At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we focus on being at the forefront of innovative techniques, and our laser treatments are no exception. Utilizing the newest technology allows our doctors to reach the most consistent and natural results. Laser treatments are safe, effective, and minimally invasive, while allowing for extreme precision in delicate areas of the body.
Laser skin resurfacing, also known as a laser peel, is the process of using concentrated, pulsating beams of light directed at irregular skin to reduce wrinkles, scars and blemishes.
Unwanted blemishes, wrinkles, or visible scars can have a negative impact on our self-image. Laser skin resurfacing can improve the appearance of:
- Fine lines around the eyes, mouth, or forehead
- Acne scars
- Sun-damaged skin
- Age spots
- Skin discoloration
Those with very dark skin tones may not be an ideal candidate for laser skin resurfacing, as they have a greater risk of healing with darker and/or lighter pigmentation. Based on the Fitzpatrick Skin Type scale, if your pigmentation is considered Type IV or higher, laser skin resurfacing may not be the best course of treatment for you. Your plastic surgeon can help you determine your skin type and the best treatment options.
Laser skin resurfacing is not a treatment for excessive or sagging skin, though it is sometimes used as an adjunct procedure to a facelift. Always make sure that your procedure is being performed by a plastic surgeon that is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and thoroughly trained in laser treatments.
If you believe that you are a candidate for laser skin resurfacing, contact the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago to schedule a consultation. You will meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss your aesthetic goals and review your medical history. Your plastic surgeon will perform an evaluation to see if laser skin resurfacing is the best option for you. At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we never perform a procedure unless we are certain it is the right course of treatment for each individual patient. If you have any questions about the procedure, the potential risks, or the associated cost, the consultation is the ideal time to ask.
Before laser skin resurfacing is performed, your plastic surgeon may start you on skin treatments up to six weeks before the procedure to prepare the treatment areas.
To begin, a local anesthetic is administered to ensure comfort during the procedure. Laser skin resurfacing typically takes between thirty minutes and two hours, depending on the extent of the treatment. The laser vaporizes damaged skin cells, removing the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) while simultaneously heating the underlying layer (the dermis) to stimulate the growth of collagen fibers. The result is firmer and smoother skin.
Laser skin resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, so patients can typically return home the same day. Some redness and swelling is normal; most patients report the sensation of a mild sunburn after laser treatment.
The treated areas of the skin may appear raw, and in some cases, may blister. It is important not to scratch or pick at the skin because it can cause unfavorable scarring. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe a topical treatment to help the skin heal. You may also be directed to use sunscreen and/or moisturizer to keep the sensitive skin safe and healthy while it heals.
Within a week of the procedure, the treated skin will become dry and peel, giving way to smoother skin with visibly reduced blemishes or wrinkles.
The potential risks of laser skin resurfacing are infrequent and fairly minor, but there are associated complications with any procedure. The potential risks of laser skin resurfacing may include:
- Acne breakout
- Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
- Prolonged redness
- Unfavorable scarring
At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we take every precaution possible to mitigate potential risks by using the safest and most innovative techniques. You can further reduce the chance of complications by adhering strictly to all instructions issued by your plastic surgeon, both before and after the procedure.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports a national average of around $2,400 for a laser skin resurfacing treatment, though this cost will vary according to your geographic location, the plastic surgeon performing the procedure, and the extent of your aesthetic goals.
Laser skin resurfacing is considered a cosmetic procedure, and as such is usually not covered by medical insurance. You can speak with your plastic surgeon during your consultation about the cost and payment options.
If you suffer from unwanted wrinkles, scars, or blemishes and believe you might be a candidate for laser skin resurfacing, give us a call at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago. You will meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your aesthetic goals and review all aspects of the procedure. Your consultation is the first step towards both looking and feeling like a better version of yourself.