Laser Skin Resurfacing – Cosmetic Surgery

Introduction – Laser Skin Resurfacing

Skin resurfacing is a treatment in cosmetic surgery to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of the skin. Aging, injury, sun exposure, heredity and lifestyle factors including nutrition, alcohol consumption and smoking can cause facial skin damage.

It is commonly used in various problems of facial skin. The expectations about the results must be realistic and discussion with surgeon is very essential.

Treatable Conditions by skin resurfacing:

  1. Fine wrinkles on face
  2. Sun damaged facial skin
  3. Crow’s feet around the eyes
  4. Skin laxity in lower eyelid area
  5. Brown spots or blotchy skin coloring
  6. Precancerous skin conditions
  7. Acne or chicken pox scars
  8. Superficial injury scars on face
  9. Pigmentation changes like freckles, melisma and pregnancy mask
  10. Loose skin and cellulite

The risks and steps of the procedure should be discussed with the surgeon prior to it. The surgeon decides as to which lift procedure is suitable for goals of the patient. Success of the lift depends on skill of surgeon, patient factors and ability of surgeon to foresee the possible results.

This procedure can also be combined with other cosmetic surgeries such as a facelift or eyelid surgery.

Evaluation before skin resurfacing includes questions or examinations regarding:

  1. The skin type
  2. Severity of sun damage
  3. Extent of uneven pigmentation
  4. Depth of the skin problem.
  5. Previous medical history, drug allergies, any known disease and medications being taken for them as well as previous surgeries
  6. Prior treatments on face
  7. Prior use of retinoid products.

Laser Skin Resurfacing-

There are two forms of laser resurfacing. In the first form, a uniform injury is created on the skin by laser resurfacing. This process is similar to deep chemical peel or dermabrasion. In the second form, tiny holes are actually drilled by the laser into deeper layers of the skin. It is also called as fractional resurfacing.

The final result of the procedure may even require a year for full appearance.
The first form of laser treatment gives greater control for the depth of injury than seen with dermabrasion or chemical peel, according to some surgeons. In fractional resurfacing, the skin surface is not usually injured. The skin tightens by “connecting the dots or holes created by laser as the collagen contracts. The benefit of fractional treatment is less surface injury. However, the risk of creating a greater depth of injury is present in fractional laser. If there is a complication during healing, there is a risk of unsightly scar.

The laser treatment can be used for entire face or a specific area. Like all other resurfacing methods, the laser is effective in treating wrinkles, blotchiness or age spots, and scars from acne or other causes. Weather the person is a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing or not is dependent on certain characteristics of the skin, such as its thickness and texture. The mild tightening effect of the laser can be helpful in some  patients, especially in area of lower eyelid where the skin often becomes somewhat loose as a result of aging.

Procedure - Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing requires some form of anesthesia as it is painful. Local anaesthesia may be adequate in some cases, depending on the laser treatment chosen and the area under treatment. Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia may be considered appropriate for larger areas. Recovery after laser resurfacing depends on the technique used and depth of treatment required.


The final result of the procedure may even require a year for full appearance. Most patients feel that the results are definitely worth waiting for.

However, the ageing of skin continues to occur. Also the type of wrinkles caused by movement of the facial muscles eventually reappears. Despite this, there is improvement in skin quality and texture by resurfacing. These techniques make the person look younger and fresher for many years and build up the self-confidence.

- Links of interest:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons website

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons website

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.


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