Laser resurfacing, also known as laser peel or lasabrasion, is a treatment procedure used to remove facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as acne scars or blemishes. The technique uses short and concentrated beams of light at irregular skin, precisely removing skin layer by layer. People with wrinkles or fine lines around the eyes, mouth or forehead, visible scar marks from acne, or non-responsive skin after a facelift, usually opt for this treatment.
Laser resurfacing is performed by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. Your doctor may either treat the wrinkles around your mouth, forehead or eyes individually, or may treat your entire face, depending on how much needs to be done on your face. The two most common types of laser techniques used for the treatment are- Carbon dioxide and Erbium. Each of the procedure vaporizes the damaged skin cells at the surface level.
Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing technique directs short pulsed light energy known as ultrapulse, or continuous light beams that are directed in a scanning pattern to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage. Erbium laser resurfacing technique, on the other hand, is designed to remove surface level and moderately deep wrinkles and lines on your face, neck, chest and hands with minimal burning of surrounding tissues.
Before performing the technique some preparations are also carried out by the dermatologist or the plastic surgeon. If you are on medications like ibuprofen or, vitamin E supplements, then they must be stopped in order to prevent affecting blood clotting. To start with, your doctor will treat you with local anesthesia or a sedative before operating on the smaller areas of your face which takes about 35-40 minutes. If your entire face is being treated, you will need to have a general anesthesia, and the procedure may take around 2 hours. The two most common types of laser techniques used for the treatment are- Carbon dioxide and Erbium. Each of the procedure vaporizes the damaged skin cells at the surface level.
Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing technique directs short pulsed light energy also known as ultrapulse, or continuous beams of light that are targeted on the affected skin in a scanning manner to peel off thin layers of skin at the same time not damaging the skin too much with the heat. In Erbium laser resurfacing method, on the other hand, deep wrinkles and fine lines on the skin of your face, neck, chest and hands are treated with minimal burning of surrounding tissues.
If you have wrinkles or fine lines around the eyes, mouth or forehead, visible scar marks from acne, or non-responsive skin after a facelift, then you are eligible for a laser resurfacing treatment.
People with a darker skin tone or multiple acnes, and stretch marks may not be eligible for this treatment. If you’re allergic or prone to skin rashes, burning sensation and itchiness, then consult a doctor for a discussion on whether you should get a laser resurfacing done or not.
Laser resurfacing treatment usually accounts to side effects such as swelling, redness, bruises and blisters, bacterial infections, burns from the laser heat, cold sores and scarring, for which your doctor may prescribe antibiotic medications to avoid infections and steroids to manage swelling around your eyes. Other side effects like turning of the eyelids called ectropion, induced acne, changes in the colour of the skin and infection can also occur.CO2 laser technology has the risk of hyperpigmentation or permanent darkening of the skin whereas, Erbium laser technology can cause hypopigmentation.
After the treatment you will be required to follow certain guidelines- abstain from smoking for at least 2 weeks as it may prolong the healing process, clean the area on your face that has been treated 4-5 times a day and apply ice packs in order to reduce the swelling, apply oinments like petroleum jelly to prevent itchiness, use a good SPF sunscreen to keep yourself protected from the UltraViolet rays, keep your skin moisturized and avoid spicy, fried food. Also, make sure you follow the prescribed medications to keep away from allergy and bacterial infections.
Recovery after a laser resurfacing treatment does not take time. If you’ve been treated with carbon dioxide laser technique it will take you up to 2 weeks to recover, while the erbium laser technique takes lesser time, typically a week.
The price for each session of laser resurfacing treatment in India roughly varies between Rs.1000 to Rs.30,000 depending on whether you would like to go for a partial skin treatment or a full-face laser treatment.
Laser resurfacing is an effective treatment procedure for achieving long-lasting and noticeable results. However, like any other cosmetic surgery, the results are not permanent. The person undergoing a laser treatment will need to follow post treatment guidelines and a consistent skin care regime to ensure long-lasting results.
Alternatives to laser resurfacing include- chemical peels, Intense Pulsed Light treatment, Microdermabrasion makeover, and scrubbing. Chemical peels use certain chemicals instead of laser beams to treat your skin. These chemicals act like effective scrubbers on the outer surface of your skin wherein the hardened outermost layers of the skin are removed effectively. If you’re not eligible for a laser resurfacing treatment or if you’re prone to the side effects, you may opt for any of these alternative treatment procedures.