Laser resurfacing is a minimally invasive skin procedure used to treat minor facial flaws and improve the skin’s overall appearance. At Becker Plastics, our board-certified plastic surgeons offer exceptional skin rejuvenation results to patients in New Jersey and Philadelphia using laser resurfacing treatments.
Laser treatments can treat a wide range of skin issues, including discoloration, signs of aging, and uneven texture. Some of the most common reasons people seek laser resurfacing include skin concerns such as acne scars, sun damage, age spots, and fine wrinkles, though the treatment can address many other issues as well.
The Laser Resurfacing Procedure
Laser resurfacing is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning you can get the procedure at any of our four locations in Philadelphia, Princeton, Voorhees, or Yardley, and go home the same day. The duration and technique of your treatment will vary depending on the kind of laser your surgeon uses.
During an ablative laser treatment, your doctor will use a strong, concentrated beam of light energy to destroy the damaged outer layer of your skin and stimulate collagen production. This collagen production will gradually improve the appearance of your skin, making it appear brighter and more youthful.
A non-ablative laser treatment will leave the outer layer of the skin intact while targeting deeper layers of the dermis to stimulate collagen production. Though the treatment is less invasive and generally involves less recovery time, patients will typically need multiple rounds of non-ablative laser treatments to achieve similar results to ablative laser treatment.
Preparing for Laser Treatments
Because laser treatments are minimally invasive or non-invasive, there is little you need to do to prepare for the surgery. Prior to the procedure, you will attend a consultation at one of our four locations in Philadelphia, Princeton, Voorhees, or Yardley. During the consultation, your plastic surgeon will explain the procedure, take a medical history, and determine whether this is the right procedure for your goals.
Patients who will be sedated for the procedure will need someone to drive them home after the treatment. All candidates should avoid getting too much sun for the two months leading up to the procedure. Tanning prior to laser treatments can lead to permanent discoloration.
If you are a smoker, stop now. Smoking increases your chances of post-procedure complications and can affect your candidacy for the treatment. Even quitting smoking for just two weeks prior to the procedure will reduce your risk of complications.
Laser Resurfacing Recovery
Your recovery process will depend heavily on whether you get ablative or non-ablative laser treatments. After non-ablative laser treatments, patients may experience some redness, swelling, and sensitivity similar to a sunburn for 24 hours following the treatment. Most patients will be able to resume normal activities immediately following the procedure.
Ablative laser resurfacing includes controlled injury to the skin, meaning that the recovery will be longer and involves a higher risk of complications. After the procedure, the skin may feel raw, swollen, and itchy. The area will be bandaged by your surgeon following the procedure, and you can take a pain reliever and use a cool compress to relieve your discomfort.
While your face remains bandaged, you should avoid applying sunscreen, unapproved moisturizers, or makeup to the area. Similarly, you should avoid any activities, such as swimming, that could put you at a greater risk of infection to the area.
While many doctors often refer to the recovery time as “downtime,” this doesn’t mean you’ll actually be out of commission for the recovery period. During this period, your body is working to heal and improve the appearance of your face. Though some patients prefer to avoid certain social situations during their recovery period because of visual redness, scabbing, or bandages, most patients are still able to maintain many of their daily routines through most of the recovery process.
Before the procedure, your doctor will examine your skin, talk to you about your medical history, and learn more about any medical conditions you have. While your physician will be sure to screen for any potential risk factors when you come in for your consultation at one of our four locations in Philadelphia, Princeton, Voorhees, or Yardley, some of the following conditions are important to bring up when you are deciding if laser restructuring is the best procedure for you:
- Deep wrinkles and sagging skin: Laser resurfacing is intended to treat minor facial flaws. If you have more severe sagging or deep wrinkles, a different procedure might be better suited for you.
- Very dark skin: Some patients with dark brown or black skin are at risk of skin discoloration from the procedure and might benefit more from alternative resurfacing procedures such as microneedling or radio-frequency treatments. If you think this might apply to you, you should bring up your concerns during your initial consultation.
- Medications: Some medications will increase your risk of infection or decrease the efficacy of the treatment. For example, the acne medication isotretinoin (used to treat cystic acne), can cause poor scar healing and result in unfavorable outcomes for laser resurfacing. Some patients may be able to temporarily stop taking a medication that would interfere with their laser resurfacing treatment plans.
- Cold Sores: If you ever experience cold sores around the mouth, you should discuss this with your surgeon. They can prescribe medication to prevent an outbreak from interfering with the procedure.
- Weak Immune System: An autoimmune disease or a weak immune system can increase your risk of infection following the procedure.
- Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: Given the additional risks associated with infection during pregnancy and breastfeeding, most women and their doctors elect to wait on elective procedures until after the birth and the completion of breastfeeding.
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Having realistic expectations is important going into any medical procedure. People with body dysmorphic disorder frequently seek out cosmetic procedures but are rarely satisfied with the results. If you are often preoccupied with low body image or avoid social situations to hide your perceived physical flaws, bring this up with your surgeon before the procedure.
Why Choose Becker Plastics?
Our doctors and staff are caring, focused on patient satisfaction, and determined to ensure that you have a positive experience with our practice. With four locations, Philadelphia, Princeton, Voorhees, or Yardley, our offices are convenient for patients throughout New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. Visit our website or call to schedule a consultation.
Yes! Laser resurfacing is an outpatient procedure that can be performed at any of our four locations: Philadelphia, Princeton, Voorhees, and Yardley.
Laser resurfacing can be part of a larger treatment plan to achieve your cosmetic goals. Many patients combine laser resurfacing with Botox to treat deeper wrinkles.
Many physicians recommend using retinoids to maintain the results of the procedure. You should incorporate sunscreen into your skincare routine to prevent more wrinkles or discoloration from occurring. Consult with a dermatologist about persistent acne if acne scars were the cause of your need for laser resurfacing.
Patients rarely have to “go under” for laser resurfacing, but your doctor will likely still use some kind of anesthetic or numbing agent for the procedure. The severity of the discomfort patients can expect to feel varies widely depending on the kind of laser and the depth of the treatment.
Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. During your consultation, your surgeon can help better inform you about the pros and cons of each method and help determine which would be a better fit for your needs.
If you live in the states of Pennsylvania or New Jersey, Becker Plastic Surgery offers laser resurfacing among its services. For a full list of services, please visit our Locations page.
Discuss Your Options
There are lots of great skin rejuvenation options, including laser resurfacing, available at our New Jersey and Philadelphia offices. Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons will gladly guide you in choosing the best treatment plan for your needs. To schedule a consultation at Becker Plastics, call our offices or make an appointment online.
256 Bunn Drive, Suite B
Princeton NJ 08540 US
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Why choose the Doctors at Becker Plastic Surgery
Kirk Lozada, MD, FACS
- Completed his fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and has trained with the top Facial Plastic Surgeons in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey.
- Has traveled to Ica, Peru with Healing the Children on multiple occasions performing a high volume of cleft lip and palate surgery.
- Is currently a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and has numerous publications and presentations in the field of facial plastic surgery.
Daniel Becker, MD, FACS
- Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology (ENT).
- Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS).
- Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).
- Top-Rated by US News and World Report, Philadelphia Magazine, South Jersey Magazine, Castle-Connelly, and others.
- Read more about rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Becker’s credentials
Nicole Schrader, MD, FACS
- She is a double board certified surgeon in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology & Head/Neck Surgery.
- Is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Has over 20 years of experience, 15+ years in private practice and has performed hundreds of facelift surgeries.
- Dr. Schrader Recognized as Best Plastic Surgeon by Town Topics Readers’ Choice Awards.