What is laser resurfacing?

Jul 21, 2023

Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is the gold standard treatment for skin rejuvenation to reduce the visible effects of photoaging and chronological aging.  It works by vaporizing the targeted damage, stimulating the growth of healthy new skin and promoting collagen production for long-term tissue remodeling. The result is smoother, line and blemish free texture, and firmer and tighter skin.


The laser targets fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and even precancerous lesions. It refines the skin’s surface and helps minimize signs of sun damage and aging. Plus, it stimulates collagen production from within. As your body generates new collagen, fine lines and wrinkles will smooth, and your skin will tighten which helps improve the appearance of sagging skin.


How it works


The fractional laser creates microscopic columns of thermal energy to treat only a fraction of the skin, which enables a shorter recovery. The untreated skin kick-starts the wound healing process, and new collagen while minimizing side effects and downtime.


The fractional CO2 laser is an ablative laser which means it removes the thin outer layer of skin, the epidermis, and heats the underlying skin called the dermis which is how collagen production is stimulated.


Non-ablative lasers do not treat the outer skin layer so there is virtually no downtime. Non- ablative lasers include YAG lasers, and Erbium lasers that use infrared energy. These lasers

increase collagen production with minimal discomfort, downtime and recovery.


Fractional Laser Resurfacing is an effective procedure to treat the face, neck, chest, arms and top of the hands for these conditions:

• Deep and fine lines and wrinkles

• Sun damage

• Age spots, freckles, liver spots, brown spots (lentigines)

• Blotchiness and uneven coloration

• Dullness and texture problems

• Crepey skin

• Acne scars, traumatic scars and old surgical scars

• Precancerous lesions

• Warts, moles and other benign skin growths

• Skin laxity – loose skin through the growth of new collagen

• Enlarged pores

• Upper eyelid wrinkles and crepiness and crow’s feet

• Fine lines around the mouth

• Frown lines

• Stretch marks

• It will NOT treat dilated blood vessels, rosacea, and vascular lesions including dilated blood vessels. For that you need IPL.

• For sagging skin, the treatment is a non-ablative laser for collagen production, radiofrequency or ultrasound energy, cold, heat, or surgical excision.


Am I a good candidate?


You may not be a good candidate if

• You have an autoimmune disease or weak immune system

• You have taken acne medication isotretinoin in the year before the procedure

• You tend to scar easily

• You have a darker skin tone

• You are pregnant or breast feeding.

• You smoke, as it can impact your healing and cause complications


While people with darker skin tones are not good candidates for ablative laser resurfacing; nonablative laser resurfacing is safe and effective to stimulate collagen production for tighter and smoother the skin.  They can be combined with IPL treatments to improve skin tone and texture and remove pigmentation problems, colored spots and discolorations.


The procedure


Laser skin resurfacing is an office procedure using topical anesthetic to numb the skin and reduce pain and discomfort. Minor sedation may be offered. After the procedure your face will be covered with a bandage. Pain and discomfort will be treated with pain medication for a short time. You will receive complete instructions about post procedure care.




Posttreatment care is essential to reduce the risk of complications. Dr. Hashemi will recommend topical medications to support wound healing. The skin will scab, and peel and the new skin will be raw and uncomfortable. Wearing sun screen daily will protect the new healthy skin from damage. It can take two to three weeks for the new skin to heal completely, but it may remain red for months. As you heal and new collagen is produced the skin will tighten and smooth improving fine lines and wrinkles,


Laser skin resurfacing requires the expertise of a highly trained and experienced cosmetic surgeon. In the right hands laser skin resurfacing can dramatically improve your skin; but, in the wrong hands it can cause permanent damage and scarring. Contact Dr. Pantea Hashmi at The Sacramento Skin Clinic to schedule a consultation today.




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