When you look in the mirror, are the wrinkles on your face the first thing you notice? Do you see discolored or freckled areas that have resulted from years of sun exposure? Does your skin lack the radiant glow that it once had? If so, laser skin resurfacing may be able to improve these conditions. This popular cosmetic procedure works by removing the top layers of damaged skin to reveal the healthy layers below and restore a fresh look.
Although most patients experience remarkable results, there can be some drawbacks to laser skin resurfacing for others. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery detail the pros and cons associated with this procedure for patients in Northern Virginia.
What is laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing is designed to treat wrinkles, blemishes, acne scars, the appearance of prominent pores and blood vessels, and other skin irregularities on the face. Short pulses of concentrated laser light are delivered to remove layers of skin. During ablative laser skin resurfacing treatments, the top layer of the skin is removed to expose the undamaged layers beneath. It also stimulates the production of collagen to improve the skin’s texture and firmness along with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Non-ablative skin resurfacing targets deeper layers of skin and addresses underlying redness, broken blood vessels and pigment issues.
At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, laser skin resurfacing is expertly performed by our board-certified plastic surgeons utilizing the Halo system. With a state-of-the-art hybrid fractional laser, thin layers of sun-damaged skin along with old skin cells are removed at precisely the proper depth to address each patient’s individual aesthetic needs and desires. Similarly, the Fraxel re:Store system employs fractional laser technology to remove skin cells that have been damaged, including those on the face, hands, chest, and neck. Laser skin resurfacing also kick starts collagen production to help restore a rejuvenated appearance to the skin.
Who is a candidate?
Most men and women in Northern Virginia are good candidates for laser skin resurfacing, including those who are displeased with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on their face and neck, especially around the eyes and mouth and on the forehead. Other issues that can be addressed include uneven skin texture and tone and sun damage resulting in brown spots. Shallow acne and other types of scars also may be improved. However, for patients with dark skin, not all types of laser skin resurfacing treatments are suitable. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery work closely with patients to determine which procedures will provide them with the best results.
Now that you know more about the basics of laser skin resurfacing, read on to discover some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with this innovative procedure.
Pros of laser skin resurfacing
No surgery needed - Unlike a traditional facelift and other procedures designed to tighten the skin and eliminate wrinkles, no incisions are required to enjoy the benefits of laser skin resurfacing. Smoother, more evenly toned and refreshed results are possible without the potential for scarring or having to endure a lengthy recovery period. Because it is performed by highly skilled medical professionals, it is rare for patients to experience serious side effects.
Your skin will look visibly improved - The reason that most patients opt for laser skin resurfacing is to dramatically improve the appearance of their skin in ways that cannot be accomplished with the use of traditional skin care creams and other products alone. Rather than simply covering up wrinkles and blemishes, the procedure actually removes them. Meanwhile, the heat produced by the laser stimulates the production of collagen. As a result, the skin will become firmer and less saggy. This added fullness may leave you looking years younger.
Long-lasting results - Many patients can experience improvements in a variety of skin conditions soon after their laser skin resurfacing treatment is completed. Previous blemishes will no longer be apparent on the new layer of skin that has been revealed. It is important to remember, however, that this fresh skin will age over time. A proper daily skincare and cleansing routine will enhance and extend the duration of your laser skin resurfacing results.
Cons of laser skin resurfacing
Some downtime - Although the recovery period associated with laser skin resurfacing is not as lengthy as what typically is required by surgical procedures that produce similar results, Northern Virginia area patients will still need some time to recover. Following treatment, the skin may look red and irritated, which could persist for several weeks. While this usually can be partially concealed by makeup, it may still be noticeable.
Less effective on stretch marks - Patients who are considering laser skin resurfacing to eliminate the appearance of stretch marks may wish to reconsider this treatment for that purpose. That is because treatment is more effective on immature stretch marks that are still red versus mature marks that have turned white. Stretch marks denote a change that has occurred in the deep layers of the skin, called the dermis, which means that they are not likely to be significantly improved by removing the top layers of the skin.
Discoloration - It is extremely important for laser skin resurfacing treatments to be performed by highly qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeons such as those Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in order to prevent any unwanted side effects from occurring. Because of the powerful laser light that is used during treatment, it is possible for the skin to become discolored, especially among patients with dark skin who may experience pigmentation loss as a result. Treated skin may appear lighter or pinker in color than other areas of the face. It often is recommended that patients avoid direct sun exposure during the weeks before their laser skin resurfacing treatment so that the intensity of the laser can be adjusted to the skin’s natural color.
Are you interested in laser skin resurfacing?
Before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, it is important to weigh the pluses and minuses of the treatment to determine whether it will ultimately deliver the improved aesthetic results that you desire. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery are dedicated to providing patients in Northern Virginia with the information they need in order to select procedures that are right for them. To learn more about the many benefits of laser skin resurfacing, you are encouraged to call our office, located in Reston, VA, and schedule an appointment today.