What is skin resurfacing?
Skin resurfacing is a general term used to describe procedures that remove the superficial layer of the skin. Skin resurfacing can be accomplished by using medium to deep peels, dermabrasion, or laser skin resurfacing. By removing the upper layer of the skin, superficial wrinkles, sun damage, and certain scars can be improved.
What is the recovery like after a chemical peel?
Most patients that undergo a chemical peel are able to return to work about a week after. After the peel, the skin usually sheds five days later, giving way to new, pink skin. The skin will remain pink for about 2 weeks. During this time, topical makeup can be used to conceal the pink skin. It is important to avoid sun for about three months after the peel.
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 the recovery like after dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is usually performed for upper lip wrinkles and for acne scars. The recovery from dermabrasion is about two weeks. During the first week, the new top layer of skin forms. The skin surface during this time is red which will improve over the following weeks. It will progress to pink and then back to the normal skin color over a month.
Are there any limitations to what skin resurfacing can achieve?
Skin resurfacing can improve the appearance of the skin, but it cannot produce perfect skin or stop the aging process. In addition, skin resurfacing cannot correct sagging skin which is better treated with other procedures.
Who is the best candidate skin resurfacing?
Individuals who are physically healthy, realistic in their expectations and looking to improve the appearance of the facial skin may be good candidates for skin resurfacing. Skin type and color, ethnic background and age can influence whether or not an individual is an appropriate candidate for skin resurfacing. A qualified plastic surgeon can help you to determine if skin resurfacing is right for you.
What happens during a consultation for skin resurfacing?
During a consultation for skin resurfacing, the surgeon will examine your skin and take a thorough medical history. He or she will discuss your goals and the options available to you. The surgeon will explain the intended procedural technique, the anesthesia options, the facility, the risks, and the costs. Other procedures may be recommended at this time to help you achieve your desired goal. A skin care regimen may also be prescribed prior to treatment.
Where is skin resurfacing performed?
Many skin resurfacing procedures take place in a surgeon’s office, though they can also be performed in an outpatient surgery center or a hospital.
What type of anesthesia is used for skin resurfacing?
A local anesthetic and/or freezing agent may be used for dermabrasion. Phenol and TCA peels typically do not require anesthesia as the chemical solution contains an anesthetic, though sedation may also be used, and glycolic acid peels tend to be mild enough that they do not require anesthesia. Laser surgery is most often performed with local anesthesia and sedation, though more extensive resurfacing may require general anesthesia.
How is the actual skin resurfacing procedure?
For chemical peels, the face if first cleaned with a solution and then one of several chemical solutions is applied directly to the skin. For dermabrasion, a high speed rotating brush is used on the skin, removing the top layers, until the appropriate result is achieved. For laser surgery, a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is passed over the skin, instantly vaporizing the top layer.
What is the recovery like after skin resurfacing?
A dressing may be applied to the skin immediately after a chemical peel or dermabrasion. It common for the skin to swell and crust after treatment, and redness of the skin can persist for about four weeks. Ointments may need to be applied to the treated area for seven to ten days. The skin will begin to appear pinkish and free of many wrinkles within about one to two weeks after the procedure. Extreme temperatures and activities which may cause stress to the healing skin will need to be avoided for some time. In addition, sun exposure may need to be limited at first and patients will need to use sunblock while the new pigment forms.
Does insurance cover the cost of skin resurfacing?
Skin resurfacing procedures performed for purely cosmetic reasons are typically not covered by insurance, though some degree of coverage may be available for the treatment of major deformities or skin injuries.
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