Facial resurfacing is a procedure that improves skin texture, tone and clarity using laser light or chemical peels. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels can treat a host of complexion problems, including:
• Fine lines and wrinkles
• Acne scars
• Sun damage, including freckles
• Age spots
• Loose skin
• Rough skin
If your skin has taken on a dull or tired appearance after years of sun exposure and the effects of aging, then come into Millennial Plastic Surgery to schedule a laser resurfacing or chemical peel treatment. Dr. David Shokrian will evaluate your skin and listen to your concerns before developing a treatment plan that will give you radiant, refreshed skin.
Laser Resurfacing Procedure
Laser resurfacing uses pulses of light energy to break down skin blemishes and precisely remove layers of damaged skin. The intensity of the laser can vary depending on the patient’s needs. Ablative laser treatments remove the top layer of the skin called the epidermis to allow new cells to develop, creating clear and beautiful results for patients with moderate skin damage. Non-ablative laser resurfacing treatments are gentler and provide a quicker and more comfortable recovery in exchange for a mild but noticeable improvement in the skin’s complexion.
Depending on the intensity of the laser chosen, the treatment may be completed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. The procedure can last 30 minutes for targeting only certain areas of the face or up to two hours for resurfacing the entire face. Patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure.
Chemical Peel Procedure
Chemical peels utilize chemical solutions to irritate the skin and remove superficial and deep skin irregularities and blemishes. Like laser resurfacing treatments, the strength of chemical peel treatments can be customized according to the needs of the patient and the state of their skin. Superficial chemical peels penetrate only the uppermost layer of the skin for gentle exfoliation. Medium peels target the upper and middle layers, reaching further into the skin to destroy or reduce cosmetic blemishes. Deep chemical peels penetrate even deeper into the skin to remove damaged cells and provide a dramatic improvement in skin clarity.
Local or general anesthesia will be used to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. After the chosen chemical solution has been applied to the face, it will be left on the skin for anywhere from a few minutes to two hours as it works to remove impurities. Like laser resurfacing treatments, chemical peel patients are free to return to work and other activities following the procedure, although most patients take a few days off to allow noticeable side effects to heal.
Chemical Peel Recovery and Results
After the procedure, the skin will peel off, allowing new, fresh skin to shine through. Common side effects include swelling, redness, skin sensitivity, irritation, blisters, crusting and peeling. Patients will be given a detailed set of instructions on how to treat their skin as it recovers, including soaking it daily, applying ointments and using antiviral medication.
Milder, more superficial peels will take about one week to heal while deep chemical peels will need up to three. The treated skin may be bandaged following a deep chemical peel treatment. Mild and medium peels can be repeated to maintain results, although the skin will need to be given adequate time to heal in between treatments. Results will last a few months to several years, depending on the strength of the chemical solution used.
Q&A with Dr.Shokrian
Who is a good candidate for facial resurfacing?
Candidates with fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, general skin blemishes, sun damage and age spots are great candidates for facial resurfacing via laser treatments or chemical peels. These treatments are typically best-suited for patients with lighter skin. Patients with active acne, open or healing wounds, and active exterior sores may need to wait before undergoing any skin treatments.
Are laser treatments or chemical peels better?
Both methods of facial resurfacing provide noticeable and beautiful results for restoring youthful skin. Which method you decide on depends on the condition of your skin, your desired results and sometimes just your personal choice. We will educate you on the difference between both options and what results you can expect going into either treatment so that you may make an informed decision.
Do I need a mild or deep treatment to improve my skin?
The answer to this question varies among patients. For those with more superficial blemishes and less severe wrinkles, light to moderate treatment is typically the best option. Patients with acne scars, years of sun damage and noticeable effects of aging may benefit more from deep chemical peels or ablative laser treatments. We can help you decide which method is best for you after an in-person consultation.
At what age can facial resurfacing be performed?
Patients over the age of 18 can benefit from facial resurfacing treatments. Depending on the age of the patient, only mild facial resurfacing treatments may be necessary to keep skin appearing youthful. Older patients may have more sun damage and signs of aging, requiring deep chemical peels or ablative laser treatments to achieve their desired results.