Laser resurfacing was the "it" treatment of the 1990s - and with good reason. By removing skin's outer layer, the procedure can lighten or banish discoloration, scars, and fine and moderate wrinkles, as well as tighten slack skin, giving the face a firmer, younger appearance
The high-energy beam of light can selectively transfer its energy into tissue to treat the skin. A dermatologist will use one of two types of lasers for laser resurfacing treatments: the deeper-reaching carbon dioxide laser is usually used for deep scarring. The more surface-skimming Erbium Yag laser is generally used on areas of lighter scarring and has less of an effect. Prior to laser resurfacing, it may be necessary to take medication to prevent infection with herpes simplex virus.If your dermatologist is using a carbon dioxide laser, intravenous sedation is generally used; local anesthesia is typically used for an Erbium laser treatment. After skin is cleansed, your dermatologist will pass the laser's light over your skin. The condition of your skin immediately following the procedure depends on the type of laser your dermatologist has used.What if your face features both deeply scarred and lightly scarred areas? Your dermatologist may opt for a dual-Erbium Contour laser. Kind of a dual carbon dioxide-Erbium laser, the machine lets your doctor use the deep-tissue carbon dioxide beam on your severely scarred skin, and the Erbium beam on the more superficially flawed bits.Laser effectsAfter a carbon dioxide laser procedure, skin is raw and oozy for the first 3 or 4 days. Next, skin crusts, peels, and is ready for makeup after 2 or 3 weeks. Skin can remain pink for up to 6 months after treatment. After an Erbium laser treatment, skin is slightly raw and feels sunburned for the first few days. Skin then peels and is ready for makeup after 5 to 7 days. Because both types of lasers stimulate new collagen growth, you may notice continued tightening and firming for up to 6 months after the procedure.