Laser resurfacing is a skin resurfacing procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of your skin or treat minor facial flaws. Laser resurfacing can be done with two types of lasers:
- A wounding (ablative) laser, which removes thin layers of skin
- A nonwounding (nonablative) laser, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin
Although nonablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less recovery time, it's less effective than ablative laser resurfacing.
Laser resurfacing can decrease the appearance of fine lines around your eyes, mouth and cheeks. Laser resurfacing can also treat loss of skin tone and improve your complexion if you have scars or sun damage. Laser resurfacing does have limitations, however. Understanding the specific techniques, risks and possible results can help you decide if laser resurfacing is right for you.
Laser resurfacing can be used to treat:
- Liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines)
- Uneven skin tone or texture
- Sun-damaged skin
- Scars caused by acne, chickenpox or injuries
Laser resurfacing can't eliminate excessive or sagging skin (jowls).