How Often Can I Have a Facial Laser Treatment?

Doctor Answers 4

Frequency of Facial Laser Treatment

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Thank you for your question. The maintenance program all depends on the condition that is being treated and your primary goals. In general, most people follow up for a yearly maintenance regimen. However, some people need treatments well before this, even every 6 months. There are no rules that fits everyone.  I would recommend being under the supervision of a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon for best results and safest treatment options.  I hope this helps!

Facial Laser Treatments - Frequency?

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  • This question has many variables and depends on the aging facial changes of the patient, skin type and the type of laser procedure performed.
  • Superficial resurfacing procedures may be performed on a frequent basis as long has the skin has allowed for complete healing from the previous treatment.
  • Fractionated resurfacing procedures often need to be performed in a series of treatments given that only a specified fraction of the skin is treated with each procedure.  The time recommended between treatments is dependent on the depth of treatment.
  • Light Based treatments, such as BBL/IPL, may be performed as often 3-4 times annually for a maintenance regimen.
  • I would recommend seeing a Board Certified Facial Plastic specialist to help you determine what will be the best course of individualized treatment for your condition.

Jacque P. LeBeau, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon

How often for facial laser treatment

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The frequency of facial laser treatment depends on many factors from your skin type, to age, to skin condition (e.g. wrinkles, or acne scarring, or texture/colour problems). Best to speak with your dermatologist to see the best option for you - likely an active treatment plan of 4-6 laser sessions, followed by a maintenance plan (e.g. 1-2/year).

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

It's not about "how often," it's more about what laser for which indication.

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There are many different laser wavelengths utilized for many different indications, so there is no accurate way to answer this question without more detailed information.

For example, if you are having pulsed dye laser treatment for congenital facial capillary malformation (port wine stain) removal, you would be undergoing a laser treatment as often as every two months for multiple treatment sessions (often 10 or more, for maximum lightening). For rosacea vessel treatment, you might have the same exact laser utilized only once, and not need another treatment ever (or for many years, since the rosacea is not "cured," only the vessels eliminated).

For laser resurfacing (treatment of wrinkles, acne scars, or texture/color irregularities) you might have either a CO2 or erbium/YAG laser utilized (or even a third-generation combination CO2--erbium/YAG laser), and it could be ablative or fractional. Ablative usually requires only one treatment, whereas fractional (since each laser session treats only a fraction of the skin) takes 3-4 operations.

IPL or BBL is not even laser treatment (Intense Pulsed Light or BroadBand Light), but is often incorrectly called that by the ignorant, lazy, or (very) poorly informed; these are often done more than once as required. Some are even "brand-named" like Fotofacial etc. and are not laser treatments, but are usually listed under laser treatments by laser spas or clinics to capitalize on the public's fascination with lasers.

Superficial laser refreshing (usually erbium/YAG laser at low power) can be done as long as your skin is healed between each session, and as long as your money lasts, but there is some down-time each time!

So, it really depends. But if you aren't getting this information from your laser provider, you should probably go elsewhere where the information and experience reassure you of the laser surgeon's expertise and safety. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.