What Is Involved in Laser Resurfacing Recovery?

Marlene Garcia

Laser resurfacing recovery involves guarding against infection and avoiding excessive sun exposure until skin completely heals. Depending upon the extent and depth of the area treated, laser resurfacing recovery might take from a few weeks to months. The skin might appear swollen or red, and could itch or burn. After about a week, surface skin might feel dry and begin peeling. Scabs could also form if deep tissue layers were treated.

Laser treatments can reduce acne scarring.
Laser treatments can reduce acne scarring.

Immediately after the procedure and for the next few days, laser resurfacing recovery involves flushing treated areas with cool water. This might help keep the skin hydrated and wash away any crusts that develop. Ointments typically are applied to protect new skin and keep it moist during the healing process.

Using sun protection is considered crucial to laser resurfacing recovery in order to prevent sunburn and discoloration. The fresh skin might remain red for three to six months after laser treatment, and might easily sunburn. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons typically recommend sun block products and hats to protect newly exposed skin from damage.

Patients should also monitor treated areas during laser resurfacing recovery for signs of infection. Some doctors prescribe antibiotics to ward off infection before it develops. Symptoms of infection can be checked by daily temperature readings and watching for excess swelling or pain in the treated skin.

Laser resurfacing involves numbing the area before removing wrinkles, scars, discoloration, or tattoos. Rapid pulses of light vaporize the top layer of skin to expose new tissue. Several passes with the laser might be necessary for scars or wrinkles that extend into deeper layers of skin. Over time, new skin grows over the treated areas.

The procedure commonly involves the face but can also be done on other areas of the body. Surgeons typically do not recommend laser resurfacing for the hands, neck, and chest because these areas might heal poorly or leave thick scar tissue. The process usually works best on light-colored skin. Darker skin might become permanently discolored in areas treated with laser resurfacing.

Several methods of skin resurfacing might be available. Fractional laser treatments typically involve small areas of surface skin and cause very little bleeding. Plasma energy laser resurfacing can penetrate more deeply without harming outer layers of epidermis. A superficial process might be effective for light wrinkles and other flaws, while infrared laser resurfacing might tighten underlying skin tissue.

These procedures commonly treat wrinkles around the mouth or eyes. They might also be effective to remove scars caused by acne, birthmarks, or areas of skin damaged by sun exposure. When used to remove tattoos, several treatments are common, and the skin might remain discolored after the laser resurfacing recovery period.

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