Laser skin resurfacing
People who have had professional skin treatments in the past may have memories of long, painful sessions that produced little or no results. Today’s treatments offer a sharp contrast, and one of the best examples is laser skin resurfacing.
Both men and women can develop fine lines and wrinkles as they age. Discolored areas from aging or from the sun are also common, on the face, hands and other areas. Women can have stretch marks from pregnancy, and stretch marks also can occur in anyone who has rapid weight gain or loss. Acne scars can lead to emotional stress in teens and adults alike.
All these conditions can be improved with laser skin resurfacing. This procedure works by penetrating into underlying layers of skin and stimulating the growth of collagen, a protein that’s found in connective tissue. As collagen increases it plumps and tightens the skin, filling in depressions, wrinkles and lines. It’s also excellent for treating dark patches, sun spots and other skin discolorations; as well as acne and surgical scars. Stretch marks can be greatly reduced with multiple treatments.
Laser skin resurfacing treatments usually last between 15 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the size of the treatment area. A topical numbing cream can be applied to the skin to alleviate any mild discomfort. After the treatment, your skin may be pink and slightly swollen for a few hours or days. It’s important to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen for several weeks before and after your treatments to prevent irregular pigmentation of your skin.
When the initial pinkness from laser skin resurfacing subsides, you’ll see the results. Many people are surprised at the improvement in just one session, and skin tone, texture, and color continue to improve with each subsequent treatment — the typical regimen is three to six treatments. More severe problems can require more treatments to reach the best result. You also may want to return in a year or so for maintenance treatments, since skin problems such as lines, wrinkles and skin imperfections naturally recur.
As with any cosmetic medical procedure, results vary from patient to patient.