American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

My friend just got skin resurfacing work done and I was wondering.

Question: How is skin resurfacing performed?

Answer: That is a broad question.  There are three types: laser, mechanical, and chemical.  Each of these three major categories can be then further subdivided into ablative and non-ablative.  Ablative means that the outer skin has been actually removed and non-ablative refers to the fact that the outer skin is still intact.  Today there are methods that stand on the fence between ablative and non-ablative. Examples are the new fractionated lasers like Pixel and Fraxel in which tiny holes are drilled into the skin by the laser leaving tiny skin bridges so that the skin has been semi-ablated.  A detailed discussion as to the multitude of lasers, etc. would take a book.  Suffice it to say, that there are many types of ablative and non-ablative lasers.  Mechanically, the classic example is dermabrasion that can work well to help with scars and lines around the mouth.  Perhaps a non-ablative version would be microdermabrasion done by an aesthetician.  Chemically speaking there are light glycolic or TCA peels that are non-ablative and then various depth peels like higher strength TCA or phenol peels.

2 thoughts on “My friend just got skin resurfacing work done and I was wondering.

  1. Curious About Plastic Surgery on said:

    Does staying out of the sun make any difference with skin resurfacing? I would think that if one takes care of their skin and stays out of the sun as much as possible, they wouldn’t need much resurfacing. How does resurfacing differ between moderate and heavy need for it?

  2. yes, without sun damage, skin resurfacing is typically not as necessary. smoking, bad diet, etc. can influence matters but #1 is sun exposure. if you really have little sun damage, then light peels and good skin care products are enough. really bad sun damage may require moderate to heavy lasers/peels.

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