What is laser skin resurfacing in plastic surgery?

Do you want a glowing, blemish-free skin, but acne, aging, or sun tan has left you with wrinkles or scars? IF yes, then laser skin resurfacing can help you significantly. Yes, it can make your skin look healthier and younger.

Laser Skin Resurfacing in Plastic Surgery

How does it work?

In this process, the surgeon removes a patient’s skin layer by layer. Amid healing, the newly formed cells make the skin look younger and tighter on the surface. Surgeons perform it along with cosmetic surgeries as well.
Usually, the experts use two types of lasers in laser resurfacing to vaporize the cells damaged at the surface of the skin – Carbon dioxide and Erbium
Carbon dioxide Laser Resurfacing

CO2 Resurfacing has been widely used for treating a varied range of skin issues for years. This includes scars, warts, wrinkles, enlarged oil on the nose, etc.
The latest version of this process involves tiny-pulsed light energy, called as ultra pulse. The transportation of these energy or light beams makes way for the removal of layers of skin in a pattern of scanning. This causes minor heat damage and may take up to two weeks to recover.
Erbium Laser Resurfacing

This process is suitable for removing moderate deep lines cropped up on the face chest, neck or hands. As the major advantage of this type of laser resurfacing, it causes minimal burning of tissues. Some of its minor side effects may include bruising, redness, swelling or slight irritation.
The recovery is a little bit faster in comparison to CO2 resurfacing. Usually, it takes only a week to recover. People having dark skin tones can get high benefits from erbium surfacing as it works better for them.

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Are you an ideal candidate for laser skin resurfacing?

To undergo any kind of laser treatment, a patient has to ensure his/her eligibility. In the case of laser resurfacing, you can consider the following points to check whether you are suitable person for resurfacing or not.
1. Do you often get scars due to minor injuries?

People who get scares frequently by contracting with minor injuries should not go for this laser treatment as it can cause damage to skin.
2. Do you have Skin problems?

Those having excessive cold sores, acne or any skin disorder must consult their dermatologist before going under laser resurfacing. The process can make their skin condition even worse.
3. Are you a habitual smoker?

Regular smokers should also stay away from laser resurfacing. This is because excess smoking reduces the healing ability of skin. If you are still planning to move ahead, you must quit the habit at least two weeks before the process.

How to prepare for a laser skin resurfacing?

Here are few points to care for while preparing for the treatment.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Visit your surgeon: To start with, consult your cosmetic surgeon to check whether you are a suitable person to undergo the surgery or not.
Discuss your health condition: Tell all your skin-related issues or conditions to your doctor. Share if you get fever blisters or cold sores.
• Stop medications: If you are ready to move further then you must stop any kind of supplements or medications. These include normal medications as well including ibuprofen, vitamins or aspirin etc. Your doctor shall also advice you the same because consuming any drug before surgery increases the chance of blood clotting.

What happens in the process of laser resurfacing?

The whole procedure of laser skin resurfacing can last for anything between thirty minutes to two hours. To prepare a patient for process the surgeon puts a protective cover over the eyes. It remains there during the whole procedure so that the laser does not burn the eyes.
In most of the treatments, cosmetic surgeons use local anesthesia to make the particular part of body numb. The surgeon usually administers anesthesia only on a small portion of body on which treatment is about to take place.
In addition, the surgeon can also use general anesthesia in case a large area needs laser resurfacing. After the application of anesthetic, the surgeon cleans the skin to wipe out any dirt elements, which is yet to go under operation.
Once the anesthetic comes into effect, the doctor uses the laser beam to heat out patient’s skin issue. The procedure may need repetition in some cases.

What you should expect after laser treatment?

Mostly, plastic surgeons who perform laser skin resurfacing treatment do not consider it as a surgery. Once the procedure ends, you can leave doctor’s bed immediately. However, it does not imply that you will heal instantly.
You must take certain precautions to recover and let your skin heal aptly. Timely defense will also lessen the side effects and help to get results early. As for recovery duration of recovery, the entire healing process lasts for three to ten days.

What are the Side effects of laser resurfacing?

While recovering the skin may become highly red and slight peeling may also occur. Here are the common side-effects people encounters after a laser skin treatment:
• Acne
• Infection
• Scaring
• Redness and itching
• Blistering
• Changes in skin color


If you are not a person who gets cold sores, acnes or other skin related issues too often, then laser skin resurfacing can be better for you. It can remove your fine lines and shallow scares and treat your non-responsive skin as well. The treatment is best for those who are looking for a reliable but not a time consuming treatment for a younger looking skin. As always, you should have realistic goals regarding the treatment. Expecting miracles will only disappoint you. Consultation with your dermatologist can help you know about the process. You can decide to opt for the treatment accordingly.


Dr. Tejinder Bhatti, Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Kulwant S Bhangoo, Plastic Surgeon


The information is being provided by PlasticSurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Tejinder Bhatti, Plastic Surgeon on: 20-JUN-2020
Dr. Tejinder Bhatti is a cosmetic plastic surgeon by training but now completely dedicated to the art and science of minimally invasive hair restoration surgery. He also runs a hospital, the Five Rivers Hospital in Mohali, Chandigarh where junior plastic surgeons perform esthetic plastic surgery under the overall supervision of Dr. Kulwant S Bhangoo who is the Chairman of the Program. Dr. Bhangoo is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He is an internationally renowned top cosmetic surgeon and chief of Plastic Surgery in Buffalo NY, USA.”

Surgery Before & After Photos