How to Use Laser Resurfacing Treatments to Get Rid of Those Pesky Facial Wrinkles

resurfaceDo you want to get rid of your wrinkles and restore your face to its youthful glory? If so, you may want to consider laser resurfacing treatments. Unfortunately wrinkles are inevitable as you age. The good news is that there are numerous cosmetic procedures that can help you get rid of those pesky facial wrinkles. The more invasive cosmetic procedures often used to treat wrinkles are: face lifts, eyelid lifts, neck lifts, chin lifts and eyebrow lifts, while one of the most effective minimally cosmetic treatment is laser resurfacing treatments. You may see noticeable results immediately following treatment or you may need to receive multiple treatments to achieve your desired results. Results can last up to one year, but you may experience redness/pinkness, tenderness and skin sensitivity for a few months following laser resurfacing.

A medical professional (i.e. certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist or licensed aesthetician) may start preparing your skin for the laser treatment, 6 weeks in advance. During treatment, he/she may also apply a topical agent (i.e. numbing agent) to the treatment area and/or give you a sedative to prevent and/or lessen the pain and discomfort. The professional will use carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium lasers to vaporize damaged skin cells, reduce or eliminate wrinkles and improve your fresh, youthful glow. At the end of the procedure the professional may apply a cream or ointment dressing to the treatment area and prescribe a painkiller for your discomfort.

Laser resurfacing can also be used to treat other skin conditions like: fine lines, acne or chicken pox marks, sun-damaged skin, aging skin, liver spots, acne scars, yellow or gray skin tones, birthmarks, clogged pores, enlarged oil glands and warts. Although laser resurfacing typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000, on average, the exact cost depends on the medical professional and the procedure. If you are looking way to “zap” away wrinkles and revitalize your appearance – you have come to the right place.

Listed below are steps that can help you get rid of those pesky facial wrinkles:

Research Laser Resurfacing Treatments

The first thing you will want to do if you want to get rid of wrinkles is research laser resurfacing treatments. It is important that you are fully prepared for the procedure and the aftermath (i.e. recovery period). During the procedure, lasers will penetrate the treatment area and remove the top layers of your skin. Once the damaged skin is removed, new, healthier and younger-looking skin will emerge. This type of treatment is especially beneficial if you have fine lines and deep-set wrinkles. It is important to note that you will experience some pain following the treatment. In other words, your skin will be red, tender, slightly swollen and sensitive. It may take several weeks or months for your skin to completely heal. The recovery time will depend on the condition of your body and the procedure (s) performed.

Evaluate Your Wrinkles

After you have research laser resurfacing treatments, you will need to evaluate your wrinkles. Where are they? How many do you want to have removed? How severe are the wrinkles? How many procedures do you want performed? If you only have mild fine lines and/or wrinkles, you may be able to have non-ablative laser resurfacing (a less potent laser). This light energy not only stimulates collagen production, it also removes skin blemishes and evens out your skin complexion. Non-ablative laser resurfacing is mostly pain-free and it does not leave your skin sensitive, tender, irritated, inflamed or red. 

Search for a Qualified Medical Professional

You will need to search for a qualified medical professional (board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon or a licensed aesthetician). Laser resurfacing procedures are normally performed in a plastic surgeon or dermatologist’s office, but it can also be performed at a reputable spa. Ask the medical professional about his/her success rate and experience administering this treatment. If possible, request references from former patients. Moreover, ask friends and family for recommendations.

Prepare Your Skin

You will also need to prepare your skin, in advance for the treatment. In most cases, your physician or aesthetician will prescribe certain creams to prepare your skin for the lasers. He/she may also prescribe Retin-A, bleaching creams and glycolic acid to smooth your skin tone, prevent scarring and lower your risk of  discoloration from the lasers.

Take Care of Your Skin Following Treatment

It is also important that you take care of your skin following the treatment. Remember that your skin will be very sensitive, red and tender following the treatment so you will need to be gentle with it. If you think about it, your skin has literally been burned by the lasers so it is going to be swollen and uncomfortable for several days. Moreover, the treatment area may ooze pus or fluids – this is to be expected, but if you experience escalating pain and increasing pus and fluids, contact your physician immediately. Once the treatment area begins to heal, you may experience a sunburn in that area. Although it may take up to 6 weeks for the sunburn to completely fade, you may be able to go outside for brief increments within two weeks. Do not forget to protect your skin with high SPF sunscreen for at least 6 months, following laser resurfacing treatment. 

Plan for Multiple Treatments

It is possible that you may need multiple treatments to achieve your desired appearance. In fact, most people do require repeated treatments. Laser resurfacing treatments are expensive so if possible plan ahead. It is important that you wait at least 6 months in between treatments to allow your skin to fully heal. Your physician, surgeon or licensed aesthetician will provide you with a laser treatment schedule.

References:

Facial Plastic Surgery. (2014). Laser surgery. Retrieved from             http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/laser_surgery.html

WebMD. (2014). Laser resurfacing. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/beauty/laser-            skin/laser-resurfacing