Can Laser Resurfacing Cause Fat Loss from Face/skin?

And if so, what are the variable factors that influence whether this happens or increases the risk? I am considering this procedure to treat lines and acne scarring, however the possibility of fat loss is my main reservation. Are there any other risks or complications that should be considered in relation to this treatment? I have fair thin skin and am in my late 20s.

Doctor Answers 5

Can Laser Resurfacing Cause Fat Loss from Face/skin?

This is highly unlikely. Most contemporary lasers used for acne scarring penetrate into but not through the dermis, the tough skin layer beneath the skin and above the fat. Lasers are one of your best options for treatment of acne scarring. If you also have concerns about facial volume loss, then resurfacing can be combined with a dermal filler to provide youthful volume to your face. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Laser Resurfacing and Fat Loss

Thank you for your question. The risk of fat loss from resurfacing is next to zero as this laser does not have risk to deeper structures.  The biggest risk is cold sores, or pigment irregularity if not properly managed before and after the treatment.  Infection risk is low unless your cat sleeps on your pillow....which we have seen, and resulted in an infection.   Be certain to be under the supervision of a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with expertise in laser surgery and ethnic skin for the most effective and safe treatments. I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews




You loosing fat because of laser is unlikely. The laser treatment or at least the ones we use in our office actually repairs collagen in your skin to help tighten you skin. Profractional laser is great for acne scars with a micro laser peel...


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Laser Resurfacing and Fat Loss

Laser does not penetrate deep enough in the skin to affect the underlying fat.  The depth of penetration of laser is to the level of the underlying collagen of the skin which is the layer just below the most superficial layer of our skin.  The reason laser resurfacing is effective in reducing fine lines is the very fact that laser penetrates into this layer of collagen.  The most commonly associated risks associated with laser use are infections, skin discoloration (most commonly causing slightly darker skin referred to as hyperpigmentation), and prolonged redness to the skin.  These risks are minimized by the use of modern laser technology particularly fractionated lasers.  Close follow-up after laser treatment ensures that these risks are managed at the first signs of their manifestations if they were to occur.

Anthony Bared, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Laser resurfacing does not cause fat loss

Laser resurfacing does not cause fat loss since the laser does not penetrate down to fat.  A fractional non-ablative laser such as Fraxel Re:store or a fractional ablative CO2 laser such as the SmartXide can treat acne scars and fine lines and will stimulate collagen to thicken skin.  Please have treatment with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who will discuss the potential side effects and before and after treatment protocols.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.