Laser Facial Resurfacing
Procedure: Smooth the face and smooth fine wrinkles using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device that treats layers of damaged skin. Softens lines around the eyes and mouth and minimizes facial scars and unevenly pigmented areas.Length: A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient, unless combined with other surgical procedures that require hospitalization.
Side Effects: Temporary swelling, discomfort. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sun sensitivity. Increased sensitivity to makeup. Pinkness or redness in skin that may persist for up to 6 months.
Risks: Burns or injuries caused by laser heat. Scarring. Abnormal changes in skin color. Flare-up of viral infections ("cold sores") and other infections (rare).
Recovery: Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4-6 weeks. Complete fading of redness: 6 months or less. Return of pigmentation/light sun exposure: 6-12 months.
Duration of Results: Long-lasting, but does not stop aging. New wrinkles, expression lines may form as skin ages.