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Laser Resurfacing: Risks and Benefits

Laser technology has changed the face of cosmetic surgery. Laser resurfacing, in particular, is a new approach to facial rejuvenation that can be used to improve the appearance of your skin, and treat minor skin concerns and imperfections.

laser resurfacingAs with any cosmetic procedure, you should always weigh the laser resurfacing risks and benefits before undergoing treatment.

Benefits of laser resurfacing:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, mouth or forehead.
  • Age spots that appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms.
  • Uneven skin tone and texture.
  • Aged or sun damaged skin.
  • Minor scarring from acne or chickenpox.
  • Birth marks such as linear epidermal nevi.
  • Skin growths such as warts, moles.
  • Enlarged oil glands on the nose.

Laser resurfacing works by removing the outer superficial layer of your skin (epidermis). Deeper layer laser (ablative) resurfacing can also be used to encourage the formation of new collagen fibers beneath the surface of your skin. As your skin heals from treatment, your new skin will appear tighter and smoother.

Risks of laser resurfacing:

  • Bacterial, viral or fungal infection can occur after ablative laser resurfacing. The herpes virus – which causes cold sores – is the most common infection.
  • Swelling, itching or irritation is a temporary side effect that may last for several months after treatment. The depth of your laser treatment will dictate the extent of your recovery.
  • Though rare, blistering or permanent scarring is possible after treatment.
  • Acne or milia (tiny white bumps) may develop or worsen as a result of the creams and bandages applied to your skin during recovery.
  • Changes in skin color that can make your skin appear darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation) than normal.
  • Turning of the eyelid, otherwise known ectropion. Though rare, laser resurfacing near the lower eyelid can cause it to turn outwards. An additional procedure can be used to correct this condition.

Laser resurfacing is not for everyone. If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious medical condition such as diabetes, have a history of keloid scarring, have taken acne medication (Amnesteem and others) in the past year, or are currently pregnant or breast feeding, you may not be a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing.

To learn more about laser skin resurfacing risks and benefits in Tucson contact About Faces Cosmetic Surgery.

Sources: Mayo Clinic and ASPS

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