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There are many benefits from laser skin resurfacing. The procedure improves the skin in two ways. It corrects existing issues, while simultaneously creating a healthier epidermis.

Patients most often request laser treatments of the face, since it’s first thing you, and most people, notice. In addition to its anti-aging effects, laser resurfacing can reduce acne scarring, improve skin tone, texture, and decreased pore size. Aside from smoothing and creating a uniform texture of the skin of the face, laser treatments can also be tailored to improve the skin of the neck, chest, hands or other areas that may appear irregular. Repeat sessions are almost always suggested for optimal results.

Scar Prevention

To prevent adverse effects following treatment, patients should be knowledgeable about the skin’s healing process. Following a laser procedure, the skin will look inflamed and feel warm to the touch. It may be a deep to light pink color, and it is possible for blisters to form, though these are all normal side effects. While it may be tempting to peel loose skin or excise blisters, permanent discoloration and scarring can result. Patients are instructed to allow the natural shedding process of the skin to complete on its own.

Unnecessary scarring is easily preventable when patients follow the directions of Dr. Williams and the staff at the Williams Center.

Cleansing the Skin

Dr. Williams may prescribe different recovery plans for individual circumstances, but there are a number of general tips suggested for the aftercare of skin.

To ward off infection and maintain hygiene of the skin, a natural cleansing solution should be applied to the skin morning, noon and night. A saline or vinegar solution diluted with distilled water can serve as the post-treatment skin cleanser.

For patients that have undergone CO2 laser treatments, Dr. Williams recommends the use of cotton ball to apply the skin cleanser. Gauze gently sloughs off any dry or crusting skin without impeding healing. To maintain hydration of the skin a soak tailored to the patient’s needs may be recommended. Dry skin negatively impacts cell repair.

Skin Repair Healing Helpers

Laser skin resurfacing works by creating injuries to the skin that in the process of healing produce visibly healthier tissue. During this process, the skin must be cared for similarly to other skin wounds and injuries. After cleansing, ointments may be applied to aid in healing and conditioning the skin.

Depending on extent of the laser treatment, it can take up to two weeks or sometimes longer for a full recovery. Lighter skinned patients may often notice pink undertones in the skin longer than those with darker skin.

Proper Hydration of the Skin

Skin refinishing treatments can temporarily upset the natural balance in the moisture of the skin, but Dr. Williams and his staff can assist patients by choosing products to correct this issue. Immediately following the procedure, it may be ideal to use gentle moisturizers that contain no artificial ingredients. These products are often labeled as “Sensitive Skin” or “Hypoallergenic.”

Two weeks after a CO2 laser procedure, patients may be able to moisturize with Cetaphil, as advised by Dr. Williams. When the skin has healed sufficiently, the doctor may suggest using more potent products for the skin. The office offers a variety of prescription strength medicated skin care products tailored to each individual’s needs.

Apply Sunscreen

While keeping the skin clean and moisturized has already been discussed, sunscreen is also very important during recovery. The daily use of a high SPF (or Sun Protection Factor) creates an invisible shield against harmful UV rays produced by the sun. The doctor recommends using at least an SPF 15 that specifies blockage against both UVA and UVB rays. Sun protection prevents negative short term consequences (like a sun burn, when used as directed) and long term overexposure issues such as lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and cancerous growths. Sunscreens should not be applied for a period of 3 weeks after the procedure.

About Dr. Williams

Dr. Edwin F. Williams of the Williams Center is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. If you want to consult with an experienced New York plastic surgeon, call the Williams Center at 1-518-941-8416.

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