You may have enjoyed a lot of fun in the South Carolina sun this past summer, but sometimes that comes with a price. Too much sunlight over time can cause the elastin in a person's skin to break down.
This leads the skin to sag and become less elastic overall. Fine wrinkling, freckles and discoloration can also result. Laser resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that can get rid of summer skin damage and minor facial flaws. A laser is used to remove outer layers of skin and give you a more youthful, unblemished appearance.
Before Laser Resurfacing
Several things have to take place before you can go through a laser resurfacing. First and foremost, you'll have to meet with Dr. Fleming and his team of skin care specialists at Palmetto Aesthetics & Wellness. Dr. Fleming will review your medical history, conduct a physical exam and discuss your goals for the laser resurfacing procedure. Depending on your complexion, you may be prescribed a topical gel to apply to your skin every day for about four weeks prior to treatment. You'll also be asked to limit your exposure to the sun while preparing for laser resurfacing.
Extra precautions need to be taken for patients with a history of certain infections, such as herpes. An antiviral medication may be prescribed before and after the laser resurfacing to prevent infections. Antibiotics could be prescribed to prevent bacterial infections.
Is a Laser Resurfacing Treatment Painful?
Anesthetics can be used to minimize pain during a laser resurfacing. You might be given pain medication prior to the treatment to help you relax. The size of the treatment area will affect the type of additional anesthetic used. For a smaller treatment area, a topical anesthetic may be enough. For larger resurfacing jobs, you may be placed under a sedative or administered a nerve block. Every patient is different, so this is often decided on a case-by-case basis.
About the Laser Resurfacing Procedure
Laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure that can usually be completed in one to two hours. For small areas of the face, the procedure could take as little as 30 to 45 minutes. For full facial treatments, it can take up to two hours. Other cosmetic procedures can be done in conjunction with laser resurfacing. Following the procedure, new skin cells will regenerate and give your skin a younger, tighter appearance.
Recovery After Laser Resurfacing
Starting 24 hours after treatment, you will need to clean the treated area four to five times a day with a gentle soap and water. You may also want to apply a good hydrating lotion or even petroleum jelly to prevent scabs from forming. Healing can occur in as little as three days or take as long as three weeks, depending on the size of the area treated and the depth of the resurfacing. During this time you will notice that your skin is more pale or white appearing. You will need to protect your skin with a broad spectrum sun screen (one that protects against UVA and UVB) with an SPF of at least 30, and that is specially formulated for the face. You should also avoid sun exposure as much as possible, especially between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.
Most patients experience a little bit of facial swelling after a laser resurfacing. A topical steroid treatment can help alleviate swelling around the eyes. A feeling of itching or stinging is common for up to three days after the procedure. After about five to seven days, the skin will dry out and begin to peel. This is a good thing because it brings your newer, younger, tighter, more vigorous-looking skin to the surface!
Laser resurfacing is one of many skin resurfacing treatments offered at Palmetto Aesthetics & Wellness in Sumter. If you’re wanting to remove some of that summer sun damage from your skin and regain a more youthful appearance, use the “Request Appointment” button on this page to schedule a consultation.