What is Fractional Skin Resurfacing?
During a laser resurfacing procedure, a laser puts out short pulses of a light that is high-energy. The light is absorbed by water and other substances in the skin, which are referred to as chromophores. The light changes into heat energy, which destroys thin sections of skin one layer at a time. New skin will grow in to replace the lost skin as the site heals.
Lasers are used to tighten the skin using a heating method. This method does not destroy the skin. The most common type of laser used in the resurfacing procedure is the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. For tattoo removal, the Q-switched laser is typically employed. It can remove* colors from the skin.
Laser resurfacing is popular because it causes very little damage to the surrounding areas. It is also considered to be a very precise treatment and although treatment is most commonly done to the facial area, it can be done to other areas of the body.
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Why is It Used For Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Laser resurfacing is most commonly used to remove* and/or improve* the appearance of skin issues, such as wrinkles and fine lines. It treats* and improves* conditions that pop up as we age naturally. Laser resurfacing can also be used to treat* superficial scars and for color changes or skin defects (liver spots, etc.).
Patients sometimes need laser skin resurfacing due to growths in the upper layer of their skin and the treatment can also be used for tattoo removal. Finally, it can be used to rid the body of unwanted hair, but does not work well for blond or gray hair.
How Does Factional Skin Resurfacing Work?
To begin with, treatable areas are cleaned and marked. The patient will typically receive a nerve block or local anesthetic at the treatment site before treatment begins. Some patients are given sedative or antianxiety medication to aid in relaxing. For patients who are receiving treatment all over their face, a stronger anesthesia may be necessary.
You may be instructed to wear goggles in order to prevent damage from the laser to your eyes. Wet towels strategically placed around the area will help absorb the laser pulses. While it sends out pulses, the laser will pass over your skin.
The skin is wiped with water or saline in between passes. This helps cool the skin and helps to remove* dead tissue. You should have little to no bleeding. The area treated will be covered with a clean dressing or an ointment.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
The time your body needs for a complete recovery is dependent on a variety of things, including size and depth of the area being treated. The area that was treated will typically look pink. It will also be tender and swollen.
This will last for several days. You can apply cold packs and use over-the-counter pain relievers to help with any discomfort and to reduce* swelling. You will also be given instructions for post-treatment care. It is very important that you follow these instructions.
What are The Benefits Of Fractional Skin Resurfacing?
There are many benefits of laser skin resurfacing. It is a non-invasive procedure with little to no downtime. It creates a minimal discomfort and most patients are able to resume their daily life immediately after treatment.
What are The Side-effects Of Fractional Skin Resurfacing?
As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects. These include swelling, tenderness, itching and crusting. Side effects are only temporary and last a few days. Redness can last up to 12 weeks. In some cases, it can last up to 6 months. Approximately 30-40 percent of people experience pigment changes in the skin.
Your skin may also be irritated. If you are prone to acne, you may have an acne flare-up. Patients are also at risk for bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Scarring is rare, but can be improved* with medicine.