Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker

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The Benefits of Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing

laser skin resurfacing

Wrinkles start to form as early as the age of 25. After that, your skin will start to look older and thinner, and wrinkles will start to become more and more prominent. The idea of looking older can be unpleasant to many people, but laser skin resurfacing can help.

Regular skincare products and treatments can only do so much to your skin. At a certain point, you will need to try slightly more invasive treatments to ensure that your skin stays looking as youthful as possible. But how can fractional laser skin resurfacing help with that?

Keep reading and learn more about what laser skin resurfacing is and what kind of benefits it can offer to your skin.

What You Need to Know About Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a great treatment for a variety of skin problems. Fractional lasers are usually used for this procedure, but there are two main types of fractional lasers you should know about: ablative and nonablative lasers. While both of these lasers are quite effective, they affect the skin in slightly different ways.

An ablative laser first works by removing the very top layer of your skin from your face. This is known as the epidermis, and it is the layer of skin that usually has the most noticeable skin problems, such as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and so on. Once this laser removes the epidermis, the fresh layer of the dermis is revealed underneath.

The laser affects the dermis by heating it to a certain degree. Doing this will stimulate the dermis in a way that causes it to produce collagen. Collagen is arguably one of the most important components of the skin for keeping the skin looking youthful.

That is because collagen is more or less a scaffolding for your skin cells that keeps your skin looking youthful and plump. Every year after the age of 25, your skin will start to lose around 1% of its collagen. Eventually, this will cause your skin to get thin and saggy as it will no longer have much elasticity.

By using an ablative laser to stimulate collagen production, you can slow down this process. Making your skin produce more collagen should make a noticeable difference in the firmness and tone of your skin. It should also make the skin appear and feel much smoother than before.

The Details

But what about nonablative fractional lasers? The main difference between the two laser types is that nonablative lasers are not quite as invasive. This laser will not strip the skin in the same way, but it will still stimulate the skin to produce more collagen.

Also, because nonablative lasers are not as invasive, you also won’t have to deal with so much recovery time. The main downside of this laser is that the results aren’t as noticeable as they are with ablative laser treatments. Even so, both of these fractional lasers can be quite beneficial for your skin.

Fractional lasers, in general, as special lasers that were designed to shorten the recovery time of these resurfacing sessions. Older and more traditional lasers often were so invasive that people would have to recover for many weeks or even months. Fractional lasers are more advanced due to how they leave microscopic areas of the skin left untreated.

The untreated segments of skin are not noticeable to the naked eye, but they ensure that the skin, overall, heals faster than if all of the skin was treated by the laser.

But what exactly are the benefits of this skin treatment for your face?

The Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing

The first benefit of laser skin resurfacing that you should know about is how it is able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As mentioned before, wrinkles start to form at the age of 25 and only get worse every year after that. Wrinkles start to become especially prominent at the age of 65.

Various things cause wrinkles to form. Often, it has to do with sun damage, poor skin care, genetics, and so on. Whatever the case, once you develop wrinkles, ordinary skincare treatments can only do so much to fix them.

For example, vitamin C and retinol can both help improve the tone and texture of the skin, but they won’t be able to make your wrinkles magically disappear. This is because wrinkles are deep crevices in the skin, and only a few treatment options can really get rid of them or at least reduce their appearance.

Laser skin resurfacing is able to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines due to the way it penetrates the skin’s deeper layers. This is especially true with ablative lasers that produce more dramatic results. As mentioned before, ablative lasers remove most of the epidermis and then heat the dermis.

What You Need to Know

Removing the epidermis will often completely remove very fine wrinkles that haven’t penetrated the skin too deeply. As for deep wrinkles, this laser will reduce their appearance drastically. Of course, it will take some time for your skin to heal after the procedure before you can admire the final result.

After your skin does heal, you should notice that it will be much smoother and tighter than ever before. Also, due to the way the laser stimulates your skin’s collagen production, this should also contribute to better and younger-looking skin.

Many people prefer to opt for laser skin resurfacing to reduce the appearance of their wrinkles compared to other methods. After all, many other methods to reduce wrinkles are often very invasive and include facelifts and other procedures. Laser skin resurfacing is not a type of surgery, and for that reason, it is far less invasive.

