Skin Resurfacing –
Laser resurfacing is a procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of skin or treat minor facial flaws by removing layers of skin. Patients who have a history of herpes infections will be prescribed an antiviral medication before and after treatment to prevent viral infection. An oral antibiotic may be prescribed to prevent bacterial infection. Patients may be asked to apply a topical retinoid on their skin for about four weeks before the procedure. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided.
True lasers are characterized by key features — among them, “their wavelength, which is absorbed by select targets in the skin, and their pulse width, or the rate at which that beam of light is delivered,” says Robert Anolik, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the NYU School of Medicine. Generally speaking, the longer a wavelength, the deeper it penetrates. The swifter a pulse width, the better optimized it is for small targets. (Minuscule pigment fragments, for instance, call for a faster pulse width than slightly larger blood vessels.) Once a bullseye is hit, it “becomes so focally hot, it breaks down or vaporizes,” Anolik adds.