Laser Resurfacing

Laser Resurfacing in Portland and Lake Oswego

What is Laser Resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is a procedure that improves the appearance of the skin and promotes collagen growth.  Laser resurfacing improves the appearance of scars, fine wrinkles, large pores, pigment irregularities, and sun damage. Laser resurfacing also promotes collagen growth and tightens the skin. Resurfacing can be performed as a standalone procedure or it can be combined with other procedures such as an eyelid lift or a facelift.  

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Laser Resurfacing
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Dr. Brian Scott performs laser resurfacing for patients in Lake Oswego, Portland, Seattle, Salem, West Linn, Vancouver, and the surrounding areas in Oregon and Washington.  Additional before & after photos are available for viewing in-office. 

What is a Laser?

Stated simply, a laser is a highly concentrated beam of light. Whereas most light spreads out in every direction as soon as it leaves its source, a laser keeps all of its energy focused in a pinpoint straight line. This allows a laser to be an extremely precise method to deliver energy. Each laser has a different wavelength, which means that each laser beam is absorbed by different molecules. When the laser beam is absorbed by a molecule, it delivers its energy. This is how some lasers can target the skin to improve skin texture and fine lines, other lasers can target hair follicles for laser hair removal, and others can target pigments and be used for skin discoloration or tattoos.  

What is the recovery like after laser resurfacing?

The downtime from laser resurfacing depends entirely on how extensive the treatment is – gentle lasers have only a few days of downtime and are great for patients with mild skin complaints, while patients with more severe sun damage or aging changes require strong lasers which need 1-2 weeks of downtime.  

Patients will arrive the day of their procedure and leave for home a few hours later. The skin will be numbed so you will not experience discomfort during the procedure.  In general, patient’s do not experience significant pain after laser resurfacing. Most patients only need tylenol for pain control, but we also provide prescription pain medication in case something stronger is needed. You can expect some temporary redness and tightness after the procedure, similar to a sunburn. Patients are able to walk around the day of their laser, but we ask them to avoid heavy exercise for one week. You should avoid sun exposure while the skin is healing from laser resurfacing.  

Which laser do you use for resurfacing?

We have multiple lasers in our office. We choose the laser that best addresses the needs of each individual patient. For patients with moderate-severe sun damage, fine lines around their mouth, or loose facial skin, Dr. Scott often uses a fractionated C02 laser. Dr. Scott will evaluate you and determine which laser is best for your skin needs.  

Frequently Asked Questions

A good candidate for laser resurfacing has loose skin, sun damage, scarring, or pigment irregularities. Patients should be overall healthy without serious heart or lung diseases. Patient’s with uncontrolled skin conditions such as vitiligo or psoriasis are not a good candidate for a laser. Both men and women can benefit from laser resurfacing. 

In general, a facelift is not very painful. Patients can expect a sensation of tightness which improves as the swelling resolves. Most patients use tylenol for pain control but we also provide prescription pain medication in case something stronger is needed. 

In general, laser resurfacing is a safe procedure and most patients heal without issue. However no procedure is completely without risk. Some of the main risks of laser resurfacing include pigment changes to the skin, scarring, and causing a flare-up if you have a history of cold sores or fever blisters. Some patients may also experience acne flares for a few weeks after laser resurfacing. Overall, complications are rare and most problems typically resolve completely with time.  

Laser resurfacing can be performed with the patient awake or under twilight anesthesia. The skin will be numbed so you will not experience discomfort during the procedure.  

 

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