Skin resurfacing involves several procedure, including chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser surgery. Skin resurfacing procedures are designed to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, scars, blemishes, sun damage and uneven pigmentation in order to provide a smoother, more youthful appearance to the facial skin. There are a number of factors, including skin type and color, ethnicity and age, which help to determine whether or not an individual is a good candidate for skin resurfacing, and a qualified plastic surgeon can help you determine if the procedure is right for you. Patients should also be physically healthy and have realistic expectations.
While many skin resurfacing procedures are performed in a surgeon’s office, they can also take place in a hospital or an outpatient center. Different types of anesthesia may be used for different types of skin resurfacing procedures, but typically they may include local anesthesia, a freezing agent and/or sedation. More extensive resurfacing through laser surgery may require general anesthesia. Some procedures may require more than one treatment. Chemical peels typically begin by cleaning the skin with a solution then directly applying one of several chemical solutions to the skin. Dermabrasion involves the use of a high speed rotating brush which removed the top layers of skin until the appropriate level is reached. Laser surgery, also referred to as laser skin resurfacing or laser peel, uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser which instantly vaporizes the top layer of skin.
Swelling and crusting of the skin is common after treatment, along with redness which typically fades within four weeks. Patients may be required to apply an ointment to the treated area for seven to ten days. Within about one to two weeks after the procedure, the skin will begin to appear pinkish and free of many wrinkles. Patients will need to protect the skin from the sun as it heals, and extreme temperatures and activities which may cause stress to the skin will need to be avoided for a period of time.
What is skin resurfacing?
Skin resurfacing involves several procedures able to improve the look of facial skin by minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, scars, blemishes, uneven pigmentation, and sun damage. Options for skin resurfacing include chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser surgery. Depending upon the procedure, more than one treatment may be necessary.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a procedure able to provide a smoother, more youthful appearance to the facial skin by peeling away the skin’s top layers using a chemical solution. Glycolic acid peels are the mildest form of peel while phenol peels are the deepest or strongest. Trichloroacetic acid, or TCA, peels may be used in a variety of strengths.
What is dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is a procedure able to smooth out deeper scars and wrinkles through a method of controlled surgical scraping. This procedure removes the top layer of skin with a high speed rotating brush.
What is laser surgery?
Laser surgery, also referred to as laser skin resurfacing and a laser peel, is a procedure which uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device to vaporize the top layer of skin in order to improve the appearance of wrinkles, sun exposure and acne scarring.