Laser skin resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment that rejuvenates skin and tackles various skin conditions and concerns. While this procedure offers a myriad of benefits for the right patient, it is not the best option for everyone. Find out if laser resurfacing is the right choice for you. 

What is laser skin resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing uses a variety of powerful beams of light to refresh and rejuvenate the skin. Unlike other exfoliating treatments, laser resurfacing doesn’t use chemicals or sanding to remove the top layer of the skin. Instead, focused light removes abnormal epidermis, normalizes pigmentation, and stimulates collagen and elastin production within the dermis, which results in a smoother, brighter surface. The process requires no incisions or stitches. Depending on the level of treatment required to address your specific concerns, you can return to work or attend social engagements within a few weeks after treatment.

Laser resurfacing is an advanced treatment for many skin concerns like wrinkles, scarring, and pigmentation irregularities. Some devices require a series of treatment sessions to achieve optimal results. Others achieve dramatic improvement in a single procedure.  

Lasers can be used to treat:

  • Rosacea
  • Uneven skin tone and texture
  • Pigmentation irregularities
  • Dull skin tone
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Age spots and sun damage
  • Acne scars
  • Mild skin laxity

Laser treatments can be performed on different areas, including:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Hands
  • Chest
cosmetic laser dermatology Laser resurfacing to rejuvenate area around the eyes by Dr. Groff before and after

Laser skin resurfacing can be achieved with ablative, nonablative, or fractional lasers. 

Ablative lasers remove a thin layer of the epidermis while heating the dermis skin to promote collagen and elastic fiber production. As the layers of skin heal, it results in tighter, smoother skin. Nonablative lasers are a less aggressive approach that stimulates collagen and elastic fiber production with a shorter recovery time but less dramatic results. 

Fractional skin resurfacing lasers, which can be ablative or nonablative, work by targeting the skin through thousands of tiny microthermal zones that reach deep into the skin. The skin then repairs itself through collagen and elastic fiber production and cell renewal. Popular fractional resurfacing lasers include:

Fraxel Dual and Fraxel Re:store to reduce acne scarring and hyperpigmentation by Dr. Butterwick before and after

Pros of laser resurfacing

Laser resurfacing offers numerous advantages for the right patient, including: 

  • Tightens skin
  • Provides long-lasting results
  • Stimulates collagen and elastic fiber production
  • Smooths wrinkles
  • Shrinks pores
  • Gives patients a non-surgical treatment option

Cons of laser resurfacing

Despite the many benefits, there are some drawbacks to laser treatments. Keep in mind that working with an experienced, board-certified dermatologist will significantly mitigate your potential risks. 

  • Side effects like temporary swelling, irritation, and hyperpigmentation
  • Limited downtime required 
  • Long-lasting results that vary based on the type of laser used
  • Potential for scarring and skin discoloration when not performed correctly

Are you a good candidate?

Laser skin resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment option for many men and women with signs of aging or skin imperfections. A good candidate has:

  • Moderate to severe signs of aging
  • Skin imperfections like redness, scars, or uneven texture
  • Healthy lifestyle to help maintain positive results 

Laser resurfacing is not safe for everyone. Your dermatologist may not recommend laser resurfacing treatments if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have a darker skin tone or are very tanned
  • Had recent radiation therapy on the face
  • Have an autoimmune disease or weak immune system

Your board-certified dermatologist can work with you to determine your needs and appropriate laser treatments or alternatives to achieve your cosmetic beauty goals.

cosmetic laser dermatology Laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation by Dr. Fabi before and after

Schedule a consultation at our San Diego medical spa today

Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego has unparalleled experience and more than 50 laser, light, and energy devices. We have helped develop and/or participated in research studies on many of the devices we use daily. Our experienced board-certified dermatologists specialize in non-invasive and minimally-invasive treatments to help patients look and feel amazing without extensive surgical procedures. Laser skin resurfacing is a delicate procedure that requires precision and expertise for natural and seamless skin. 

One of the best laser resurfacing treatment options is Take10, a proprietary procedure developed and offered exclusively by Cosmetic Laser Dermatology. Take10 is a non-surgical alternative to a facelift that combines laser treatments, injectable fillers, and Botox to drastically reduce signs of aging and skin imperfections. Lasers are powerful devices that can help men and women achieve youthful, healthy skin.

Our dedicated physicians work closely with patients to understand their needs and goals to create personalized treatment plans that result in visible, stunning results. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about laser skin resurfacing. 

Next, discover everything you need to know about laser resurfacing here.

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The information available on this website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician’s judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and/or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.

*Please note: Free in-person consultations are available with Dr. Loyal, Leysin Fletcher, PA-C, and medical aesthetician Farzaneh Momeni-Salami, while all consultations with Drs. Goldman, Butterwick, Groff, Fabi, Wu, and Boen are subject to a $250 fee that will be applied towards your treatment. All virtual consultations are also subject to a fee that will be applied towards treatment. Promotions are not available with Dr. Goldman. We do not accept insurance for any of our procedures. Any questions – feel free to call us at 858.943.2113.

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