How Safe is Laser Resurfacing?
March 20th, 2013 | Posted by Dr. Anthony Bared in Laser Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing is one of the most popular methods for skin rejuvenation on the market right now. The technique works similar to chemical peels and other methods of dermabrasion, however laser resurfacing utilizes, as one might imagine, a laser to accomplish the tasks of removing unwanted, damaged skin such as facial wrinkles, scars and blemishes. Naturally, some patients might be concerned about the safety of using such a powerful device on their skin, particularly their faces. Mass media and pop culture have indoctrinated most of us to equate the word laser automatically with some form of mass destruction. This is far from the truth. Laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure that does not require sedatives or anesthetics. It is safe for all skin types with a minimal risk comparable to that of a chemical peel. Thousands of these treatments are performed every year with no significant complications. Any risk of scarring is minimal.
Some patients may be at risk for varying degrees of pigmentation loss, particularly with the CO2 laser. After a laser resurfacing treatment the skin may have a slight reaction similar in appearance to a sunburn, accompanied by some redness and swelling, or perhaps some itching or stinging for several days after the procedure. Any side effects that may occur are mild, but have been known to include crusting, mild swelling, redness or brown discoloration at the treatment sites, and even then these are easily treated with and pre- and post-operative regimens designed to maximize the healing process of the skin. The different types of lasers are used in this procedure are capable of treating a wide variety of cosmetic problems, but no single laser is capable of treating every possible problem at this time. Of course, the doctor will work with the patient to ensure they receive the most effective treatment.