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How Long to Heal After Laser Resurfacing?

how-long-to-heal-after-laser-resurfacing

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the healing or recovery time that your skin will require after laser resurfacing will depend on the type of resurfacing treatment your undergo.

Undergoing ablative laser resurfacing treatments such as the Carbon Dioxide Laser or CO2 Laser will require an average of two weeks for your skin to heal[1]. Meanwhile Erbium Laser resurfacing treatments require less healing time of up to one week on the average[2]. For non-ablative laser resurfacing treatments on the other hand, there is virtually no downtime[3].

Ablative Laser Resurfacing Versus Non-Ablative Resurfacing

Ablative laser resurfacing refers to the process wherein the affected layers of the skin are ablated or removed with the use of laser beams. The machines and technology used in ablative laser resurfacing procedures allow the doctor to adjust the intensity and pulse duration of the laser beams, therefore allowing for a very specific and precise treatment[4].

Ablative laser resurfacing comes in two popular forms, one is the Carbon Dioxide Laser and the other is the Erbium Laser. Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing involves the use of high energy laser beams that are delivered in short bursts, so as to vaporize and remove the skin tissue that is either wrinkled, pigmented or sagging[5]. Erbium Laser Resurfacing meanwhile employs the use of high-powered erbium:YAG lasers that are also high-powered but at a level that penetrates your skin. Once the laser beams spread through inside your skin, thin layers of your damaged skin are removed, and once removed, new skin is revealed[6].

Meanwhile, non-ablative laser resurfacing, as its name implies, does not involve the removal or ablating of the layers of the skin. Non-ablative lasers work under the skin’s surface in order to encourage the growth of collagen with the end result of firming the skin from the inside[7]. Because no ablation is involved, there is very minimal damage to the skin, and therefore there is very little or no healing time required[8].

 

Resources

[1]“Laser Skin Resurfacing.” The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing.html?sub=Specia

[2]“Laser Skin Resurfacing.” The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing.html?sub=Specia

[3]“Laser Resurfacing Information.” American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.asds.net/LaserResurfacingInformation.aspx>.

[4]“Laser Resurfacing Information.” American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.asds.net/LaserResurfacingInformation.aspx>.

[5]“Laser Resurfacing Information.” American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.asds.net/LaserResurfacingInformation.aspx>.

[6] “Laser Resurfacing Information.” American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.asds.net/LaserResurfacingInformation.aspx>.

[7]“Laser Skin Resurfacing.” The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing.html?sub=Specia

[8]“Laser Skin Resurfacing.” The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing.html?sub=Specia

 

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