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Is Laser Skin Resurfacing Right For You?

With so many types of cosmetic procedures available today, it can be hard to know which is the right one for you. While it is wonderful to have so many options, some cosmetic surgery procedures are better suited for some than others.

Laser treatments have opened up a whole new world for those seeking treatments to improve their skin appearance in a minimally invasive manner. The results are impressive, and the treatments are outpatient and can be done in an afternoon.

What can the procedure do for me?

Laser skin resurfacing can reduce the appearance of a wide variety of skin imperfections. Some of these include:

  • Acne scars
  • Skin tone irregularity
  • Sun damaged skin
  • Birthmarks
  • Uneven texture
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

What is laser skin resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is simply short bursts of light onto your skin. The laser removes the layers of skin that are irregular, revealing smooth, even skin underneath. The procedure can be limited to a specific area, such as around the eyes or mouth, or applied to a larger area, such as the entire face or chest.

Depending on the amount of skin to be treated, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. It is generally an outpatient procedure. You and your doctor will determine what type of pain relief, if any, you will need during the procedure, and you may have an anesthetic administered to minimize discomfort.

Initial recovery is fairly quick, but you will potentially have some swelling, itching and redness for a few days afterward. The skin will have to heal and your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or creams to help speed the process.

Who is a good candidate?

If you have skin conditions such as acne scars, mild to moderate discoloration from birthmarks or age spots or would like to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your skin, then laser skin resurfacing may be right for you.

However, there are some instances in which laser treatment may not be the best option. If you have active acne or other skin conditions, laser treatment may not be effective, or may worsen the problem. The best way to find out whether laser skin resurfacing is your best option is toschedule a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. He or she will be able to tell you whether or not the procedure is safe for you and if it will give you the results you are looking for.

If you are prone to scarring, have certain medical conditions or take certain medications, you may not be a good candidate for laser treatment. Also, if you have a very dark skin tone, laser treatment may have an adverse effect on your pigmentation, causing skin discoloration. An experienced doctor will tell you if you are a good candidate, and you should not hesitate to tell him or her about any skin conditions you have currently or have had in the past, as well as your medical history.

While laser skin resurfacing can give you great results, it is important to be realistic in your expectations, and explore other options if necessary.

Your doctor can also tell you if a different type of treatment will be more helpful, or if a combination of treatments would be more effective at getting the results you are looking for. When it comes to cosmetic procedures, there are several types of treatments that each have their own benefits. Meet with your doctor to discover which ones can help you achieve your goals.