Skin resurfacing is a procedure that employs a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to remove areas of damaged or wrinkled skin. Resurfacing is often used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, but it is also very effective in treating facial scars, age spots or areas of uneven pigmentation.
Good candidates for skin resurfacing are:
- People with wrinkled or sun damaged skin on the face
- Brown spots or blotchy skin coloring
- Fine wrinkles on your upper eyelid
- Acne or other facial scars
- Certain skin growths
- Vertical wrinkles around your mouth
- Crows feet
- Superficial facial scars
Skin resurfacing treatments can cover a whole area or focus on a specific region of skin. These treatments are often used in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift or eyelid surgery. Although this is a relatively new procedure, laser resurfacing has been shown to produce less bleeding bruising or post-procedure discomfort than other resurfacing methods.
The procedure is relatively quick, and the length of the procedure can range anywhere from a few minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the area being covered. Patients are given a local anesthetic and put under sedation, meaning they are awake but relaxed. However, for extensive treatment, the physician may prefer to use a general anesthesia, which will allow you to sleep through the procedure.