Skin Rejuvenation and Resurfacing: Risks, Recovery


Skin rejuvenation and resurfacing are procedures that can help reduce facial blotches, brown spots, red spots and veins, scars, wrinkles, or lines and restore a youthful appearance to your skin. Changes in your skin’s appearance and texture may occur over time due to aging, sun exposure, acne, and even heredity.

Different treatment techniques can be applied in skin rejuvenation and resurfacing procedure, such as laser resurfacing, mechanical resurfacing, chemical peels and injectable products. These all can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles of the entire face. You can discuss with your surgeon for your specific treatment plan.


According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018, the average cost of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is $391 and the average cost of nonsurgical skin tightening is $2,059.

The cost of skin rejuvenation and resurfacing procedures can vary depending on the technique you choose, your surgeon’s experience and location of office. Other factors that should be included in the total cost are:

  • Medical tests
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Procedure costs
  • Facility costs
  • Prescriptions for medication


Although skin rejuvenation and resurfacing are minimally invasive procedures, they are medical procedures and do carry some risks. These potential risks and side effects include:

  • Burns and scarring
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Prolonged redness of the treated skin
  • Pigmentation irregularities, like light spots or dark spots
  • Poor wound healing
  • Skin surface irregularities
  • Textural changes
  • Increased sensitivity to sun lights

Your surgeon will make sure that you understand these possible risks and complications to help you decide.


During your consultation process, your surgeon will take your medical history and conduct physical examination on you to find out which type of procedure can fit you. He or she will also discuss about your expectations on the surgery and give some instructions to you if you have decided to arrange for a rejuvenation and resurfacing treatment.

Surgical steps

You can choose ablative or non-ablative skin rejuvenation and resurfacing techniques based on your personal condition and expectations.

Ablative skin resurfacing includes laser treatments such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium-doped yttrium aluminum lasers, medium and deep chemical peels, and dermabrasion. If undergoing CO2 or Er:YAG laser treatments, your physician will apply topical or local anesthetic to numb your skin, or may give you sedation. During the surgery, a beam of light is aimed at your skin to destroy the epidermis and heat the dermis. Results can be seen within several months and last for several years.

For dermabrasion procedures, your physician will first inject a small amount of local anesthesia to numb your skin. Then, they will use a high-speed rotating brush to physically scrape off layers of damaged skin. Your skin may take up to 3 months to heal afterwards.

Non-ablative skin resurfacing includes laser treatments, light chemical peels (glycol), and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices. Your physician will first apply topical anesthetic to numb the area of skin being treated, before aiming a beam of light at the skin being treated.

During intense pulsed light treatments, topical anesthetic is applied to numb your skin, a cool gel is applied to the area being treated, and you are given dark sunglasses to wear to protect your eyes. The IPL device is then held on your skin and delivers pulses of light to the affected area over the course of 20-30 minutes.


When your surgery is completed, your surgeon will instruct you on how to care for the treated skin. Depending on the treatment received, your skin’s appearance can range from normal, to red and flaky, to blisters and scabbing from 1 day to 4 weeks. So, it is important to discuss your specific treatment plan and anticipated recovery time before you do the surgery.

Keyword: skin rejuvenation and resurfacing.

* 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.