Compared to the rest of our body, the skin on our face is most often exposed, making it common for it to become affected by the elements over the years. Sun exposure, coupled with the natural aging process, can leave the skin looking dull or damaged. When this happens, your skin may require a little extra help to look its best.

At Broward ENT & Aesthetics, one option for maintaining a youthful complexion is laser resurfacing. A rejuvenation treatment for skin that has become dull, wrinkled, or damaged, laser resurfacing uses advanced technology to treat minor flaws of the skin and give you a smooth, even complexion. This procedure offers instant results, and board-certified otolaryngologist and ENT surgeon Dr. Wilson DuMornay will work with you to ensure you choose the treatment that best meets your skin goals.

Skin Resurfacing Options

When it comes to skin resurfacing, the two treatment options available are referred to as ablative and non-ablative. Both methods can be used to address a variety of concerns, but Dr. DuMornay will develop a personalized treatment plan with the right laser depending on your needs and aesthetic goals. Some common skin problems often treated with lasers include:

  • Uneven skin tone
  • Age spots
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne-related scarring
  • Sun damage
  • Rosacea and pigmentation issues

Laser resurfacing is usually performed on the face but can also be used on other areas of the body, including the hands, neck or chest. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers.

Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Ablative lasers work by removing the epidermis, or the thin outer layer of the skin, and heating the underlying skin, called the dermis. This process vaporizes damaged skin and stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers, making it ideal for more severe conditions. As the skin heals, treated areas will have a tighter and smoother appearance. More downtime is associated with ablative lasers, but dramatic results can be seen after just one treatment.

Non-ablative lasers also stimulate collagen growth to improve the texture and tone of the skin, but work below the skin’s surface and leave the epidermis intact. While this option is less invasive, it may also be less effective for some skin concerns and require multiple treatments. However, non-ablative treatments result in a shorter recovery time.

Who is a Candidate for Skin Resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is a common choice for skin rejuvenation, but it may not be right for all patients. This treatment may also be less effective for patients with darker skin tones or advanced signs of aging. During a consultation, Dr. DuMornay and his team of laser specialists will work closely with you to identify your skin concerns and recommend the best course of treatment. Please notify him if you:

  • Are prone to scarring
  • Have a weakened immune system, or an autoimmune disease
  • Have taken acne medication over the past year
  • Are prone to cold sores, or have had a recent outbreak of the herpes virus
  • Have had radiation therapy to the face
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Pretreatment Instructions

To maximize your results, it’s important to comply with all pretreatment instructions given by your physician. These may include:

  • Avoiding unprotected sun exposure
  • Stopping certain medications or smoking, if applicable
  • Taking precautionary medication, such as antiviral medicine, to avoid potential complications

What to Expect During the Procedure

Laser resurfacing will be performed as an outpatient procedure. Depending on the scope of your treatment and the type of laser used, your skin may be numbed with medication, or you may be sedated to ensure your comfort. Sedation is generally reserved for those who require deep, extensive resurfacing to the entire face.

Before beginning, you will be given protective eyewear to prevent the laser from damaging your retinas. Then, Dr. DuMornay will aim the laser device at your skin, which will deliver focused energy into treatment areas. For ablative laser resurfacing, the laser will destroy the damaged outer layer of skin, allowing smoother, healthier skin to grow as you begin to heal. Your treatment may take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending upon the areas being treated. Most patients achieve their desired results after just one treatment.

Non-ablative laser treatments are gentler and less invasive, and typically don’t need a topical anesthetic or numbing agent. A cooling gel may be used to ensure optimal comfort, however. During a non-ablative laser treatment, Dr. DuMornay will direct a handheld device across your skin to deliver laser energy deep beneath the surface. This process will stimulate collagen production while leaving the outer layer of skin intact. You may require more than one treatment to achieve your desired results, which may be scheduled over the course of several weeks or months.

Posttreatment Instructions

It’s common for the skin to feel itchy, raw, or swollen after ablative laser resurfacing. Following the treatment, a thick layer of ointment will be applied over the treated area of skin, which may be followed with a dressing to cover and protect your skin. To alleviate any discomfort you may experience, you can apply a cool compress to the skin or take pain-relieving medication. Over the next one to two weeks, you will notice new skin beginning to cover the area. It’s important to avoid irritating products during this period of time, including sunscreen and makeup. Certain activities, such as swimming, could increase your risk of infection and should also be avoided.

Recovery time for non-ablative laser resurfacing is less extensive, though you may experience some minor discomfort. Common reactions include redness and swelling, which can be treated by applying a cool compress. It’s acceptable to continue your regular activities and usual skin care treatments immediately after this treatment.

Possible Side Effects

Laser skin resurfacing is a common and low-risk treatment that poses minimal risks. Still, some patients electing to undergo ablative laser treatments may experience:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Changes in skin color
  • Scarring
  • Acne
  • Infection

Non-ablative laser resurfacing also can cause side effects, including:

  • Mild swelling
  • Changes in skin color
  • Redness
  • Infection

Final Results

It’s not uncommon for the skin to appear pink or red following ablative resurfacing, but as the healing process begins, you’ll see a significant improvement in your skin’s appearance. You can expect the effects of the treatment to last for several years. Non-ablative resurfacing results tend to be progressive and more gradual.

Natural aging side effects, such as fine lines caused by smiling and squinting, cannot be avoided. You can prolong your results, though, by avoiding unprotected sun exposure to prevent irregular pigmentation or damage.

Contact Broward ENT & Aesthetics

If you’re ready to rejuvenate your skin with the latest laser resurfacing treatments, board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Wilson DuMornay and his team of skin care specialists can help you reclaim a more youthful complexion. At Broward ENT & Aesthetics, our laser skin resurfacing treatments will eliminate the signs of aging and give you with the smooth, restored results you desire. To learn more about this service, contact or call us at (954) 368-3348 to schedule a consultation and get started today!

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