Indications for resurfacing include fine lines, facial scars, sun damaged skin and uneven pigmentation. The resurfacing works by removing areas of damaged or wrinkled skin layer by layer. The most common application is for removal of fine lines, especially around the eyes and mouth, but the procedure can be used on the whole face. It can also be used in conjunction with other procedures, such as face lift or blepharoplasty. Patients with fair, healthy, non-oily skin are the best candidates for this type of treatment.
Depending upon the area to be resurfaced, operating time ranges from a few minutes to more than an hour. The patient usually receives treatment under local anesthesia at our office.
Temporary side effects include swelling and mild discomfort. Laser resurfacing produces little (if any) bleeding and post op discomfort is usually mild but may result in some pain in the early post op period.
Risks include, scarring, abnormal pigmentation and infection. Susceptible patients may also experience a flare-up of herpes virus (cold sores) but his can be managed prior to the procedure, inform the office if you have a history of cold sores.
The new skin generally becomes crust-free about ten days postoperatively, but the patient’s skin may remain bright pink for weeks. In some cases, pinkness does not fade entirely for up to six months. The patient should avoid sun exposure until all skin color has returned to normal and should wear sunblock outdoors thereafter. The patient can begin wearing makeup about two weeks after surgery, depending on the sensitivity of their skin.
Results of resurfacing are long-lasting, but not permanent. Treatments do not prevent the development of deeper wrinkles with aging.