Otherwise known as a laser peel, laser resurfacing is a procedure that uses a focused beam of light to eliminate common skin issues, including acne, acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your appointment, what to expect during your laser resurfacing peel appointment, and how to care for your skin after the procedure.
Preparing for Your Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment
Before the appointment, your dermatologist will determine if you are a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing. Typically, if you are suffering from a severe acne outbreak, have very deep wrinkles, or have sagging skin, your dermatologist might recommend a different procedure. If you are considered a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing, here are a few steps you will need to take in the days prior to the procedure:
- Stop applying topical acne or prescription topical creams to your face a few days prior to the procedure.
- Avoid taking ibuprofen, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatory medications a couple of days prior to the surgery. These medications thin the blood and cause increased bleeding.
- Quit smoking, as smoking can slow down the healing process.
Your doctor will ask you about your medical and skin history and any conditions or facial treatments you have received in the last few months.
What To Expect During the Procedure
There are two different types of laser skin resurfacing: ablative and nonablative procedures. Ablative procedures involve using two lasers, one to remove the upper layers of skin and another to stimulate collagen production. A numbing treatment is applied to the skin prior to the procedure, as there will be some discomfort.
Nonablative therapy is less invasive and only involves using a laser to stimulate collagen production. Because nonablative therapy is typically less effective, you will need several more treatments. Depending upon the type of treatment, you can expect the procedure to take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours to complete.
Caring for Your Skin After the Treatment
After ablative therapy, your skin will be sore, and you may have a waterproof dressing. Your doctor will provide you with an ointment to help with the healing process. You can take an over-the-counter medication to reduce any pain and swelling. Healing time for nonablative resurfacing will take less time, and you will be able to treat any pain with an ice pack and over-the-counter medications.
If you are suffering from fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and other common skin conditions, laser skin resurfacing is a great option to help restore to look and feel of your skin.