Number of Laser Sessions to See Skin Improvement

I am looking to rejuvnate sun damaged skin.  Will it require lots of laser sessions?

Doctor Answers 6

The more risk, the more reward with lasers

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Generally speaking, the more risk the more rewards when considering lasers. Co2 lasers can be varied in a number of ways to increase or decrease the aggressiveness of the treatments. Fractional co2 laser resurfacing has less downtime but has less results. This approach leaves healthy skin in between treated skin so that the healthy skin can help the treated skin rejuvenate. This speeds up the healing and decreases the chance of complications. The results are less significant.

For more significant results, a more aggressive approach can take more layers of the skin and can go deeper to take away more significant wrinkles. The healing period is much longer and the chance of complications are more, but the potential for greater gains is more possible. These lasers improve the skin by decreasing wrinkles, removing superficial pigmentation, decreasing pores, and tightening the skin.

The more aggressive approach will need less number of treatments. The less aggressive approach with less results will need more treatments to get more results. With the most aggressive co2 resurfacing you may not need to get treated for another 8-10 years. If you want to improve sun spot and red spots then IPL or other lasers can be used to improve them and typically it can take from 4-5 treatment to get satisfactory results.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Depends on damage

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That depends on how damaged your skin is. Photofacial rejuvenation (IPL) is a great treatment for sundamage. You may see an improvement after one session.

It is all a balance between downtime and sessions.

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Most of my patients will see dramatic results with only ONE laser session. This is because I use fully ablative erbium laser, followed by CO2 laser fractional in the one sitting. Its a balance- this type of procedure is only suited to skin types one to two, and downtime of 9 days up to 12. 

Fraxel or Fractional CO2, eMatrix subablative can all be used, but the results will not be as good, and you may require up to 3-5 treatments for optimal outcomes-the flip side? Downtime is only 3-5 days. 

Dr Davin Lim 
Aesthetic and Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane and Gold Coast

Skin Improvement with Lasers in Sun Damaged Skin

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In the old days, it would take many peels to rejuvenate the skin, and repair the sun damage.  Now, with the advent of the Fraxel Dual Laser, you can have rejuvenated skin in one to three treatments.  It really depends on the extent of the sun damage in your skin.  If it is severely sun damaged you may need more but if you have minimal sun damage you may see a remarkable improvement after one treatment.

Facial Rejuvenation

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Thanks for your question


There are 2 levels of laser facials: ablative and non-ablative. The ablative is much more aggressive at the start so it may require less treatments, but can have significant downtime (facial peeling/redness for over a week). It is also more costly, but for some, can show dramatic improvements.

Non-ablative treatments are less severe and require more treatments (about 5 every month for 5 months) but have almost no downtime and can show significant improvement in everything from wrinkles to pore size to redness. A photo facial can reduce solar lentiges (freckles/sunspots) and can also be done in conjunction with the standard laser facials. Our office only has board-certified physicians performing all laser treatments to increase your safety and decrease your risks.

Shankar Lakshman, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Number of laser sessions depends on type and strength of laser

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The number of laser treatment sessions all depends on the laser used and the strength of the treatment. The stronger the treatment, the more days of healing and redness, but the greater the improvement. You need to talk with your dermatologic surgeon to plan out how much time you can take off from being social. That will dictate what laser and laser strength will be used and the anticipated improvement.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.