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Is laser resurfacing worth it? What you can expect from this treatment

woman wonders "is laser resurfacing worth it?" while looking in the mirror

We often hear the question, “Is laser resurfacing worth it?” from patients who want a smoother, more evenly-textured, and toned face. This is one of the most common goals of Dermatology Aesthetics patients.

To achieve this outcome, several different modalities can be used, and each has its pros and cons. Of all the types of interventions we offer, laser resurfacing is the most aggressive.

Read on for information to help you figure out if laser resurfacing is right for you and get answers to patients’ frequently asked questions about this skin treatment (including, “Is laser resurfacing worth it?”).


How does laser resurfacing work?

Laser resurfacing uses light energy to break down the skin under a controlled setting. In the same way, our skin heals when it is injured (think a scrape or a bruise), the skin responds to the intervention from the laser to stimulate growth factors and collagen to replenish the “old” skin.

In addition, the energy from the laser breaks apart the layers of skin and helps to reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, and the excess pigments resulting from sun-damaged skin.

Where can you get laser skin resurfacing?

Although resurfacing can be done on different parts of the body, it works the best on the face and neck.

How much downtime do you have after laser resurfacing?

When it comes to thinking about is laser resurfacing worth it, you might also consider what happens after your treatment. Most patients experience mild discomfort, swelling, scabbing, and redness during the healing process after laser resurfacing treatment.

Check out this Instagram post from Chelsea Handler to see a laser resurfacing before and after (beware the language).

What is the best laser for skin resurfacing?

In our office, we use a fractionated laser—the SmartXide DOT™—which allows for the destruction of only a portion of the skin surface. We use this device because it uses a CO2 energy source to treat uneven skin tone, poor skin texture, as well as wrinkles due to aging and sun damage, and other types of scarring.

During the procedure, very tiny holes are put in the skin surface as well as to deeper depths, but there are areas of the skin that are left untouched. This allows for those untouched areas to act as “seeds” from where new skin cells and collagen as well as other skin components arise from.

The SmartXide DOT™ laser allows for the surface to be partially removed, leaving you with enough remaining viable skin to give a faster response with less downtime.

Prior to 2004 and the introduction of fractionated lasers, “ablative” lasers removed the entire skin surface. Although the resulting texture was excellent, there was a resulting waxiness or bluish-tinged color that resulted. With the fractionated laser, this is no longer an issue.

When is a good time to get laser resurfacing? Who are good candidates?

Laser resurfacing works best on lighter-skinned patients and is typically done in non-summer months. Patients who have olive, brown, or black skin may not be good candidates because they could experience changes in pigmentation.

If you want to know the answer to the question “Is laser resurfacing worth it?” for your specific goals, we have you covered. When you book a private consultation with one of the experienced members of our team, we’ll let you know if you’re a good candidate for laser resurfacing (or if chemical peels or microdermabrasion might be a better choice).

How long does laser resurfacing results last? Are results permanent? How often should you get skin resurfacing?

One large value of laser resurfacing is that its effects last for years. How long depends a great deal on how well we care for our skin afterward. This includes the daily use of quality sunscreen and other products to maintain your skin health.

Depending on the amount of damage to the skin, a patient can expect to undergo more than a single laser resurfacing treatment. Sometimes this means a full-face resurfacing, and—in other instances—it may mean only treating smaller areas (such as where acne scarring was more extensive).

So, is laser resurfacing worth it? 

It depends on what your facial rejuvenation goals are.

The upside to this treatment is it provides a long-lasting effect that gives an excellent overall result. The downside is that the healing time is slightly longer than other treatments, and it is more costly.

A one-on-one consultation to discuss your expectations and what to anticipate is recommended. For most patients, resurfacing is a good value to eliminate scarring, sun damage, and wrinkles.

Where can I get laser resurfacing in Indianapolis? What does it cost? Is it covered by insurance?

Laser resurfacing isn’t typically covered by insurance plans since, for most patients, it isn’t performed for medical purposes.

At Dermatology Aesthetics, even if you are on a budget, our goal is to work with you to help you find the best cosmetic treatments so you can look better, feel better, and be more confident.


Ready to see a skincare specialist?

Still wondering, “Is laser resurfacing worth it?” We can help. Schedule a laser resurfacing consultation with one of our experts. We will talk to you about your skincare goals, look at your skin, and answer your questions about options for getting more youthful-looking skin.

Our experienced team is ready to help you determine which treatment might be best for you, and let you know if you are a good candidate for laser resurfacing.

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