Laser Skin Resurfacing
Sun-damaged, weathered, and aging skin can be made to look fresher, smoother, and more even-toned when treated with carbon dioxide and erbium lasers, as well as other light-based or radio frequency treatments. Cosmetic laser skin resurfacing results in a healing process that increases the collagen in your skin, tightening it and helping to diminish noticeable irregularities, and giving you a more vibrant, youthful appearance.
What Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Do?
Laser skin resurfacing is used to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the surface of your face. During the procedure, a CO2 or erbium laser is used to precisely break down the molecular bonds of your damaged skin cells layer by layer, gradually exposing a smoother, more rejuvenated appearance. Gone are the wrinkles, scars, and pigmentation that have made your skin look worn and aged, leaving new skin cells to form in their place. The result is a tighter surface with a more uniform look overall.
Types of Lasers for Resurfacing
When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Terrasse will examine your skin, talk with you about your desired results, and recommend the best laser treatment for your skin needs. The two most commonly used laser technologies for skin resurfacing are the CO2 and erbium lasers, which we proudly offer at Terrasse Aesthetic Surgery.
Carbon Dioxide Laser (CO2)
A carbon dioxide laser for skin resurfacing uses advanced laser technology to remove the outer layers of your damaged skin, revealing the softer, smoother, and younger-looking skin underneath. A CO2 laser treatment is used to treat more severe, deeper facial lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, as it can penetrate further into the dermis to repair deeper damage.
Skin resurfacing using the erbium laser offers a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your skin, as it can effectively eliminate lines and wrinkles in the “ light to moderate” category. This erbium laser (the 1540nm wavelength device by Cynosure) is less invasive and offers a quicker recovery time than the CO2 laser, but is most successful in erasing superficial lines from the face.
Procedure, Results, and Recovery
Laser skin resurfacing can be uncomfortable, so prior to the procedure, Dr. Terrasse will discuss your options for pain management. Depending on which laser is used, and how extensive the treatment will be, discomfort can be managed with a topical analgesic, or even general anesthesia.
Once the treatment is complete, you may look and feel like you have a sunburn. Everyone’s skin responds differently, but most everyone will experience redness and swelling initially. Because the top layer of your skin has been removed, your face will look raw, and your skin may itch or sting. As you begin to heal, a yellowish liquid may ooze from the treatment areas and form a crust. This is a natural part of the healing process, so do not scratch or pick at it, as it can cause scarring. Dr. Terrasse will give you instructions on how to care for your skin during your recovery, and it is vital that you follow them to the letter to avoid infection and scarring – rare side effects, but possible.
About a week to two weeks after your treatment (depending on whether you had a CO2 or erbium procedure), your skin will start to look a bit better, but will become dry and begin to peel. Your final results will be visible after the peeling has ceased, though the new skin will stay pink for a while – it will continue to lighten gradually over the next few months.
If you have lines, wrinkles or acne scarring that hasn’t responded to other types of treatment, laser skin resurfacing may be the procedure you need. Call Terrasse Aesthetic Surgery today at 847-234-2400 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Terrasse.