Even though you will have to go through a certain period of recovery, it is not as invasive as a full facelift. Laser treatments are ideal for people of many different ages as well. Some people like to go through laser treatments as a type of preventative measure for antiaging.

Others may already have quite a lot of wrinkles and may decide to go through this procedure to smooth out their skin. But reducing the appearance of wrinkles isn’t the only benefit that laser skin resurfacing has to offer.

The Other Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing

Besides treating fine lines and wrinkles, laser skin resurfacing is also ideal for treating various types of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation takes many different forms, such as age spots, sun discoloration, pigmentation left over from acne scars, and so on. Hyperpigmentation often goes away on its own, but sometimes it sticks around.

This is especially true with sun spots and age spots. Once the sun damages your skin, it can be hard to reverse that damage. Vitamin C and other ingredients can help brighten the skin and even out your skin tone, but skincare products like these can only do so much.

At a certain point, they won’t be able to lighten your hyperpigmentation anymore. This is especially true if your hyperpigmentation is located deep in the skin. In that case, it usually won’t be possible for traditional skincare products to even reach and treat the area of hyperpigmentation.

Again, this is where laser skin resurfacing comes in to help. By removing part or all of the epidermis, your hyperpigmentation will be far more vulnerable to treatment. If your hyperpigmentation is located in your epidermis, laser treatment might even be able to remove the pigmentation completely.

This would leave your skin tone looking much smoother than before. But what if the hyperpigmentation is located deeper in the skin? In that case, the laser would still be able to lighten the hyperpigmentation quite a lot so that it is barely noticeable.

Hyperpigmentation and Scarring

This is important not only for sun and age spots but also for those who suffer from stubborn pigmentation left over from acne scars. Pigmentation from acne scarring often tends to be located deep in the skin, and laser skin resurfacing is the perfect option to fix the problem. Because laser skin resurfacing penetrates the skin quite deeply, it is also great for treating uneven skin tone.

A person may have uneven skin tone for a variety of reasons. Usually, acne has something to do with it. People who suffer from cystic acne often will develop large pits in their skin that makes their skin look very bumpy and uneven.

Regular skin care treatments like retinol and vitamin C won’t do much against this kind of skin problem because of how severe and deep-rooted it is. But by removing the top layers of skin, laser skin resurfacing can make these scars far less noticeable. After several treatments, some people may even end up with completely smooth skin.

Even those with the most severe scarring will find that their remaining scars are hardly noticeable. This is not only important for smoothing out a person’s skin but also for allowing a person to get back his or her confidence concerning their appearance.

What To Expect From the Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure

Now that you know all about the major benefits of this procedure, you might be wondering what you should expect if you decide to go through with the procedure itself. The first thing you should know is that this is an outpatient procedure, so you won’t need to stay in a hospital overnight. If all goes well, you should be able to go home on the day of the procedure.

The type of sedation you get will depend on how extensive the treatment is. For example, if you are only getting a small portion of your face resurfaced, then your face will be injected with a numbing agent so you won’t feel anything. However, if you choose a more invasive procedure, such as resurfacing your entire face, you may instead be rendered unconscious with a sedative such as general anesthesia.

The procedure itself may take only 30 minutes if the treated area is not very large. On the other hand, if you are getting your entire face treated, the procedure may take as long as 2 hours. Because ablative laser treatments are quite invasive, you usually will only need one treatment to get the results you’re looking for.

Recovering After the Procedure

Because nonablative lasers are not as invasive, you may need to get several treatments to get the results you want, sometimes as many as three in total. Directly after the procedure, your skin will be very sensitive. In particular, it will be very red, and it might even be swollen.

Often, people find that their skin is very itchy after the procedure. This is normal, and you should keep yourself from scratching your skin as much as possible, as this may damage the skin or infect it. You will likely experience some pain after the procedure, but your doctor will provide you with painkillers to help the discomfort.

As for the swelling, you can reduce it by using a cold pack. After about a month, most of your skin’s inflammation should start to go down, and you should be able to admire the results of the treatment.

All About Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a very effective method for reducing all sorts of skin problems. Whether you suffer from fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or anything else, laser skin resurfacing should be able to help. It does this by removing part or all of the epidermis and stimulating collagen production in the dermis.

That way, your skin will look much smoother and more youthful. To learn more, book a consultation with us here.

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