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Laser Skin Resurfacing

Time is not typically a friend to our skin. Aging, sun exposure and environmental pollutants cause significant damage over time, which results in the loss of volume and elasticity in the dermal layers. This process leads to the appearance of uneven texture, discoloration, age spots and wrinkles. While the changes can have a profound impact on your appearance and your confidence level, there are non-surgical methods for reversing the damage and restoring your youthful radiance. One of the most popular procedures offered at Dr. Kenneth Yu Plastic Surgery is laser resurfacing.

Dr. Yu performs fractional laser skin treatments at his San Antonio office, which produce superior results with less discomfort and downtime than other types of laser treatments. This procedure works with the natural rejuvenation processes of the body to provide natural, long-lasting results. The treatment can also be tailored to the precise needs and desired results of each patient. Deeper procedures offer more dramatic correction but also involve some recovery time afterward.

What is Fractional Laser Resurfacing?

There are two basic types of laser treatments for the skin:

Ablative Laser Treatments

Remove the outer layers of skin, revealing smoother, more youthful dermal layers underneath. This method of exfoliation is more precise than other treatments like dermabrasion and chemical peels. However, the procedure results in significant damage and may involve a degree of discomfort and an extended recovery process, depending on how deeply the treatment is performed.

Fractional Laser Treatments

Deliver a narrow laser beam into the dermal layers in a grid-like pattern, creating micro-injuries in the skin. These channels stimulate the body’s regeneration process, prompting cell renewal and collagen production underneath the skin’s surface to produce thicker, firmer and smoother skin over time. Like ablative lasers, fractional devices can be tailored to the exact depth needed by the patient to achieve the best possible results. However, damage to surrounding skin and tissue is eliminated, leading to a more comfortable procedure with a shorter recovery process in most cases.

Dr. Yu offers fractional laser resurfacing using a Co2 laser, a device with a proven track record of safety and efficacy. There are a variety of benefits to be gained, and the laser can be used for different skin types and tones. Dr. Yu will give you a thorough assessment before treatment to ensure the laser process will work the best for you.

Laser Resurfacing Benefits

Fractional laser resurfacing offers a myriad of benefits as it works on the following concerns:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Early skin laxity
  • Uneven skin texture and tone
  • Brown spots and other pigmentation irregularities
  • Shallow scarring

Laser resurfacing can be performed in combination with other surgical and nonsurgical procedures, including a facelift, eyelid surgery or injectable treatments. Dr. Yu will help you customize your treatment plan to accomplish all your aesthetic goals quickly and efficiently.

Are you a Good Candidate for Laser Resurfacing?

Both men and women with signs of aging and sun damage they would like to reverse may be good candidates for laser resurfacing. Some skin tones respond better to the procedure than others, so Dr. Yu will evaluate your skin concerns individually to determine whether this procedure is the right one for you. Laser procedures are typically performed on the face, but they can also be used on other areas of the skin where damage occurs, such as the neck, chest, shoulders and the backs of the hands.


Procedure Details

Dr. Yu performs most of his laser resurfacing procedures in his San Antonio office using a topical anesthetic and a medical cooling device to maintain patient comfort during treatment. If you require more aggressive treatment, you can also choose to have your procedure in an operating room setting at a nearby hospital. Laser resurfacing may also be performed in a hospital if it is combined with a surgical procedure like a facelift.

During treatment, an applicator is used to deliver the laser pulses into the underlying dermal layers. There is no pain during the procedure, thanks to the topical numbing cream and possible sedative beforehand. The length of your appointment will fluctuate based on the size of the area to be treated, but most of our patients are out of our office within about two hours including time for the numbing cream to take effect.

Recovery Basics

Recovery time varies with each patient and depends on the depth of the treatment performed. The skin is usually healed in five to seven days, although redness may persist much longer. After about one week of healing, you will be able to apply makeup to cover up residual redness. You may also experience mild discomfort in the early days after treatment, but Dr. Yu enhances the recovery process with the use of medicated creams, as well as homeopathic and herbal remedies. You will also receive detailed care instructions to minimize your recovery process and produce the best results possible.

Laser resurfacing is an effective way to reverse signs of aging and sun damage to produce a more youthful and radiant complexion. To learn more about this nonsurgical method of skin rejuvenation, contact Dr. Kenneth Yu Plastic Surgery at (210) 876-6868.

*This content was reviewed by Dr. Kenneth Yu, a double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in head and neck surgery (otolaryngology). His practice — Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery — proudly serves the San Antonio and Austin communities.