The 411 on Laser Skin Resurfacing

Our skin is continually battered as we go through life each day, both from harsh environmental elements and from our own internal aging processes. With each passing decade, moisture and essential oils that keep the skin healthy diminish, while chronic or excess sun exposure weakens and destroys connective fibers. Skin in this state is more susceptible to further damage. Common skin conditions can leave scars or cause chronic discoloration. For anyone unhappy with these changes, there are cosmetic techniques that can restore youthful-looking, glowing skin. The team at Skin Wellness Physicians explains that laser skin resurfacing, available at the Naples-based dermatology practice, is a popular choice for skin rejuvenation in the sunny state of Florida—and beyond.

Laser resurfacing is used to address skin irregularities such as wrinkles, acne scars, and pigmentation issues, and can provide improvement for sun-damaged areas. Additionally, laser skin resurfacing can make loose skin tighter and firmer, without surgery or injections. The treatment can be applied to the face, neck, chest, and hands. In some cases, smaller, isolated areas are targeted, but the laser can also be used on virtually the entire face. After treatment, and as the tissue heals, the skin will feel softer to the touch with a clearer and more even tone. Note that laser skin resurfacing is not typically recommended for people who have active acne, as the focused light may worsen inflammation.

The more dramatic, ablative form of laser skin resurfacing vaporizes the outermost older layer of skin cells with strong heat. Lasers give off a wavelength of light that is absorbed by and “breaks apart” unwanted pigmentation. Skin Wellness Physicians uses erbium or CO2 lasers, and the benefits are twofold: The laser gets rid of the layer of skin where most of the visible damage exists, while also working below the surface to promote healthy collagen development and accelerate skin cell turnover.

Erbium laser resurfacing is used for mild to moderate superficial wrinkles and lines. As erbium lasers leave nearby tissues virtually unharmed, they are associated with fewer side effects and require a shorter recovery time when compared to the more “aggressive” carbon dioxide (CO2) laser treatments. Both of these types of ablative lasers make use of infrared light.

For improved comfort, providers usually give patients an anesthetic before using lasers. The intensity of the treatments can be adjusted based on the types of skin imperfections the patient is hoping to address. Ablative laser treatments usually generate more dramatic results, though they require a longer recovery period than some other strategies. That said, they are ideal for more severe forms of wrinkling, sun damage, and scarring.

To ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment, it’s important to do your research and choose a practice led by board-certified dermatologists who have experience with administering laser skin resurfacing. During your initial consultation, your provider will assess your overall medical history and current state of health to determine whether you’re a good candidate. They may physically inspect your skin and features to explore the type of results possible. This is the best time to discuss your overall goals and expectations, risks, costs involved, and the specifics of the procedure.

Side effects are generally minor, with most recipients experiencing minor redness and swelling. After having this energy-based treatment, your skin will need about a week to fully heal. During this time, to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that you achieve the most beautiful results, it’s important to protect the sensitive skin from exposure to UV radiation, as the sun can worsen previous skin damage and cause burns or hyperpigmentation. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen before going out, cover the skin, and seek shelter whenever possible. In the upcoming weeks and months, patients should cleanse the treatment area well, keep it moisturized and follow post-treatment instructions from their provider.

Ready to take the next step? Contact Skin Wellness Physicians today to learn more about options for laser skin resurfacing and other cosmetic dermatology services. Contact the Marco Island and Naples locations directly by calling (239) 732-0044 or by filling in a contact form online.

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Categories: Beauty Lifestyle