Washington Univesity Facial Plastic Surgery Center
Washington Univesity Facial Plastic Surgery Center
Laser Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing can be used on your entire face or on small, specific problem areas of your face or neck.

It is a relatively new cosmetic treatment for skin discoloration, acne scars, the repair of damaged skin or to smooth lines and wrinkles. Laser resurfacing can also be used with other facial enhancements such as facelifts, eyelid or nose surgery and facial implants to give you a more dramatic, youthful appearance.

The pulsating light of a small laser beam is used to create a precisely-controlled, layer by layer burn of superficial skin. This achieves the same results as a chemical peel and dermabrasion. The healthy new skin below is revealed by removing the outer damaged layers of skin.

This treatment is usually done on an outpatient basis with either local anesthesia or an IV sedative. A topical anesthetic cream can also be used for numbing the face.Following this treatment the skin will be red or pink. The treated area will take several days to a week for the damaged skin to completely flake off and the new skin to recover.

Normally, two weeks after laser resurfacing any swelling that occurred will be gone and cosmetics should easily cover any remaining redness of the skin. Most patients return to work after 1 to 2 weeks with or without camouflage makeup.

For the next six months sun exposure should be avoided and the use of a good sun block is strongly recommended. Sunscreens for the face should be rated at an SPF of 30 and should protect against UVA as well as UVB.

SPF ratings are only for UVB rays and a good sunscreen should also contain Parsol, zinc oxide or titanium oxide to protect against UVA.