Skin Resurfacing - Treatment to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin by minimizing or removing fine or deep lines and other signs of aging. There are techniques to resurface the skin including chemical peels or lasers. Your doctor can resurface the skin to remove medium to very deep lines with a trichloracetic acid (TCA) peel, a phenol croton oil peel or a CO2 laser (Fraxel is a type of CO2 laser).
- Deep chemical skin peel (partial)
Courtesy of Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
What should I expect?
After a chemical peel or laser resurfacing, expect some pain that can be controlled with oral pain medication for the first 1 to 3 days after the procedure. The skin will peel from day 2 to day 14 depending on the depth of the resurfacing. The deeper and maybe more effective resurfacing will take longer to heal (up to 14 days). After the skin has completed its process of peeling, residual redness will remain for up to several months but this can be covered with camouflage makeup..
How should I prepare?
For 2 to 3 weeks before the procedure, you should use tretinoin (retin A) and hydroquinone to prepare the skin for your resurfacing. If you have a history of isotretinoin (accutane) use for less than a year before your planned skin resurfacing, DO NOT HAVE THE PROCEDURE. You must wait for at least one year after using isotretinoin because this disrupts normal healing and can result in scars.
Your doctor may also prescribe acyclovir before this procedure to avoid an outbreak of fever blisters or cold sores. Even if you don't have a history of these, you may still want to take this medication. If you have a history of fever blisters/cold sores, definitely inform your doctor. A typical drug regimen is taking acyclovir 1-2 days before your procedure, the day of and for several days after your procedure to avoid an outbreak.
What are the risks?
Skin resurfacing can be very effective but can lead to scarring and prolonged redness which will require camouflage makeup until the redness resolves.
How do I ensure my safety?
Whether it is with a laser or chemical peel, skin resurfacing can lead to loss of pigment (hypopigmentation), but it is still a safe procedure when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist with experience in skin resurfacing.
What will recovery be like?
Following surgery, your doctor will recommend a moisturizer such as A&D ointment or Aquaphor. This must be applied religiously during the peeling process. Once the peeling is complete, you can switch to a lighter moisturizer. You should resume your pre-resurfacing regimen at this point including tretinoin (NOT isotretinoin) and hydroquinone as well as sunscreen anytime you go outside.
How much does it cost?
In the United States, the average cost of skin resurfacing is $216, according to BuildMyBod's 2020 Plastic Surgery Pricing Report.This includes costs of anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related fees.
See more detailed pricing for this procedure
Questions & Answers
Prepare for your consultation. View these common questions you should ask your surgeon.
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