About Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing at St. Petersburg Center for Plastic Surgery is a noninvasive aesthetic treatment that utilizes pulsating beams of energy to exfoliate damaged surface skin cells one layer at a time. The procedure is great for correcting facial wrinkles and lines and for improving skin blemishes like pigmentation, acne scars, and more. Sometimes called a laser peel, fractional skin resurfacing is considered a great facial treatment for people who want clearer, softer, younger-looking skin. Based on the needs of the patient's complexion, the treatment will be customized for best results. There is little recovery time needed for most laser skin resurfacing procedures. Any questions or concerns may be reviewed with St. Petersburg, FL plastic surgeon Dr. John J. O'Brien Jr. during your consultation.
Types of Laser Treatments
Our office offers several kinds of laser resurfacing skin procedures that are selected depending on your skin's condition. Some are performed for milder cases of skin damage, while others are more aggressive:
This laser treatment eliminates thin skin layers, similar to dermabrasion or a deep chemical peel, with a high level of control that permits the laser technician to avoid damage to the skin. This laser treatment is also ideal for addressing pigmentation issues as well as correcting acne scars and wrinkles.
A light resurfacing treatment that is designed to treat a wide variety of concerns including hyperpigmentation, rough skin texture, dull skin tone, wrinkles, and mild scars. This removes the surface layer of damaged skin to reveal a new smooth layer for a radiant complexion.
- Contour TRL™
An advanced and uniquely designed laser treatment that offers custom tunability to determine the precise depth of ablation. It's also safe and effective for a variety of skin types as it corrects sun damage, texture, tone, and unwanted wrinkles.
- CO2/Fractional Laser Treatments
Fractional or CO2 laser treatments are a combination of non-ablative and ablative that make micro-damage in the lower skin layers. The body's automatic healing leads to tighter, healthier skin. CO2 laser treatments can also be used to treat deep wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, and pigmentation problems.
"Excellent Physician - St. Petersburg, FL - I really did my research to find a life long plastic surgeon for skin maintenance and elective surgery. I have had many invasive and non invasive procedures over the last 15 years. Excellent, realistic results. Great office and nursing staff. I am very grateful to have found such a conscientious surgeon in my area. Highly recommend."- C. / RealSelf / Jul 01, 2016
"Dr. John went over the procedure in detail with what to expect and answered all of my questions and concerns that I had. He made me feel comfortable with moving forward and scheduling my next appointment."- GB / Solutionreach / Nov 28, 2018
You have several factors to take into consideration when deciding which laser peel treatment is best for your skin. Laser skin resurfacing is designed for anyone who is unsatisfied with their general complexion. If you see sun damage, age spots, acne scars, lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, or redness concerns, a laser skin resurfacing procedure may be needed to address these cosmetic flaws. Also, laser skin resurfacing is wonderful for patients who have rough texture, scaly patches, or other skin surface problems. A laser peel isn't suggested for anyone who has very dark skin tones or active acne outbreaks. Also, it's important to be aware that there is a recovery period needed after laser peels. Certain patients, based on their skin condition, may require as much as 2 – 3 weeks for recovery.
When you are scheduled for a more intense or deeper laser resurfacing treatment, you may be given a retinoid cream for 2 – 3 weeks before your laser procedure. The retinoid helps prep the skin for better results. Medication may be prescribed prior to the procedure to help minimize any pain for greater relaxation throughout your appointment. If your complexion only needs mild improvement, a local anesthesia may be applied to numb treated areas of the face. For the whole complexion or deeper laser procedures, a form of sedation may be used. Throughout the procedure, you can relax in our special treatment chair while the laser handpiece passes over the your skin, directly targeting the specific sections for resurfacing. You may feel warmth from the laser followed with cold air from the system's built-in cooling device. The laser energy is designed to eliminate dead and damaged skin cells while also prompting natural collagen production.
What to Expect
After light peels, an ointment will be smoothed over the treated skin and you can go home for your recovery. The treated skin may look pink and there may be some swelling and irritation. These symptoms subside in a few days and the skin peeling process will occur over a 3 – 5-day period. For those who are receiving a deeper laser peel, your recovery period will take longer. The treatment sections may be protected with dressings and the irritation, burning, and swelling side effects may be more intense. Pain medication can be prescribed to minimize these symptoms. The recovery time for a more intense laser peel may last several weeks. Every patient needs to reduce their UV exposure following their treatment and use sun protection frequently. For all peel intensities, the treated skin will naturally crust, flake, and peel off. It's vital to avoid accelerating the recovery process to prevent scarring and to shield the treated area from UV exposure. After the peeling is finished, the treated skin should feel smoother while also appearing younger, clearer, and rejuvenated.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does laser skin resurfacing cost?
Your laser resurfacing cost will depend on the treatment type you choose. During your initial consultation, Dr. O'Brien will understand your skin issues and wants before discussing the types of laser resurfacing available. After this, he will help you select your resurfacing treatment and talk to you about costs. Our office regularly offers skin treatment specials and packages, so ask for more information in your appointment.
What's the best type of resurfacing for me?
Dr. O'Brien can help you choose which resurfacing option fits your concerns and goals in your initial consultation. What treatment is best for you will depend on the health of your skin, any skin problems, and the skin depth you want your treatment to reach. The length of recovery time might also be an important consideration when you create a treatment plan. If you are unsure, it is better to try a milder treatment then assess your outcomes and decide if you want something stronger for your second appointment.
How can I help my skin recover after a resurfacing treatment?
Dr. O'Brien or someone on his staff will explain ways to speed skin healing following your treatment. The number one rule is to not peel or pick flaking skin. Doing this can lead to long-term damage like scars. You need to forgo all hair removal methods on the treated skin, which includes waxing, shaving, or depilatory creams. We can suggest a cream to help soothe the treated areas.
Should I get laser skin resurfacing or a chemical peel?
Once he has listened to your issues, Dr. O'Brien will help you choose whether laser skin resurfacing, or a chemical fits your needs and goals. Although both rejuvenate your skin, each has pros and cons. In your initial consultation, Dr. O'Brien will discuss each choice and make a suggestion for your treatment plan.
How often should I get laser resurfacing treatments?
Based on the laser resurfacing method you and Dr. O'Brien choose for your procedure, you might need to wait a few weeks or even a few months between treatments. Deep laser treatments will give you results that last a long time; however, they do need more time for recovery. You should tell Dr. O'Brien about how frequently you want to return for appointments so he can consider this when suggesting a treatment plan in your initial consultation.
A Softer, Clearer Complexion
Your treatment with laser skin resurfacing provides excellent results if you are looking to get a more youthful appearance. If you are thinking about a laser resurfacing treatment and want to hear more information about their benefits, and about additional nonsurgical treatments St. Petersburg Center for Plastic Surgery performs, we encourage you to contact us in St. Petersburg, FL today to make your appointment with Dr. O'Brien.