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Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing treatment improves the texture and tone of your skin by selectively heating and damaging (ablating) the skin layers to trigger a rejuvenating healing process. Laser resurfacing can reduce the appearance of pigmentation issues, wrinkles, loose skin, and certain types of acne scarring. Fully ablative lasers damage whole areas of skin and are more effective. Fractionated lasers ablate a percentage of your skin for a milder recovery, but may require multiple treatments.

How laser resurfacing is performed

Laser resurfacing is an in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia and takes about one to two hours.

Your dermatologist will numb your skin with a topical anesthetic. An injected anesthesia or nerve blocker may also be used for very deep resurfacing. Your treatment areas are then marked with a pen, and the laser hand piece is passed over your skin. The hand piece shines a targeted laser beam that damages, or ablates your skin down to a preselected depth—usually the superficial to mid layers. There may be some discomfort during treatment, and you’ll feel a zapping, or rubber-band snap sensation.

Fully ablative lasers damage full areas of your skin, and are more effective than fractionated lasers. Treatment discomfort and recovery can be more significant though. Fractionated lasers ablate your skin in tightly packed pin-points, rather than a whole area, leaving tiny sections of untreated skin between the points of damage. This makes for a more comfortable procedure and a milder recovery, but multiple treatments may be necessary for best results.

Recovery and results

Most laser resurfacing treatments will take about one to three weeks of downtime depending on how aggressive the laser was. You can expect mild to moderate discomfort, redness, dryness, swelling, and peeling during the healing process. Your skin will completely heal after one to three months and will be significantly smoother, even looking, and tighter. You may need multiple treatments for best results. 

Refine Medical Spa Skin Clinic and Laser Center

233 East Erie Street Suite 2500
Chicago, IL
(866) 730-8537