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What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Learn all about laser skin resurfacing from dermatologist Elissa Lunder in this Howcast skin care video.


Hi, I'm Dr. Elissa Lunder. I've been practicing dermatology at Dermatology Partners in Wellesley, Massachusetts for the past 10 years. I believe that skin care doesn't have to be complicated. With a few simple steps you can have beautiful skin. You can visit Dermatology Partners on the web at So today we're gonna talk about skin care. Skin laser resurfacing is a type of laser treatment that we use to get rid of fine lines, wrinkles and some acne scarring. My favorite laser resurfacing laser is the fraxel laser. What happens as you get older, your skin, your collagen starts to degrade. And as your collagen starts to degrade, you sort of loose a lot of the scaffolding that holds everything up in place. So the aim of the laser is to build up that collagen so your skin looks plumper and younger. So there are a few types of fraxel laser treatments. There is the major type of fraxel laser which is the ablative fraxel laser. And this laser provides fantastic results. The fraxel laser creates little tiny micro beams that penetrates into the dermis of the skin. As it creates these little micro beams it's actually causing thermal injury. And as it heats up the skin, it causes little tiny bits of damage and as the skin repairs itself, you actually build up your own collagen a a result. And when the collagen gets built up, your wrinkles improve. So it helps with the fine lines. However, it's a more involved laser. It's a laser where you have to use a topical numbing cream. You have to use pain medications. And you'll have down time for up to three weeks. During those three weeks of down time your skin can look red and swollen but six months later your skin is gonna look fantastic. There's another type of fraxel laser which is the non ablative fraxel laser. And the laser only gives you down time for about four or five days. So four or five days after the non ablative fraxel laser, your skin will be red and a little bit swollen but you heal pretty quickly. It will not get rid of the redness that you can typically see after acne. But the people who have pitted acne scars, generally the people who were on accutane at one point, they're fantastic candidates for fraxel laser.

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