Laser resurfacing is a skin treatment in which the doctor uses a laser to treat minor skin conditions and improve the skin’s appearance.
The various techniques fall into two broad categories: 1) ablative or wounding, in which the laser is used to remove several layers of skin and 2) non-ablative or non-wounding in which the laser is used to tighten the skin and stimulate collagen production.
What is fractional laser resurfacing?
Fractional laser resurfacing is one of the non-ablative methods. It is used to treat scars, sun damage, wrinkles, and discolored skin. It can be used on any part of the body but is especially effective on the face, neck, chest and hands.
Fractional laser resurfacing targets the epidermis and dermis. The machine emits a laser beam that divides into thousands of tiny columns that penetrate the skin all the way to the dermis. The lasers destroy pigmented cells that cause discolored skin and stimulate collagen production.
The lasers only affect damaged skin while leaving healthy skin unaffected.
What happens during treatment?
The patient needs to take off their jewelry and remove all make-up. They should also wash their face with soap and water before treatment.
The doctor will apply an anesthetic cream to the treatment area. It will take about 45 to 60 minutes to take effect, and the doctor will then wash it off.
The doctor will then apply a gel to the treatment area. The gel acts as a lubricant that enables the handpiece emitting the laser to move smoothly across the patient’s skin. It also helps the laser produce an even pattern. The patient washes off the gel after the treatment.
The length of the procedure depends on the size of the treatment site, but it generally takes around 30 minutes to resurface the whole face. Most patients may need about five treatments to get the desired results.
What happens after the procedure?
Many patients feel and look as if they have a mild sunburn immediately after the procedure. New epidermal skin will develop within 24 hours, and the new skin will appear bronzed for 3 to 14 days.
There may also be flaking as new skin replaces dead skin. The patient can use a moisturizer to treat this. There may also be a lot of peeling skin. If so, the patient should wash it off once or twice a day.
The patient will need to protect their skin from the sun for the next several months. They should wear broad-brimmed hats and protective clothing, and they should use a moisturizing sunscreen.
Contact Metro Dermatology today to schedule a consultation.