Facial wrinkles are a major concern for many people. A survey conducted by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery found that 69% of respondents were somewhat to extremely bothered by the wrinkles around their eyes. While wrinkles are an inevitable part of growing older, modern medical treatments, like laser resurfacing, allow you to get rid of them. Here are three things you need to know about laser resurfacing.
How is laser resurfacing performed?
Laser resurfacing can be performed in your dermatologist's office. If only a small area of your face is being treated, that area will be numbed with local anesthetics, but if your whole face is being treated, you may be sedated as well. This ensures that you won't feel any pain during your procedure.
Once you've been prepared, your dermatologist will use a laser to carefully burn the outer layer of your skin. Small areas of the face can be treated in about half an hour, while full-face treatments may take up to two hours.
After your treatment is completed, your dermatologist will apply an ointment to your face and then cover it with a dressing. This will protect your treated skin while it heals. Once your anesthesia wears off, your face will hurt, but ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications can help you manage any discomfort that you experience.
How does laser resurfacing work?
Laser resurfacing works by injuring the dermal layer of your skin with heat. This injury is 20 to 80 micrometers (0.02 to 0.8 millimeters) deep. In response to this damage, your treated skin needs to heal itself. During this healing process, new collagen is added to your skin, and since this top layer of skin is new, it won't be wrinkled.
This new layer of skin can take 10 to 14 days to develop following your laser resurfacing treatment.
Are the results permanent?
This treatment replaces the wrinkled upper layer of your skin with smooth, new skin, but it doesn't stop the aging process. Over time, new wrinkles will form on your treated skin. The speed at which this happens will depend on factors like your age and your genetics, so your doctor won't be able to predict how long your results will last. However, once you start to develop new wrinkles, your laser resurfacing procedure can be repeated.
If the wrinkles on your face are bothering you, consider having them removed with laser resurfacing treatment.