Laser resurfacing or “laser peels” is generally used to minimize the appearance of fine lines, mainly in the areas around the mouth and the eyes.
It is also an effective solution for treating facial scars or areas of uneven pigmentation.
Laser resurfacing is performed both on the whole face as well as in specific regions.
The procedure is frequent done in conjunction with another cosmetic operation, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery.
The benefits of laser resurfacing of skins are ahead of those offered by another skin rejuvenation option. It is the best treatment to ensure overall improvement of chronically photo damaged skin.
Skin damage caused by photo aging is presented in various forms like rhytides and actinic keratoses, scarring from severe acne, surgery, or trauma. These are all cosmetic disfigurements posing psychological problems to the patients. Most of these problems can be effectively cured by laser scar resurfacing.
The laser resurfacing procedure uses a light beam from a CO2 laser. The idea is to vaporize the upper layers of damaged skin at specific and controlled levels of penetration.
A significantly positive side of laser resurfacing is that it produces less bleeding, bruising and post-operative discomfort than is typically seen with other resurfacing methods.
Eligibility for laser resurfacing
Before you proceed for laser resurfacing, you need to consult a doctor to check your eligibility.
The consultation will include a careful assessment of the problematic area.
Your skin condition will also play a crucial role in this regard. For example, dark skin types are more likely to complications from skin pigmentation after laser treatment.
Skin conditions helpful for laser resurfacing
A full-face laser resurfacing is likely to produce dramatic result mainly in aged, sun-damaged skin where actinic and seborrheic keratosis, lentigines, and telangiectasias are common. Besides, CO2 laser surgery seemingly gives good results for all scar types.
However, laser scar resurfacing is a better option for saucer-shaped distensible areas, rather than pitted scars for which dermabrasion is a better option.
Laser scar resurfacing is also a suitable option for problems like atrophic facial scars, hypertrophic scars and traumatic scars, which can also be ablated with considerable improvement of their appearance.
Laser scar resurfacing is of great help in blending the scar with the texture and color of the patient’s skin.
Skin conditions not suitable for laser resurfacing
However, laser resurfacing has certain limitations as well. For example, the procedure is not that effective in treating the nasolabial folds.
Risks and uncertainties in laser resurfacing
Handling of laser resurfacing by a qualified and experienced surgeon reduces the chances and level of complications. However, the outcome of the surgery is not completely predictable.
The risks you should be prepared for in this surgery include –
- burns or other injuries caused by the heat of the laser energy
- obvious lightening or darkening of the skin area that has been treated
Sometimes the healing seems abnormal or delayed. Besides, sometimes there is evidence of abnormal pigmentation or scarring. In such cases additional coercive measures and treatment may be required.
The risks can be reduced to a great extent by choosing a plastic surgeon specially trained in laser surgery.