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.
The newest version of the CO2 laser resurfacing uses very short pulsed light energy (ultrapulsed) or continuous light beams that are delivered in a scanning pattern to very precisely remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures. Recovery time from the procedure is up to two weeks.
Both erbium and CO2 laser resurfacing are performed on an outpatient basis, using local anesthesia (pain relief at the site of the procedure) in combination with orally- or intravenously-administered sedative medications.
Wrinkles around the eyes, mouth or forehead may be treated individually, or a full-face laserabrasion may be performed.
A partial-face lasabrasion takes 30-45 minutes and the full-face treatment takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours.