Laser Resurfacing | Plastic Surgery Center of Hattiesburg
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Laser Resurfacing

Laser Resurfacing

iStock_000010297660XSmall-205x300Laser resurfacing involves the use of lasers to dramatically improve skin quality.  This impressive procedure can diminish lines, erase wrinkles, reduce acne scarring, correct blotchiness, improve skin tone, and minimize other types of imperfections.  Fortunately, lasers have come a long way since their primitive cousins arrived on the scene.  In fact, this procedure is a fabulous anti-aging option for the right candidate.

There are different resurfacing lasers on the market, but they commonly fall in to two categories: ablative and non-ablative.  Let’s look at both types more closely.

Ablative.  Ablative lasers use intense light energy beams to penetrate the skin.  The top layers are usually burned, while the deeper layers are heated, ultimately stimulating collagen.  Ablative lasers are convenient in the respect that only one treatment is usually required to produce a desired outcome.  Still, downtime is common, and the depth of the burn often determines recovery periods; for example, it can take about one week for a lighter resurfacing while six to eight weeks may occur for deeper resurfacing.  This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and local or general anesthesia may be recommended.  Common side effects include pinkness, rawness, crustiness, swelling, and itchiness.  The typical result when healing is complete?  Beautiful, younger, and more radiant skin!

Non-ablative.  Non-ablative lasers are convenient in the respect they are less disruptive.  However, multiple treatments are common to realize a preferred result.  Skin is not burned with this type of laser; instead, collagen stimulation is the goal by targeting tissue beneath the skin.  Because this is a milder procedure, recovery is much quicker.  In fact, depending on the degree of laser penetration, there may be no downtime at all.  Minor redness and swelling are possible side effects.  However, they typically go away within a few days.  Topical or local anesthesia may be used to minimize discomfort.  Non-ablative laser resurfacing is a wonderful choice for individuals who do not have the ability to stay indoors while healing takes place.

Keep in mind lasers can be damaging in the wrong hands.  Therefore, it is important to seek out a skilled board certified plastic surgeon if you are considering this procedure.  A qualified doctor will possess the necessary training and experience and know which type of laser is most appropriate for your concerns.

At the same time, it is also important to adhere to doctor recommendations following laser resurfacing (e.g., stay out of the sun, wear sun block when outdoors).  Neglecting guidelines may prolong healing times.

Laser resurfacing can make a tremendous difference in the appearance and vitality of your skin.  It may even seem as if the hands of time traveled backwards.  Hmm, now that sounds like forward thinking.

Dr. Paul J. Talbot
[email protected]
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