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Skin Resurfacing

What is skin resurfacing?

Skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that aims to improve the texture, tone, and appearance of the skin and minor facial flaws by removing layers of skin. Skin resurfacing procedures are popular for face rejuvenation. Chemical peels, dermabrasion and lasers are used to resurface the skin.

What are the different options for skin resurfacing?

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which causes controlled exfoliation of the top layers to restore a more youthful and refreshed appearance. Chemical peels are applied in different strengths to achieve superficial, medium and deep depth chemical peeling. As the skin heals new collagen is formed which smooths lines and wrinkles. Age spots and sun damage, acne, and uneven pigmentation are also improved. Recovery time varies depending on the depth of the peel.

Non-ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing

Non-ablative laser treatments use laser beams to stimulate collagen production to address signs of aging without damaging the outer layer of skin. They work by heating the underlying tissues, collagen, and elastin, to stimulate collagen production and skin cell growth. This technique is effective to tighten the skin for a more youthful appearance, to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and minor scars, and to treat mild pigmentation issues. Downtime is minimal. In non-ablative laser skin resurfacing the laser beam is broken into thousands of tiny, deep columns with intervening areas of normal untreated skin. This approach allows the skin to heal more quickly and reduces recovery time. Multiple treatments are necessary to achieve and maintain the desired results.

Ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing (Erbium and CO2 Lasers)

CO2 Ablative lasers treat the entire targeted skin. It vaporizes the top layer of skin called the epidermis, and the superficial dermal layers to reduce the signs of photoaging, treat scarring, and other skin conditions. Treatment also stimulates collagen production. Ablative lasers are the most aggressive and produce dramatic results, but recovery is about two weeks.

Fractionated CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

A fractionated CO2 laser creates microscopic columns of treated skin, leaving the neighboring tissue intact. This is similar to an ablative laser, but it promotes rapid healing in 5-10 days with similar efficacy. It is effective to stimulate collagen production and to treat a wide range of skin concerns, including wrinkles, scars, and pigmentation issues. Downtime is shorter compared to traditional ablative lasers.

Erbium lasers

Erbium lasers are gentler and suitable for treating fine lines and age spots, while CO2 lasers are more intense and can address deeper wrinkles and scars.

Dr. Michael Rains is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Beacon Dermatology in Asheville, North Carolina. His approach to aesthetic and dermatological treatments are holistically focused on revealing and enhancing a patient’s natural beauty. Dr. Rains is known for his caring and compassionate approach to medicine, listening to his patients’ concerns and goals and ensuring they receive excellent care and education to ensure they can make informed decisions about their treatments. Contact Dr. Rains at Beacon Dermatology to schedule a cosmetic consultation to learn about all your options for skin rejuvenation.

At a Glance

Michael Rains, MD, FAAD

  • Board certified in dermatology
  • Specializing in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology
  • Author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and previous adjunct faculty at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Learn more

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