Skin resurfacing is a procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of skin or to treat minor facial flaws by removing layers of skin. The new skin cells that form during the healing process will reveal skin that is tighter and younger looking. Skin resurfacing can be used on wrinkles, age spots, acne scars, crow’s feet, sagging skin, droopy eyelids, sun-damaged skin and other scars. The two most common types of skin resurfacing are carbon dioxide (CO2) and Erbium.
Are You a Good Candidate for Skin Resurfacing?
A consultation will determine if you are a good candidate. Laser skin resurfacing can trigger cold sores and fever blisters in those that are prone to them. If you are approved for the procedure you will be asked to stop taking medication and supplements like ibuprofen, aspirin or vitamin E for 10 days before the procedure; these can affect the way your blood clots. You will be asked to quit smoking for two weeks before the procedure as it can prolong the healing process. You may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection and antiviral medication if you are susceptible to cold sore and fever blisters. If you have active acne or very dark skin, you are not a good candidate foe skin resurfacing.
What to Expect Before Laser Skin Resurfacing
Skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure. Patients are often given medication to help them relax and to reduce pain. Topical anesthetics will be used to numb small treatment areas. Larger areas may require a nerve block of conscious sedation. Skin that is treated with laser skin resurfacing can react in different ways. But most of the time, it will feel like a mild sunburn. Potential complications can include a burning sensation, swelling, itching, pigmentation issues, scarring, infection and bumps that occur when sweat glands are obstructed. Your skin may look like you’ve suffered a severe sunburn. It may look raw, ooze and may even blister. You may even have a yellow liquid ooze from areas that were treated that will form a crust. Allow your skin to heal on its own. Do not pick at it because it can cause scarring.
Recovery After Skin Resurfacing Treatment
The treated area will need to be cleaned two to five times a day with a saline solution and protective skin care treatments will be applied to promote healing. Once healing is complete you will need to use sunscreen formulated for the sensitive, rejuvenated skin. Every day. No excuses! You may also be directed to use a liberal amount of moisturizer on your new skin every day. It may take up to year for pinkness to go away. It is very important to take care of your skin during the healing process.
Skin resurfacing cannot produce perfect skin, but it can improve the appearance of your skin. If aging, acne or too much time spent in the sun has left your skin with blotches, scars, wrinkles or lines, laser skin resurfacing may help your skin look younger and healthier. Contact ENT Specialists for a consultation today!