(312) 787-5313 Menu

Do you notice signs of aging in your face, such as lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and the brows? Then you may want to think about surgical or non-surgical procedures to turn back the clock and boost your self-confidence.

A popular option to smooth lines and wrinkles without surgery and downtime is laser skin resurfacing. Not only can it remove lines and wrinkles; it can get rid of age spots, acne scars, and uneven skin tone and texture.

Please keep reading to learn more.

How Laser Skin Resurfacing Works

Laser skin resurfacing uses highly concentrated light beams to treat your skin. First, the doctor shoots short, concentrated light beams at patches of irregular skin. This can remove undesirable skin blemishes, wrinkles, and lines precisely, one layer at a time.

The highly targeted approach of this method means you shouldn’t have issues with hyperpigmentation or skin lightening.

The beam takes away the top skin layer, called the epidermis. It heats the skin below, known as the dermis, and stimulates your body to produce more collagen. As the skin heals, new skin forms that is younger-looking and smoother.

Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery Time

Skin that is treated with lasers can react in several ways. Usually, the treated area feels like minor sunburn, and there’s swelling and redness. However, you also could have stinging and itching for four or five days.

The initial recovery period usually lasts between one and two weeks.

Some patients may have what resembles a bad sunburn. Your skin could be oozing, raw, and might blister. Yellow liquid could seep from the face and develop a crust, but you shouldn’t touch it because it can scar.

About five days after your treatment, the treated skin will start to peel. To speed up your recovery, please follow these guidelines:

  • Clean the treated skin at least twice per day with diluted vinegar or saline.
  • Protective skin cream can help the skin heal faster.
  • After the skin heals, you should use sunscreen on your face without exceptions – every day.
  • You can help the healing process and increase comfort by applying a daily moisturizer.

The treated area will probably peel, and the new skin will look pink, but it will get lighter after 60 or 90 days. The pinkness can take a year to fade, so it’s vital to protect your skin as much as you can during this period.

More Information About Laser Skin Resurfacing

The information below may help you decide if you want to go through with this procedure:

Treatments Don’t Always Hurt

Many surgeons compare the sensation of having laser treatments to a strong rubber band snapping against your face. But exactly how it feels depends on the type of laser, where the treatment is and how deep it is, and your pain tolerance.

Deeper ablative laser treatment may need local anesthesia or even IV anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Some of the most popular ablative lasers include the Erbium YAG laser and CO2 lasers.

There also are non-ablative laser treatments that result in little or no pain; you may only need a numbing cream to eliminate discomfort. Pulsed-dye, NG, and Yag are examples of these lasers.

After the laser treatment, you may experience some tenderness in the part of the face that was treated.

You Can Have Darker Skin, In Some Cases

A misconception about this procedure is that you must have light skin. Although a few lasers can indeed damage darker skin, there are options for those with non-white skin.

For African-Americans with lighter skin tones and Hispanics and Asians, the Erbium laser can be a great choice. However, those with darker skin may need to consider micro-needling or radio-frequency skin treatment.

Your healthcare provider has experience and training with the procedure and can tell you the best options.

Experience And Training Matter

Many healthcare providers can offer laser skin resurfacing, but choosing a highly skilled and experienced physician or surgeon always pays.

If an unskilled person does your treatment, you could suffer irreparable skin damage. Therefore, you should choose your provider based on their training and experience, not price alone.

Difference Lasers Are For Different Skin Issues

There are many laser choices because there isn’t one laser that is perfect for every situation. The most common are:

  • CO2: Mostly ablative and are effective for wrinkles, warts, scars, and deep creases
  • Erbium: Ablative or non-ablative and work for collagen production, so they’re great for wrinkles, age spots, and fine lines.
  • Pulsed-dye: Mostly non-ablative work for reducing redness, rosacea, and broken capillaries.
  • Fractional: Break up the laser beam into thousands of tiny beams to treat a small amount of skin. It can be ablative or non-ablative and help with age spots and blemishes.
  • IPL: Not a laser but can treat sun damage, acne, hyperpigmentation, and vascular lesions.

More Than One Treatment

One laser treatment might work for a few patients, but most need several sessions for ideal results. On the plus side, there’s little downtime, and once you’re done, the results can last for years.

Best In Fall Or Winter

Skin treated with a laser is susceptible to the sun for up to a year in some cases. So it’s best to have the procedure in the fall or winter.

When you have laser resurfacing, you should wear good sunscreen every day and reapply often.

Complementary Procedures

When having laser skin resurfacing, you may decide to have other procedures to combine your recovery time. Popular options are:

Request A Laser Skin Resurfacing Consultation

Thinking about laser skin resurfacing in Chicago? Dr. Otto Placik is proud to serve Chicago area patients at his practice. He’ll go over the options, goals, and more to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for laser skin resurfacing.


Laser Skin Resurfacing Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing

Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing/recovery

About Laser Skin Resurfacing. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/laser-resurfacing/about/pac-20385114#

Author: Dr. Otto Placik

Dr. Otto Placik is a Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago, a leader in the field of body sculpting, and is recognized for his artistry in a wide range of modern cosmetic enhancements.


Rate Us!

Please take a moment to rate your experience with our team.

Rate Us