How effective are laser skin resurfacing procedures? What exactly do they do?
Lasers can be a very effective way to improve skin texture, acne scars, age spots and wrinkles. Ablative lasers are used for resurfacing and work by causing controlled injury to the upper layers of the skin. The two most commonly used lasers for this purpose are the Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and the Erbium Yag laser. Resurfacing lasers use energy to precisely vaporize the upper layers of the skin, which allow for healthy new skin to grow in its place. Laser resurfacing often requires down time of approximately 1-2 week while the skin heals.
If minimal downtime is desired, there are nonablative lasers that can improve skin texture, discoloration and overall skin tone, but produce a less dramatic improvement in wrinkles. Unlike resurfacing lasers, nonablative lasers heat the deeper layers of the skin to encourage collagen growth and remodeling with minimal damage to the superficial layers of the skin. Multiple treatments may be needed to produce the desired results.
-Dr. Jessica Kulak