Could your skin use a reset? Sun damage, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles can all rob the appearance of its youthful vibrance.

The good news is there are a number of highly effective treatments today that help restore and rejuvenate the complexion. If creams and other at home treatments aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for, it may be time to consider a skin resurfacing treatment.

Skin resurfacing treatments can help reverse signs of aging and stress, and renew the skin for a healthier, more youthful appearance.

As we age, the elastin and collagen in the skin begin to break down, weakening the skin’s outer layers. Damage to the skin can become more evident. Skin resurfacing works by removing the damaged skin cells and allowing new, healthy skin to grow in its place.

There are a number of skin resurfacing procedures available and physicians use different techniques to address specific skin concerns.

Here’s a look at some of the best treatment options and what you need to know about each:

Chemical Peels

What they are and how they work

Chemical peels are among one of the most commonly used skin resurfacing techniques. Chemical peels help to restore and enhance the skin by smoothing fine line and wrinkles and reducing the appearance of age spots, skin discoloration, and scars. They also work to tighten, tone and brighten the complexion.

The technique involves applying a chemical solution to the skin that causes the outer layer of skin to peel off in the days or weeks following treatment. The skin heals and regenerates to reveal a smoother, younger-looking complexion. Multiple treatments may be necessary depending on the condition of your skin and desired results.

After treatment effects

All peels require some degree of follow up care, but the healing period and downtime required will vary based on the strength of the peel.

Treatments may cause side effects such as stinging, redness, swelling, irritation, and crusting, which will lessen over time as the skin heals. Topical creams or gels can be used to help reduce these effects and help promote recovery. Your doctor may also prescribe medication post-treatment.

Types of chemical peels

There are three general types of chemical peels with varying strengths—light or superficial peels, medium peels, and deep peels.

A light or superficial peel, also sometimes called a lunchtime peel, uses a mild solution like alpha-hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate the skin. It will only penetrate the outer layer of skin and typically involves a minimal recovery period. These peels help improve mild discoloration, smooth rough skin, and to refresh its appearance. They can be applied to skin on the face, neck, or hands.

Medium peels use a solution that reaches the middle layers of skin. They help smooth fine lines and wrinkles and improve moderate skin discoloration and age spots. These peels also remove damaged skin cells and can treat some precancerous skin growths. The healing time required for a medium peel is 7-14 days.

Deep peels are used only on the face and because of their strength, can only be performed once. These peels result in the most dramatic improvement to the skin’s appearance as they penetrate the middle skin layers most deeply. They are used to treat more advanced signs of aging, removing deeper wrinkles and moderate lines, scars, age spots, and more significant sun damage.

With deep peels, the healing period is 14 to 21 days. The recovery process is more involved and several follow up appointments are required. It’s also necessary to avoid all sun exposure for three to six months following treatment.

Your doctor will help you determine the ideal chemical peel strength to best treat your skin concerns and achieve the desired results.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

What it does

Laser resurfacing treatments help restore skin to a healthy, balanced and youthful looking state and the results are often dramatic.

Laser skin resurfacing improves skin by minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and softening deeper frown lines. It tightens and plumps the skin, and stimulates collagen production. It also treats age spots, discoloration and scars, improving skin tone and texture.

The recovery process and healing period with laser resurfacing is typically much faster than with strong chemical peels.  Laser resurfacing treatments require significantly less downtime, allowing patients to resume normal activities much sooner.

How it works

Lasers use extremely concentrated beams of light energy to remove upper layers of skin, causing the body to regenerate new, healthy layers of skin. Treatment takes place in a single visit and the down-time following the procedure is minimal.

Most procedures today use fractionated lasers, which give cosmetic surgeons the ability to precisely target deeper skin layers while treating just a small fraction of the skin’s surface.

Essentially, this allows physicians to achieve dramatic results while using the laser on less skin, which means less recovery time is necessary.  

After treatment

After treatment, many of the beneficial effects are visible immediately, but others, such as the formation of new collagen, occur more gradually and the appearance will continue to improve over time. It may take several months before the full effect is evident, but the results are long-term.

Autumn is often considered ‘laser season.’ Because laser resurfacing increases the skins sensitivity to sun for up to a year in some cases, some doctors recommend undergoing the procedure in the fall or winter months. Shorter daylight hours, chilly temperatures, and more time spent indoors typically mean reduced sun exposure, which provides greater protection for vulnerable skin.

Different types of laser procedures are used to address different skin problems. A healthcare professional can help you determine which procedure is best for your individual concerns.

Want to learn more about skin resurfacing treatment options?  Call Ohio Facial Plastics today to set up a consultation. We can help you get your on and reclaim a beautiful, more youthful complexion.