Our skin protects our bodies and does an amazing job of renewing itself and adapting to its environment and our constantly evolving lifestyles. However, there are limits to what the skin can protect against and optimize for as we get older. There are many changes that can take place in the skin over time, due to the constant stresses of weather, the sun, lifestyle, age, pollution, and more. Lines, wrinkles, sun damage, changes in pigmentation, and dull skin can all begin to appear over time and affect the overall appearance of the face, creating a perpetually tired, old, and haggard expression.
Laser resurfacing (also known as a “laser peel”) is a classic skin treatment that uses the light from a laser to remove damaged, dull skin, allowing fresh, new skin to emerge in the weeks following the procedure. Patients can look forward to refreshed, rejuvenated skin that looks more youthful. The treatment can be fairly invasive, but most patients feel the results are worth the downtime involved with the procedure.
There are many different skin treatments available for facial rejuvenation, but laser resurfacing is one of the most comprehensive skin treatments available. Some of the most powerful lasers can make patients look years younger and help restore the skin’s vibrancy. Many patients report feeling more confident following the procedure and enjoy long-lasting results that help to slow down the aging process.
If you are considering laser resurfacing, your first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alvarez and discuss your goals for laser resurfacing. Skin rejuvenation is a highly custom process, and Dr. Alvarez may recommend a different treatment or a combination of procedures. Once you have expressed your concerns and goals for the treatment, Dr. Alvarez will consider your candidacy, skin type, and other factors before recommending a treatment plan especially for you.
Your consultation is an important step because it allows you and Dr. Alvarez to assess your individual goals and determine whether or not laser resurfacing in Miami is a good fit for you. You’ll also get an opportunity to meet Dr. Alvarez and ask questions about the procedure before you move forward.
While laser resurfacing is an extremely effective and popular treatment, it is not the right choice for every prospective patient. Ideal candidates for the procedure should be in general good health, non-smokers, and unhappy with the onset of mild to moderate facial wrinkles, dull skin, facial scars, pigmentation issues, and overall facial aging. Patients with sagging skin or severe folds and wrinkles may want to consider a surgical procedure instead, such as a facelift, as laser resurfacing is not optimal for treating these signs of aging.
Prospective patients should have realistic expectations for the results of the procedure, and will need to be willing to follow all surgeon instructions for pre- and post-operative care to help promote good results and prevent complications.
The type of anesthesia used will depend on the type of laser and the extent of the areas to be treated. For a full face treatment with CO2 (carbon dioxide) lasers, patients are typically put under general anesthesia for safety and comfort.
Once anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Alvarez will use a laser tool on the areas of concern to deliver light energy. The laser carefully removes old, damaged layers of skin in a precise and controlled manner, allowing old skin to peel off in the days following treatment and reveal bright, new skin. Once this process is complete, Dr. Alvarez will apply dressings to your face to protect the area while it heals.
The difficulty of recovery from laser resurfacing will depend largely on the extent of the procedure, but most patients will need to dedicate about 1-2 weeks to recovery before resuming normal activities such as going to work. Patients will need to clean the treated area, use prescribed medications, and change dressings as directed by their surgeon during this time to promote proper healing. Strenuous activity such as vigorous exercise will need to be avoided for several weeks following surgery.
The skin will start to heal gradually, with swelling and redness subsiding over several weeks. Some pinkness may persist for a few months, but this can typically be covered up with makeup. Patients will need to keep the skin moisturized and be diligent about using sunscreen in the months following the treatment, as sun damage can cause hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin).
Choosing the Right Surgeon
Laser resurfacing is an invasive procedure requiring a great deal of skill on the part of the plastic surgeon, so it’s extremely important to make an informed decision about who will perform your procedure. Doing your research and meeting with only skilled and reputable surgeons will help to ensure your experience is successful and positive.
It is a good idea to meet with several different surgeons before you make a final decision. Take your time and don’t rush into making this extremely important choice.
Is laser resurfacing safe for all skin types?
While many people with various skin types undergo laser resurfacing successfully all the time, the procedure can be risky for people with darker skin, and it’s important to discuss those risks with your surgeon before moving forward. Complications can include irregularities in skin pigmentation, so you should understand your risk profile before proceeding with the treatment. Alternative facial rejuvenation treatments may be available if laser resurfacing is not a good option for you.
When can I use makeup after laser resurfacing?
Once the old skin has peeled off and the new skin is healed, you may start wearing makeup again, typically around the time you can start returning to work and other activities. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on when it is safe to wear makeup again following treatment.
How long will the results of the treatment last?
The longevity of laser resurfacing results depends on a variety of factors, including the extent of the procedure, your lifestyle (smoking, drinking, diet, sleep, exercise, sun prevention), your environment, and genetics. If you live a healthy lifestyle and work to prevent sun damage and other stressors on the skin, you should expect to enjoy the results of laser resurfacing for years. However, it is important to remember that the procedure does not stop aging entirely, but can slow down the process somewhat.
Are there risks to laser resurfacing?
As with any major procedure, there are some risks associated with laser resurfacing. However, these risks can be kept to a minimum by choosing the right surgeon and following all before and after care instructions. Some potential complications include:
- Bacterial infection
- Prolonged swelling and redness
- Cold sore flares
- Milia (small white bumps
Can laser resurfacing be combined with other treatments?
Absolutely. Many patients have additional concerns that cannot be addressed with laser resurfacing, and as long as your surgeon believes it is safe, treatments may be combined for comprehensive results. These treatments may or may not be performed on the same day as the resurfacing procedure.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Alvarez today! Call 305-600-4146 or fill out the contact form in this page.