Laser resurfacing is a common non-surgical treatment for improving the appearance of the aging face. The procedure uses beams of specific wavelengths of laser light to vaporize the outer layers of damaged skin cells, which are subsequently replaced by new, healthy skin. At our practice in Chicago, we perform laser skin resurfacing on its own, or to enhance the results of other facial procedures.
If you would like to discuss laser skin resurfacing at our Chicago office, request a consultation online with Dr. Mustoe. Or you can call us at (312) 695-6022 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.
Laser Resurfacing for Renewed Skin
Laser resurfacing has been performed for decades and has been proven effective in the treatment of many age-related skin concerns, including:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Broken capillaries
- Pigmentation irregularities
- Skin laxity
There are many different types of lasers used for skin resurfacing, and each has different capabilities, advantages, and drawbacks. At our practice in Chicago, we achieve skin rejuvenation with a CO2 laser due to the superior improvements it achieves in the treatment of both fine and deeper wrinkles, age spots, and overall skin texture and tone. We also perform laser skin resurfacing to enhance the results of surgical procedures such as facelift and eyelid surgery.
What to Expect
The skin is often prepared over the course of 2-3 weeks prior to your procedure through the use of Retin-A, glycolic acid, or bleaching agents. This will help optimize your results, speed healing, and minimize risk of discoloration. The CO2 procedure requires local anesthesia with sedation. It is an office procedure and typically takes less than an hour, depending on the size of the area to be treated.
During your procedure, the laser is guided over the treatment area and instantly vaporizes the outer layers of damaged skin. CO2 laser treatments are highly effective with predictable results due to their deeper level of penetration. Although there will be no bleeding, you will experience some effects of the laser "wounding" your skin.
Recovery and Results
Discomfort from laser skin resurfacing is usually minor like a sunburn. Your skin will be swollen, and will have some oozing until healing occurs in 5-10 days You will be given detailed instructions on keeping the skin constantly moist to prevent crusting with ointment, and cleaning. Keeping the skin constantly covered with ointment speeds the healing and reduces discomfort. After this period, the skin will be pink as it fades over 3 -4 months. The sunburned appearance will gradually fade and is easily covered with makeup in the interim.
As your new skin emerges, you will see that fine lines have diminished or disappeared, and deep wrinkles are significantly improved. The laser treatment causes the collagen to become thicker and healthier, which results in firmer skin. The texture of your renewed skin will be smoother and coloration may also be improved. It is critical that you protect yourself from the sun in order to prolong your results and preserve your skin's more youthful appearance.