Laser skin resurfacing is commonly performed with either a carbon dioxide (CO2) or an erbium laser. Although the process for these procedures is very similar, the erbium laser is typically used to treat deeper lines and wrinkles within the face, hands, neck, and chest. It is also better for darker skin tones. Your doctor will determine which laser is best for you after evaluating the condition of your skin and your medical history, while also considering your desired results.
During the laser skin resurfacing procedure, the laser energy is used to remove layers of damaged skin to leave the treated area smoother and more even through short pulses of light energy that are precisely delivered to the area. The laser is moved over the targeted area multiple times until imperfections are no longer visible and a smooth layer of skin is left. The laser energy causes minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and uses local anesthesia to help minimize discomfort. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to perform, depending on the size and condition of the treated area. Some patients may require more than one procedure in order to achieve their desired results.
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