Last fact-checked: 3 October 2020
One of the first parts of your body to show its age, sun damage, acne scars, age spots, wrinkles, furrows and other skin imperfections can be minimized with laser skin resurfacing.
Find out how you can safely improve your complexion with this treatment and discover quality-checked global providers with Medical Departures.
The treatment works by applying an intense wavelength of light to predetermined areas of the face which essentially vapourises the tiny outer layers of the skin.
The intense heat is controlled so that the skin underneath is not affected; only the blemished, sun-damaged layer of skin on top is removed. As the skin heals, it restructures and increases collagen production. The new layers which form are smoother and tighter.
Results should last between one and five years.
It’s important to prepare yourself for this procedure initially by discussing your cosmetic hopes and expectations with your dermatological surgeon. It should also be noted that:
There are two kinds of lasers: ablative (wounding) lasers which are more invasive and non-ablative (non-wounding) lasers.
Ablative laser resurfacing:
Ablative laser skin resurfacing produces more significant results. It is used to treat moderate visible signs of aging including:
The procedure cannot remove excess or sagging skin or deep wrinkles and the results won’t be permanent because as you age, you will continue to develop wrinkles as your skin loses elasticity.
This targets early signs of aging such as:
Non-ablative resurfacing involves fractional lasers which use lower energy than the ablative treatment and treat the dermis (lower layers of skin) without damaging the surface (epidermis).
Lasers are passed over the treatment area which has been numbed with local anesthetic: the eyes, lips, forehead or in some cases, the full face, in a series of horizontal and vertical passes which creates microscopic treatment zones and delivers heat into the skin. This eliminates old cells, the heat stimulates collagen and healthy, tighter skin grows, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
The skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic, held taut and the patient issued with goggles to protect the eyes. You will feel a prickly sensation and your doctor may apply a cooling treatment for pain relief.
Because non-ablative lasers are not as intense as the ablative treatment, multiple sessions will be necessary to achieve the best results. On the plus side, it can be performed in the doctor’s office in under an hour and although the results are less pronounced, the recovery period is shorter and potential complications are reduced.
This is a good time to note that there is a longer post-operative recovery period for ablative treatment and most patients take around two to four weeks for redness and swelling to recede, depending on the depth of skin removal.
Following the procedure, it should be noted that:
Patients are typically able to save at least 50% when undergoing treatment abroad, but the exact cost will be dependent on the extent of your treatment. In most cases, savings will be in the hundreds, rather than thousands, and so it probably is not worthwhile flying just for treatment.
However, if you are based near the US-Mexico border, or planning a vacation or business trip abroad anyway, there are certainly savings to be had.
Check out some of the latest prices on offer, as well as photos, reviews and surgeon profiles at these top global clinics for laser skin resurfacing:
Browse our global providers for laser skin resurfacing here. Once ready to book, follow the steps on our site to lock in the best prices online.
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Laser Resurfacing. Mayo Clinic. 24 January 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/laser-resurfacing/about/pac-20385114
Laser Skin Resurfacing. WebMD. 25 June 2019. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/laser-skin-resurfacing
Smokers who quit one month before surgery reap benefits: UN health agency. UN News. 20 January 2020. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/01/1055591