Does Laser Resurfacing Actually Work?

questionWhen looking at various treatments we need to understand that there are no fixed rules. Whether the procedure provides excellent results or not can depend on a lot of different factors.

When looking at laser resurfacing, there isn’t any one standard device which is used across the country, nor does everyone have the same skin attributes. We all have different skin types.

The simple answer is yes it does work. But how well it works depends on several factors.

How Exactly Does it Work?

The laser treatment uses an ingenious method to cause the skin to create more collagen and elastin. Understanding the science behind the process may put your mind at ease before treatment, or convince you that it really works.

Ablative

Ablative laser resurfacing works by removing a fine layer of outer skin which can help reduce wrinkles, sun spots, uneven skin etc. A fresh new layer is produced in place of the layer which has been removed. It can also assist in skin tightening because your body thinks the skin is wounded which stimulates collagen production to help “repair” the skin. This is generally how the process works, but remember that different laser treatments can work in different ways.


Non Ablative

Non ablative lasers are a little bit more complicated. They focus on working under the skin. It works by firing a laser into your skin, instead of taking the top layer off it goes deeper targeting the water and heating it so it vaporizes. This will create lots of little holes, or gaps in your skin. So how does this help? Your body believes these gaps where the water used to be are wounds. So it increased collagen and elastin production in an attempt to heal them. This stimulation results in much tighter and youthful looking skin. Read more about the process here.

Both of these procedures can be customized to some extent to work on different parts of the body. For example, when dealing with scar tissue, higher settings may be required.

Some of the most advanced treatments use a combination of ablative and non ablative procedures.

Types of Skin

The treatment works well on the smaller wrinkles. For example those you get around the corers of your mouth and eyes. It’s also good at reducing the appearance of sun wrinkles. Essentially laser resurfacing works well for turning back the clock for the general signs of aging. But for serious skin problems and deep wrinkles the treatment may not provide the results you want.

Deep Wrinkles

For wrinkles which are the result of muscle movement (like the forehead) the will be an improvement  but it won’t be as drastic. This is because of the substantial movement associated with these areas – the wrinkles are likely to occur again. Perhaps Botox or dermal fillers would be better for these areas.

Scars

For light shallow scarring there should be a good visible improvement as the skin becomes more even and tighter. But unfortunately for serious scarring there won’t be a massive improvement. The procedure doesn’t change the color of the scars so even if they become flatter and smoother, they could still stand out because of pigmentation differences.

Even though it’s an effective treatment, you may not obtain the results you’re after on intense wrinkling or scaring.

Expertise

The results you get will always depend on the expertise of the professional providing the treatment. This is especially true if you’re having the treatment to get rid of scars or other skin blemishes. It’s not just a case of pointing the device at the skin and hoping for the best. A proper examination of the skin needs to take place so the best sort of laser can be used.

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