Skin Resurfacing: Peels, Lasers, and Dermabrasion

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Article by
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon

Skin resurfacing smoothes any skin imperfections. Resurfacing removes or reduces wrinkles and fine lines of the entire face, softens deep laugh and frown lines, repairs sun-damaged skin, removes age spots, and improves scars, including those from acne. It diminishes the outward signs of aging and revitalizes the tone and condition of the skin. Resurfacing may be done in conjunction with facelift and eyelid surgery, as well as with many other facial cosmetic procedures, including Botox Cosmetic or injectible fillers.

Resurfacing removes damaged skin tissue, layer by layer, revealing the new skin underneath. Based on the areas treated and the method utilized, the procedure takes between fifteen to thirty minutes. The areas that have been treated will appear red, irritated and moist for the first few days, which is completely normal. It is important to follow your physicians post-resurfacing instructions.

The are 3 primary methods for skin resurfacing: chemical peels, laser, and dermabrasion. The differences among these methods are not as significant. Depth of resurfacing is a more important factor in determining aesthetic outcome. The deeper into the skin, the more profound and lasting cosmetic outcome. However, the risks also increase as well.

Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early period following your skin resurfacing procedure. Exercise or other strenuous activities may need to be delayed a few weeks longer.

Most patients are able to return to work in seven to ten days with makeup. The post-treatment redness gradually fades over a matter of weeks, leaving the skin with a fresher, smoother, more polished and youthful appearance. After the skin has healed, the routine use of sunscreen is recommended to protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.

Speak to your physician to see if skin resurfacing is right for you.