Laser Skin Resurfacing Overview
Laser skin resurfacing is a procedure that is performed through the use of a laser. In recent years, laser skin resurfacing has become a viable option for many individuals who wish to reduce the signs of premature wrinkling and aging. Laser skin resurfacing is especially effective when dealing with acne scarring or wrinkles caused by "crows feet". Produced through a laser that emits amplified light waves, the high energy generated from the tool evaporates, or vaporizes, the top layer of the skin.
Laser skin resurfacing is typically available through two different types of laser procedures that utilize different wavelength and pulse durations. The type of laser that is used will determine the depth of the skin resurfacing. The two most common types of laser skin resurfacing procedures literally vaporize the top layer of skin and remove damaged skin cells. These procedures are:
Erbium laser treatment options provide an effective and gentle procedure for the reduction and smoothing of mild wrinkles and causes less disruption and discomfort to surrounding tissues. This procedure is ideal for use on the face, hands, chest and neck, and allows for a one-week recovery.
Carbon dioxide laser treatments, also known as "CO2" laser treatments, are stronger and are most beneficial for moderate to deep wrinkles. This treatment option will also treat scars, warts and birthmarks as well as skin cancer. Recovery time for this procedure may allow for up to two weeks, with some redness and swelling to be expected.
Procedures for both types of laser skin resurfacing generally take between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on amount of skin surface to be treated.
Some plastic surgeons offer a combination of these treatments, but such determinations should be made on an individualized basis between patient and doctor. In addition, the type of procedure will also depend on the patient's age, general overall health, and degree of skin pigmentation that is to be addressed.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Procedure
Laser or light treatments serve to smooth the surface of the skin and help to eliminate pigmentation spots caused by sun damage, scarring or age. The laser emits wavelengths that are pulsated at regular frequencies in a scanning motion over the surface of the skin to be treated, and literally remove the uppermost surface layer of the skin.
Patients should be warned that protection against the sun is vital for up to a year following a laser skin resurfacing treatment in order to avoid irregular or regrowth of skin pigmentation's.
Benefits of Laser Skin Resurfacing
Individuals undergoing laser skin resurfacing treatments may enjoy several benefits. Laser skin resurfacing techniques will help to reduce the signs of both static and dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles are those that are present regardless of facial movements, and dynamic wrinkles are those that appear when laughing, smiling, or squinting. Skin laser resurfacing treatments also may help to reduce the signs of scarring and pigmentation issues caused by freckles and what are most commonly known as "age spots".
The best candidates for laser skin resurfacing treatments are healthy individuals who don't smoke and who have realistic goals for the treatment. Always be sure to discuss with physicians current medications or herbal supplements that you may be taking. A plastic or cosmetic surgeon will be able to address risks involved with the laser skin resurfacing treatments, such as scarring, pigmentation or infection.
Cost of Procedures
Cost will be determined by location of the physician's office, as well as age, depth of skin damage, and type of procedure selected. In most cases, costs include surgeon and facility fees, as well as prescriptions and any medical testing fees that need to be completed beforehand.
Laser skin resurfacing treatments are considered an elective procedure in the United States and are typically not covered by health insurance plans. Costs of laser skin resurfacing treatments in the United States may range from $2,000-$4,000. In South American locations such as Costa Rica, laser skin resurfacing may cost $1,600-$2,400, while the benefits of receiving such treatment in India cannot be denied with an average cost of $780 per treatment.
Choosing a Physician
Before choosing a laser skin resurfacing specialist, make sure that the doctor of your choice is certified by a state, domestic, or country Board of Plastic Surgery as well as one that enjoys membership in domestic or international societies of plastic surgeons. Determine how long the physician has been in practice, and whether or not he or she has received certified training accreditation in laser skin resurfacing techniques.
Skin Care, Skin Rejuvenation