Laser skin resurfacing is a treatment to reduce facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes or even acne scars. As our skin ages, several factors including sun exposure, gravity, harsh drying agents such as soaps and make-up, and muscle motion can all combine to produce significant effects on our appearance. Typical signs of aging include wrinkles, lines, creases, spots, stretched pores, abnormal skin growths, pigmentation changes and changes in complexion. There are several different treatment options available to help reduce these signs of aging and restore a younger, healthier skin appearance. Laser skin resurfacing is the fastest and most effective of these options for patients wishing to avoid cosmetic surgery.
The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at the skin, precisely removing older skin layer by layer and rejuvenating your skin. If you have wrinkles or creases around your eyes, mouth or forehead, acne or chickenpox scars, or non-responsive skin after a facelift, then you may be a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing. Dr. Gupta uses the latest in fractional laser technology, which treats the skin in a specially designed pattern that leaves small areas of untreated skin between the treated areas, to allow faster healing and shorter recovery time. The laser also has a tightening effect for a complete facial rejuvenation for our San Diego patients.
Most laser resurfacing procedures can be done comfortably in our San Diego office under topical local anesthesia. If your laser procedure is being done in combination with another surgical procedure, then it will most likely be done in an operating room under general anesthesia.
Approximately 45 minutes prior to your procedure, Dr. Gupta will apply topical anesthesia cream to your face. The actual laser treatment procedure will take about 30 to 45 minutes. During the procedure, you will feel some warmth and tightening of your face. Following the procedure, Dr. Gupta will cover your face with a soothing ointment dressing.
You will need to clean the treated areas three to four times a day and keep them covered with a protective ointment to keep the skin moist and prevent scabs from forming. It is normal to have swelling after laser skin resurfacing. Dr. Gupta will prescribe steroid medication to minimize swelling. Ice packs and sleeping on an extra pillow at night can also help ease swelling. After laser resurfacing your skin will become dry and peel. The areas will heal within 4 to 7 days, depending on the condition treated and the depth of treatment. Once the skin heals, you can wear oil-free makeup to minimize redness, which usually fades in six to eight weeks.
The most significant possible risk of laser resurfacing treatments is darker skin pigmentation due to sun exposure during the initial healing phase, when the skin is at its thinnest and most prone to sun damage. You will probably notice that your skin is lighter initially after treatment. It is important that you use a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen, which screens ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays, to protect your skin during that time. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Also limit your time in the sun, and wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Dr. Gupta will also prescribe several medical creams to minimize the risk of skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) after your laser treatment.
To schedule your appointment or ask any questions please call (858) 408-6100 or fill out our online contact form.
Please Note: To respect my patients’ privacy and confidentiality, I have chosen not to display any of my cosmetic facial surgery patients’ pre- and post-op photos on the Internet. This includes Botox and injectable filler procedures. These photos are available for private viewing in my office during your consultation. I apologize for any inconvenience.