Laser Skin Resurfacing: Cost, Risks, Recovery


Laser skin resurfacing is one of the most influential cosmetic surgeries. It reduces fine lines and improves your complexion by removing layers of skin with a laser. The newly growing skin cells will make the skin tighter and younger. There are three types of laser skin resurfacing: ablative laser, non-ablative laser and fractional photothermolysis. If you have blotches and scars caused by sun exposure, or wrinkles and lines because of aging, this surgical procedure will be an ideal choice to change these flaws on your appearance.


A good candidate for laser skin resurfacing include:

  • Very dark skin
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Excessive or sagging skin
  • Active acne


The cost of laser skin resurfacing depends on many factors:

  • The type of laser used
  • The expertise and qualifications of surgeon
  • The time and effort the treatment requires
  • Geographic locations

On average, ablative treatments cost about $2,330, while non-ablative treatments are less expensive, costing about $1,114.

Laser skin resurfacing for cosmetic reasons won’t be covered by health insurance.


Laser skin resurfacing is likely to bring about some potential risks, including:

  • Skin irritation
  • Scarring
  • Changes in the skin’s pigmentation, including darker or lighter skin tones
  • Losing color in the treated area
  • Reactivating herpes cold sores
  • Bacterial, viral and fungal infections
  • Oher skin injuries from the laser’s heat, including swelling, itching, crusting and tenderness


Communicate your skin history

Tell your doctor about your skin conditions in advance, so that your surgeon will prescribe certain medications.

Stop smoking

Nicotine affects your healing, so you’d better quit smoking two weeks before and after a laser procedure.

Avoid certain OTC medications and supplements

You need to stop taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or supplements approximately 10 days before your laser treatment.

Edit your skincare regimen

Adopt gentle skincare regimen one to two weeks prior to your skin resurfacing treatment. You should temporarily stop using exfoliants and retinoids.

Surgical steps

About six weeks before your scheduled procedure, your surgeon may give you a series of skin treatments for achieving better results in the following laser skin resurfacing.

A laser skin resurfacing is usually performed in outpatient facilities. Your surgeon may use a sedative or general anesthetic to make your comfortable during the whole procedure.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium are two common types of lasers. The former removes thin layers of skin. At the same time, your surrounding tissue will be protected as much as possible. The latter aims at removing superficial and moderately deep lines and wrinkles on your face or body.


You may experience some unpleasant but normal side effects after laser skin resurfacing, such as swelling or redness. These problems can be solved in a natural way.

  • Taking steroids and sleeping on an extra pillow at night can ease swelling.
  • Itchiness and stinginess will disappear naturally as long as you skin becomes dry and peel one week after the procedure.
  • Wearing oil-free makeup may minimize redness. But it usually fades in two to three months.

Keywords: laser skin resurfacing.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.