Is age, sun damage, or dull skin making you less than satisfied with your appearance? If so, then you may want to consider skin resurfacing. The following guide will answer your questions so that you can determine if this is the right treatment for you.
What is skin resurfacing?
Skin resurfacing treatments remove the outer layers of the skin so that the healthy skin beneath is revealed. The outer layers are typically where the dry skin and sun damage is, so the results can be quite striking. Skin resurfacing is typically done to the face and neck, but it can also be used to treat arms, the back, the chest, or anywhere else that is looking dull or damaged.
Who performs the procedures?
You usually have a choice. Resurfacing treatments are offered at some spas, where a licensed aesthetician performs the procedure. Resurfacing is also offered at some dermatology and plastic surgeon's offices.
How is it performed?
There are many different types of resurfacing treatments:
Laser skin resurfacing: Lasers are used to minimize wrinkles, remove brown spots and discoloration, and to help fade scars.
Chemical peels: For this treatment, a chemical treatment is applied to the face, which causes the outer skin to peel off over several days. It works well for discolorations, scars, and to tighten loose skin. It can be irritating on sensitive skin, though.
Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is relatively gentle, so it is suitable for all skin types. In most instances, small abrasive particles are used to exfoliate the skin. It works well for fine lines, age spot and scar minimization, discoloration, and to improve the skin tone. There is also a variety known as a Hydrafacial, which is even more gentle and provides moisturizing treatments at the same time as the microdermabrasion.
Is there a recovery time?
It depends on the treatment chosen. Laser treatments may leave skin sensitive, especially to light, for a few days following the treatment, but recovery is generally minimal. Chemical peels are the most invasive, as you will need to stay out of the sun and avoid putting products on your face until the peeling has stopped. Microdermabrasion may leave the skin sensitive for a few days, with the exception of the less-irritating Hydrafacial treatments. The treatment provider may also recommend specific moisturizers and cleansers to use in the days following the treatments to ensure that you get the most benefits from your resurfacing session.