Patients in the Newport Beach, California area in need of cosmetic treatment have often turned to laser resurfacing to reach their goals. Laser resurfacing is a procedure that utilizes the power of laser energy to help patients improve certain cosmetic flaws from fine lines and wrinkles to sun damage and scars. Patients who are interested in learning more about laser resurfacing and its capabilities in helping patients rejuvenate and improve the appearance of their skin are encouraged to talk to a knowledgeable skincare professional.
Before an appointment, however, it may be helpful to obtain a bit of a general understanding of laser resurfacing, how it works and what benefits it offers to patients. In laser resurfacing, a laser is used to gently ablate the skin to help overcome certain skin conditions and cosmetic flaws. Unlike other cosmetic procedures, laser resurfacing is relatively bloodless. This is a major benefit for some patients tired of, or put off by, invasive procedures that require extensive periods of downtime.
Before patients undergo laser resurfacing, it is important to understand that the procedure is not intended to replace a facelift. However, it may be helpful in eliminating certain folds or wrinkles in the skin, and may help to tighten skin. Some choose to use laser resurfacing in conjunction with other treatments or may turn to laser resurfacing as a replacement for dermabrasion.
Erbium: YAG lasers or CO2 lasers may be used to administer this treatment. Most laser resurfacing treatments are performed on an outpatient basis using just a local anesthetic and a sedative. There is no general anesthetic required for this procedure, which is another advantage over certain cosmetic procedures. Treatment may take between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the area being treated and the size of the treatment area.
Patients may be required to wear a sterile dressing on the treated area for about 24 hours after the procedure. Saline solution may then be used to clean the face three times a day before applying an ointment. Patients should follow their doctor's recovery instructions and should take care of their wounds to ensure proper healing.
Redness may be present on the treated area for about two to three months, although some may experience redness for up to six months. Blonde or red haired patients may experience a longer period of recovery than other patients. Makeup may be used to camouflage the area once it heals. Most dermatologists will recommend an oil-free makeup.
Possible complications associated with laser resurfacing include milia (small white bumps) and increased pigmentation (especially in darker skinned patients). Rarely, decreased pigmentation may occur as well. Some may complain of the reappearance of a cold sore, especially if the area around the mouth was treated. Patients with cold sores should discuss this with a dermatologist, as antiviral medications may help to reduce this risk.
Following treatment, patients should practice safe sun exposure and should take the proper precautions, such as wearing sunscreen, to protect themselves from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Optimal results may take up to six months to fully appear, although this may vary. Any further questions about laser resurfacing or various cosmetic conditions should be directed to a trained skincare professional in the Newport Beach community.