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What is laser skin resurfacing?

A completely non-invasive procedure, laser resurfacing utilizes laser energy to safely remove damaged outer layers of skin, triggering new cell growth. After a thorough evaluation by one of our qualified physicians, we will determine the exact setting and depth necessary to achieve the desired degree of improvement, as well as available recovery time. 

In the cosmetic world, there are many types of lasers used in laser skin resurfacing. At Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery, we have chosen the Erbium YAG laser for its unparalleled safety, precision, and versatility. To illustrate this precision, the Erbium YAG is capable of removing a mere 30 millionths of an inch of tissue at a time. This allows the physician to control the treatment exactly, in both location and depth. Once the outer layers of skin are removed, new and healthy skin will regrow to take its place. 

Because the Erbium Yag only penetrates about 20 percent as deeply as other CO2 lasers, it is primarily used to treat wrinkles and scars that are less severe. The treatment is less painful and produces fewer side effects.


When it comes to skin resurfacing, erbium lasers have been considered the gold standard in both safety and cosmetic outcome. It is a great option for skin rejuvenation on most skin types without the risk of hypopigmentation. 

What can laser resurfacing treat?

A multitude of skin problems can be resolved with laser surfacing on the face, neck, chest, or hands:

  • Wrinkles or fine lines under or around the eyes, mouth or forehead
  • Aged or sun-damaged skin
  • Acne or other facial scars
  • Sun spots
  • Age spots
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Non-responsive skin after a facelift
  • Facial moles, freckles, warts
  • Dull, grey, or mottled skin tone
  • Birthmarks
  • Enlarged pores

Best laser I have had. Better than the most aggressive lasers I have tried, plus no other physician lasered my under eyes. Took 15 years off.

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Candidates for laser resurfacing

If you are in good health, don’t smoke, and are ready to achieve more youthful, supple, smooth, healthy skin, you are likely a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing.

How laser resurfacing is performed

Skin resurfacing with the Erbium YAG laser is an outpatient procedure, usually performed with local anesthesia and general sedation to ensure patient comfort. During treatment, the laser is directed at the target area, removing the outer layer of skin. Simultaneously, the laser heats the underlying layer of skin, stimulating collagen production over time. This collagen production results in improved skin tone and texture. 

Laser resurfacing with the Erbium YAG Laser takes between 30 minutes and one hour, depending upon the technique and target area. Once treatment is completed, we will apply a peptide mask to reduce swelling and inflammation. This mask will be left in place for 30 minutes before you are moved to the recovery area. At that point, we will apply a topical ointment that you will continue to use for 1-2 weeks following treatment. 

During the recovery period, it is important to clean the treatment area multiple times throughout the day, in addition to using the prescribed ointment. While swelling after laser resurfacing is normal, you will also begin to see new skin developing that is firmer and smoother. Once the skin is fully healed, oil-free makeup can be applied to combat redness. 

Recovery after laser resurfacing

After laser skin resurfacing, the skin will gradually heal over a period of seven to ten days. Patients can expect the area to be fully healed after two weeks. During the recovery period, it is essential to avoid direct sunlight and always use hats and sunscreen. Your skin is delicate during this time and must be treated like a newborn baby. 


The recovery information above is an average, and recovery can vary from patient to patient. Recovery time also depends upon the depth of treatment applied. In cases of superficial treatment, the skin may be healed in as little as three days, while deeper treatment will take 10 to 14 days. Our office will provide you with a full list of aftercare instructions to minimize complications and maximize results. 

Laser skin resurfacing at-a-glance

  • Procedure time: 1 hour
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia and IV sedation
  • Typical recovery time: 10-14 days
  • Added procedures: You may treat the chest and neck with a fractional laser while under sedation, as the laser resurfacing is not recommended for the neck and chest.

Laser resurfacing can be dangerous in the hands of an unqualified or inexperienced physician. Patients seeking this plastic surgery treatment at Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic can rest assured they’re in good, experienced hands. Dr. Rousso and Dr. Adams are both highly trained and specialize in this procedure. They oversee the entire process, from the administration of anesthesia through the recovery period. Our concierge services are geared to make your facial rejuvenation treatment as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

Why choose Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery?

As a world-renowned plastic surgeon specializing in the face and neck, Dr. Rousso has more than 30 years of experience and has gained worldwide recognition for his contributions to the fields of plastic surgery and hair restoration. Dr. Rousso and Dr. Adams offer advanced laser resurfacing treatments to help you look years younger, with fresh, youthful, glowing skin. 

FAQ

FAQ

How long will it take to recover from laser resurfacing?

Redness can last for a while, but after 10 days, oil-free makeup can be applied to minimize the redness.

Will my skin peel?

You may experience slight peeling, but the majority of the skin is ablated during the actual procedure.

Can this procedure be performed on all skin types?

No. the laser resurfacing procedure is not for people with darker skin.

Can laser resurfacing improve sagging skin?

Laser resurfacing can't address excessive or sagging skin.

Can laser resurfacing be performed on the neck or chest?

No, laser resurfacing cannot be performed on the neck and chest due to the risk of scarring. The fractional laser is a good option for the chest and neck and can be combined with a laser resurfacing procedure.

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