of recovery from the treatment.

Dr. Mark Hamilton is a board certified facial plastic surgeon renowned as one of America's Top Physicians and as a top Indianapolis facial plastic surgeon specializing in facial cosmetic surgery. View his before and after laser resurfacing photos to see the amazing results that he has achieved for his patients, or call (800) 597-3223 to schedule a consultation at


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