Laser resurfacing is a relatively new treatment for reducing facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes or acne scars.
The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. Laser skin resurfacing removes skin very precisely, layer by layer. This popular procedure is known by several other names, including lasabrasion, laser peel or laser vaporization.
Laser resurfacing can be done with two types of lasers:
- A wounding (ablative) laser, which removes thin layers of skin
- A nonwounding (nonablative) laser, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin
Although nonablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less recovery time, it’s less effective than ablative laser resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing can decrease the appearance of fine lines around your eyes, mouth and cheeks. Laser resurfacing can also treat loss of skin tone and improve your complexion if you have scars or sun damage. Laser resurfacing does have limitations, however. Understanding the specific techniques, risks and possible results can help you decide if laser resurfacing is right for you.