What is Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Riley R Peacock/ November 26, 2022/ Medical management

Lasers are a great way to dramatically improve your skin’s appearance. However, it’s important to choose a trained professional who uses a safe and effective laser. Laser resurfacing can be performed on the face, neck, chest and arms. The procedure is usually painless and causes little to no downtime.

Fractional laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive procedure that uses laser energy to treat your skin. The treatment is effective at treating a variety of conditions, including scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles. It can also be used to get rid of unwanted hair and reduce redness and brown spots on the skin.

The treatment works by heating up the dermal collagen to promote the growth of new tissue. This leads to firmer, more youthful-looking skin.

A cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist Cameron Rokhsar uses CO2 lasers to perform this treatment. The procedure is an outpatient, and recovery takes about 24 hours.

Before your procedure, you’ll need to remove all retinoids and other topical products from your skin care routine. You’ll also need to avoid smoking for two weeks prior to your treatment, because smoking can prolong your healing process.

Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent bacterial infections and an antiviral medication if you have a history of cold sores or fever blisters. Your doctor may also ask you not to take aspirin or ibuprofen for 10 days before your treatment because they can affect the clotting process in your body.

After your treatment, you’ll need to use an ointment or cream to help keep the treated areas clean and moisturized. You’ll also need to wash your face regularly with a cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol or abrasives.

The recovery period for laser resurfacing depends on the type of laser used and your individual health. The most common recovery period is 5 to 21 days, depending on the condition being treated.

During your recovery period, you’ll need to wear sunscreen and protect the area with clothing during the daytime. You should also use a saline solution or diluted vinegar to clean the skin, which helps reduce inflammation and heal your skin.

Another option for reducing blemishes and acne is pulse-dye laser treatments. These lasers are typically non-ablative, and they use a concentrated yellow light to heat the skin and absorb pigments. The lasers are effective for a wide range of issues, including redness, broken capillaries, and rosacea.

What are the Benefits of Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Fractional laser skin resurfacing is a non-surgical skin treatment that is effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars and other signs of aging. It also improves the texture and tone of the skin.

The laser energy breaks into thousands of tiny beams to treat a fraction of the skin at a time, which reduces downtime and healing time. It can also be used to reduce redness, rosacea, and broken capillaries.

Traditionally, lasers were ablative (meaning that they created full-thickness injury in the skin), but today’s fractional lasers are non-ablative, which means they don’t harm the topmost layer of the epidermis. This allows for a more controlled and precise approach to treating the skin’s surface, while minimizing side effects like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

A dermatologist or plastic surgeon with experience in resurfacing laser treatments is the best choice for this procedure. They can help you minimize risk by addressing any medical conditions you have and ensuring that you follow their pre-care and post-care instructions.

For example, you should avoid tanning beds and excessive sun exposure before the procedure to help prevent pigmentary changes from occurring. Your doctor may also recommend applying bleaching creams to the treated areas to speed up fading of pigmentation.

You can expect a few days of redness, tenderness and peeling after your laser skin resurfacing treatment. These symptoms generally go away within a week, and the results of your treatment are visible after 2 or 3 months as collagen remodeling occurs.

To achieve the most optimal results, your doctor may recommend a series of treatments, with four weeks between each treatment to maximize the growth of new skin tissue. This will ensure you get the most comprehensive, long-lasting results possible.

There are several different types of fractional lasers, and each one works differently. For instance, pulse-dye lasers use a concentrated yellow light to heat the skin and absorb pigment. They aren’t able to penetrate as deeply into the dermis as a non-ablative laser, but can still target areas of skin that require resurfacing.

However, they can still cause inflammation and pain, as well as skin sensitivity to the sun. Depending on the type of laser used, these side effects can last up to a month or longer after the treatment.

What is the Recovery Period for Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment for fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. It is also a good choice for acne scars and other scarring caused by trauma.

Before receiving laser resurfacing, patients should discuss their medical history and any medications they take. They should also avoid tanning and use sunscreen of at least SPF 50.

For best results, patients should undergo a series of fractional laser skin resurfacing treatments. These sessions typically last four to six weeks, with patients noticing ongoing improvement for up to six months following their last treatment.

During the recovery period, the treated area may appear red and slightly swollen for a few days. Swelling can be reduced by using an ice pack on the treated area.

Most patients experience little to no discomfort during their recovery period. However, some patients experience mild itching.

If you have sensitive skin, your doctor may prescribe a medication to help relieve your itching and discomfort. You can also apply a cool compress to the affected area.

In the first few days after your laser resurfacing treatment, you may have some swelling in the treated area. Your doctor can prescribe oral steroids to manage this swelling. Sleeping on an extra pillow at night or putting an ice pack on the treated area can also reduce swelling.

You should avoid smoking around the treated areas for the first day or two after your procedure. Smoking can interfere with the healing process and increase your risk for infection.

Herpes reactivation is possible in people with a herpes infection of the face (cold sores). If you have had cold sores in the past, your doctor may recommend that you take antiviral medication before and after your laser resurfacing.

Some patients will develop hypopigmentation, a lighter skin color, or hyperpigmentation, a darker skin color, after laser resurfacing. This is a rare complication, but can be frustrating to deal with.

Milia, tiny white bumps, can be present in the treated area after treatment (up to a month after the procedure). They are easy to remove by gently cleansing with a washcloth.

What is the Cost of Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Fractional laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that can help you look and feel younger by improving your skin’s appearance and texture. During the procedure, the doctor uses an intense beam of light to target damaged areas of your skin.

The ablative lasers destroy the outer layer of your skin (epidermis) and heat the underlying tissue (dermis). The lasers also stimulate collagen production, which results in healthier, more youthful-looking skin.

Non-ablative lasers do not destroy the epidermis or heat the underlying tissues, which helps to speed up your recovery time and reduce the risk of side effects. However, you may need multiple treatments over weeks or months to achieve the best results.

You should always choose a qualified provider who is well-trained in laser resurfacing techniques. Don’t make your decision based on the price of the treatment or the newest laser platform. You should also make sure the doctor is certified and has a solid reputation in the medical community.

During your consultation, the doctor will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for laser resurfacing and will be able to answer any questions you may have. Your doctor will also provide you with a detailed breakdown of the procedure, including what to expect before, during, and after your treatment.

Your doctor will also let you know about any downtime that is expected from your treatment and will be able to recommend the right post-treatment skincare regimen for you. Your recovery will be gradual, but it should not take long for you to start seeing significant improvement in your skin tone and texture.

Another benefit of fractional laser resurfacing is that it only targets a small portion of your skin at a time, which makes the recovery process much faster and easier than other laser treatments. This makes it ideal for patients who are looking to reduce wrinkles, soften scars, and reduce pigmentation issues like sun spots or age spots.

The cost of fractional laser skin resurfacing is generally comparable to other non-surgical skin rejuvenation procedures, such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion. The average cost for a single treatment is usually between $500 and $800, but you may need several treatments to see results. Your doctor will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of your treatment costs after discussing your specific needs during your consultation.