Laser resurfacing is a skin resurfacing procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of your skin or treat minor facial flaws. Laser resurfacing can be done with two types of lasers:
- A wounding (ablative) laser, which removes thin layers of skin
- A nonwounding (nonablative) laser, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin
Although nonablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less recovery time, it's less effective than is ablative laser resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing can decrease the appearance of facial fine lines. Laser resurfacing can also treat loss of skin tone and improve your complexion if you have scars or sun damage. Laser resurfacing does have limitations, however. Understanding the specific techniques, risks and possible results can help you decide if laser resurfacing is right for you.
Nov. 30, 2016
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=56107890. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Roy D. Ablative facial resurfacing. Dermatologic Clinics. 2005;23:549.
- Alexiades-Armenakas MR, et al. The spectrum of laser skin resurfacing: Nonablative, fractional and ablative laser resurfacing. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2008;58:719.
- Skin rejuvenation and resurfacing: Beauty for life. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Patients_and_Consumers/Procedures/Cosmetic_Procedures/Skin_Rejuvenation_and_Resurfacing.html. Accessed Nov 13, 2013.
- Laser skin rejuvenation. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/laser_skin_rejuvenation.html. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Laser therapy. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. http://www.asds.net/LaserResurfacingInformation.aspx. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=56108129. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Facial peels and laser surgery. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/resurfacing.html. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Doherty SD, et al. A paradigm for facial skin rejuvenation. Facial Plastic Surgery. 2009;25:245.
- Brewer JD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 21, 2013.