How Effective is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Here’s everything that first-time patients should know about this popular method of skin rejuvenation
A proven solution for improving the quality and appearance of the skin, laser skin resurfacing involves using beams of light to vaporize the skin’s outer layers while stimulating the growth of new collagen fibres.
Depending on the specific laser treatment and type, this results in a visible reduction in the appearance of skin issues like wrinkles, age spots, acne scars and more - and even an improvement in skin tightness and tone.
In this article, we’re going to dive into everything that first-time laser skin resurfacing patients should know about this incredible cosmetic skin care treatment.
Keep reading to learn more!
First thing you should know: The best time of year to undergo laser skin resurfacing
Fun fact: The fall is considered “laser season” due to the fact that skin treated with laser therapy becomes hypersensitive to sun exposure following treatment, and thus more prone to severe sun damage for up to a whole year in some cases. So naturally, a majority of cosmetic surgeons and skin care experts recommend that patients undergo laser treatment in the autumn or winter months, when most time is spent indoors and away from the sun.
Even so, patients should always be sure to wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day in order to provide the skin with necessary protection from those harsh UV rays.
Is laser skin resurfacing painful?
This is a common question from patients new to laser skin resurfacing, and understandably so.
Patients and doctors typically describe the sensation experienced during a laser treatment to a rubber band being snapped against the treated skin. However, this exact sensation will vary with each type of laser, as well as the depth and sensitivity level of the treatment area.
With that said, certain laser treatments that are more deeply ablative may require a local anesthetic to be administered for numbing, or may even require intravenous sedation to ensure the patient’s comfort.
On the other hand, many laser skin treatments such has Laser Genesis fortunately cause little to no pain or discomfort as a side effect, rendering a topical anesthetic unnecessary.
Is laser resurfacing appropriate for darker skin types, too?
There is a popular misconception that laser resurfacing is only safe or suitable for light skin tones. While it may be true that certain laser types do pose a greater risk for cell damage or discolouration in darker skin, there are laser options that are totally safe and effective.
For example, for lighter-toned African American, Hispanic or Asian complexions, Erbium laser resurfacing can be a great alternative that poses a lower risk for discolouration. For patients with darker skin complexions, other skin resurfacing options can be considered, including radio-frequency treatments or microneedling.
The smartest way to ensure the most safe and effective treatment for your specific skin tone and type is to consult with a trained and experienced expert in laser resurfacing procedures, or more specifically, a professional specialist that has extensive experience working with darker skinned patients.
The different lasers used for different skin concerns
It’s worth knowing that there is not one single laser that is suitable for all patients and skin concerns. In fact, there are several common laser varieties used for different issues.
These laser types include:
CO2 lasers, which are generally ablative and are used to treat deeper skin issues like scars, warts and wrinkles,
Erbium (Er:YAG) lasers, which can either be ablative or non-ablative and are used to treat fine lines and wrinkles as well as skin laxity and age spots,
Near-infrared (NNIR)(Nd:YAG) lasers, such as Laser Genesis offered at our Beauskin Mississauga Laser Clinic, which is a non-invasive laser type that helps to combat skin issues such as wrinkles, redness, textural issues and enlarged pores,
Pulsed-Dye lasers, which are generally non-ablative and are used to address problems like skin redness, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and rosacea, and,
Fractional lasers, which can be either ablative or non-ablative and are used to treat a variety of age-related skin concerns.
It’s important to focus on one’s individual goals when selecting the right laser skin resurfacing treatment. Think about the specific skin issues you want to address, and set realistic expectations regarding your results. Fortunately, a qualified skincare expert trained in laser resurfacing will be able to point you in the direction of the most appropriate treatment and laser type based on your unique skin and concerns.
Multiple treatment sessions will offer optimal results
While in some cases, just a single laser resurfacing treatment session will fully address a patient’s skin concerns, most non-ablative lasers require a series of treatments to create the most desirable and noticeable results. So, be prepared to sacrifice either a little bit of downtime, or get ready to mark multiple treatment sessions into your calendar if you’re serious about experiencing truly optimal results.
Know that downtime may be necessary
While laser skin resurfacing treatments are typically considered as non-surgical, not every laser procedure will be downtime-free. Depending on the laser used, the patient’s health and rate of healing, the average recovery time following a laser skin treatment will vary.
Lasers that are non-ablative will generally require zero downtime, while ablative laser types may necessitate 2- to 3-weeks of healing. Fortunately for patients, this does not mean that staying home for the entire time the skin heals is necessary - all it means is that the skin will be red, raw and scab over as it recovers.
Furthermore, recovering patients may not feel totally comfortable in certain social scenarios for the time being, but the good news is that 2 to 3 weeks does tend to fly by quite fast - and the patience will be well worth the results.
Always choose a highly experienced professional to perform your treatment
There’s no question about it: laser skin resurfacing treatment is both a safe and highly effective way to improve the appearance of one’s skin - addressing flaws from skin texture issues to tone and tightness and creating a truly dramatic improvement.
But in order to have the most confidence in your laser cosmetic procedure from its safety to efficacy, it’s critical to choose a highly trained and knowledgeable professional to perform the job. Always choose your laser resurfacing treatment provider based on training, experience level and qualifications - and nothing less.
Furthermore, arrive at your consultation ready to discuss your medical history, and ensure you’re armed with the right questions - so you know exactly what to expect before, during and after your laser resurfacing treatment when it comes time.
Ready to noticeably improve your skin’s complexion with a laser skin resurfacing treatment in Mississauga?
Our team of laser skin resurfacing experts at Beauskin Laser Clinic are here to help you achieve your #SkinGoals.
Schedule your laser skin treatment consultation with us today, and uncover the beautiful skin you deserve to feel confident in!