If you are struggling with scarring or visible aging, it may be time to discuss laser skin resurfacing treatments with your dermatologist. Laser treatments are highly effective and completely customizable. At Worcester Dermatology in Worcester, MA, we offer two laser systems to resurface your skin and fully customize your aesthetic results.
How Long Does Laser Skin Resurfacing Take?
Laser skin resurfacing treatments are typically quick. With the Contour TRL™ laser, treatments will take about half an hour. Treatment with the ProFractional™ laser will usually take 15 to 30 minutes for most patients. The length of your treatment appointment may depend on the depth of your laser treatment, the number of targeted cosmetic concerns you have, and any preparation steps that must be taken before your appointment, such as the application of a topical numbing cream.
To prepare for your laser treatment, you will need to avoid activities such as sun exposure, sun tanning, and tanning beds for at least four weeks. For the month before your treatment, you should apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to your skin to reduce sun sensitivity. About three to four weeks before your treatment, you should avoid chemical peels, exfoliating facials, and other cosmetic treatments.
You may need to avoid taking certain medications that have photosensitivity side effects for at least three days before your appointment. You may be required to start a round of antiviral medication before your appointment if you have a history of cold sores or shingles in the desired treatment area. Your dermatologist may recommend using topical retinoids for one month before your appointment to prepare your skin for the procedure and enhance your final results.
Depending on the depth of your laser treatment, you may need to follow post-care instructions for one to three weeks. During the first few days after your treatment, you should avoid steam, sweat, hot water, and abrasive skincare products. You will need to follow cleansing and moisturizing directions from your dermatologist so that your results can develop optimally. You should avoid unprotected exposure to the sun for at least two to four weeks.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
The number of treatments you need to achieve your desired results will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your skin condition, the type of concerns you want to address, and the laser system used for your treatment.
Treating hyperpigmentation may only require one to three treatments, while treating deep scarring can take three to seven treatments. Some people with mild to moderate concerns may be able to enjoy ideal results after a single treatment. Your treatment appointments are generally spaced at least four weeks apart.
Why Does Laser Resurfacing Work?
Resurfacing your skin with a laser is an effective strategy because laser energy can penetrate multiple layers of skin at once. When your skin is exposed to laser energy, it will respond by shedding old skin cells as part of the healing process. Laser treatments also encourage substantial collagen production, which is why these treatments are ideal to address scarring and wrinkles.
When Will You See the Results?
You will not see the final results until your skin has fully recovered from the laser treatment. You may see early results about one week after your treatment. As your skin turns over new skin cells and collagen production increases in the sub-dermal layers of your skin, your results will continue to improve. The final results will usually be noticeable after three to six months.
To help your results develop faster, you should closely follow all of your aftercare instructions. Avoiding unprotected sun exposure is the most crucial part of your recovery since exposing new skin to UV rays can undo the results of your treatment. Wearing sunscreen daily and using high-quality skincare products formulated for your skin goals can help your results last for a long time.
Are Results Permanent?
If you are treating concerns such as hyperpigmentation, pigmented lesions, or scarring, you can expect your results to last for years. For some patients, these results can even be permanent. For concerns such as skin laxity, the results of laser resurfacing are permanent since new collagen in your skin will break down over time.
Are You an Ideal Candidate?
Candidates for laser resurfacing treatments are typically people who have not been able to address aesthetic concerns using topical products or other cosmetic treatments, such as chemical peels. You are likely a good candidate for this treatment if your aesthetic concerns include:
Fine lines and wrinkles
You might not be a candidate for this treatment if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have active acne, severe skin laxity, or very deep wrinkles, this treatment might not be appropriate for your skin concerns. Certain laser systems may not be compatible with those who have dark skin complexions.
Resurface and Restore Your Skin
Scarring and hyperpigmentation are two of the most challenging skin concerns to address. Fortunately, a treatment like laser skin resurfacing can effectively address these concerns. Treatment appointments for laser resurfacing systems usually take less than an hour. To schedule a consultation appointment, call Worcester Dermatology in Worcester, MA today.