This procedure is commonly used to minimize the appearance of fine lines especially around the eyes and mouth. It is also effective in treating old scarring from acne, facial scars and areas of uneven pigmentation. Laser resurfacing may be performed on the entire face or on specific regions.
During the procedure the superficial layer of skin (epidermis) is removed and the deeper (dermal) layers tighten. It takes eight to ten days before the superficial skin layer is healed. Redness at this point is intense and requires specialized make-up. At one month, it can be covered with standard make-up and is completely gone at two months.
Resurfacing may be combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures, including a facelift.
Larger areas of treatment may require general anesthesia. As with any laser treatment, the risk of scarring is present especially with deeper or more extensive treatment. To minimize this, patients will go on a two-week skin care regimen to prepare the skin for laser treatment, and then afterward they will take prophylactic antibiotics to prevent infection. People with darker skin are generally poor candidates for laser resurfacing due to potential for loss of pigmentation.
Larger areas of treatment may require general anesthesia.