How Long Will Laser Skin Resurfacing Results Last?

By Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD March 8, 2019 3 Comments

laser skin resurfacing

Years of sun exposure, repetitive contraction of facial muscles, and the gradual loss of skin elasticity result in the development of wrinkles, age spots, and dullness of the skin. Unhealthy actions like smoking or sunbathing further speed up the aging and damaging of the skin. Laser skin resurfacing is an effective, non-surgical way to reverse the aggregated years of damage your skin may have faced.

Laser resurfacing (sometimes referred to as a laser peel) uses highly concentrated microscopic beams of laser energy to remove precise amounts of skin in a controlled, targeted fashion.  There are different types of laser resurfacing options with varying degrees of strength. Fraxel and CO2 lasers are popular procedures.

The results of laser skin resurfacing can be dramatic. The treatment essentially vaporizes the skin surrounding wrinkles and scars, minimizing their visibility. It also removes the old, dull top layers of skin and initiates the production of new collagen and elastin, improving skin quality, texture, and firmness.

Depending on the type and strength of laser used, the procedure may be somewhat painful and require about a week or so to recover. How long do the results typically last? On average, patients can expect laser skin resurfacing results to last anywhere from 3-5 years from having the procedure done.

It’s possible for patients to extend their results beyond five years. Here are 6 tips for post-treatment to enhance the results of laser skin resurfacing.

Sun Protection

By far the most important thing to do following a laser skin resurfacing treatment is to protect your skin from sun exposure. UV rays are the leading cause of aging and skin damage. After your treatment (if you weren’t already doing so before) get in the habit of using a broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen (even on cloudy days), avoiding the outdoors during peak UV hours, and utilizing hats, umbrellas, and UV-proof apparel. Proper sun exposure avoidance can extend your laser results for up to 2 years.

Antioxidant Supplements

Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet can have an impact on your skin’s health and appearance. Whether you are striving to eliminate acne, reduce eczema flare-ups, or reverse the signs of aging, adding certain vitamins and minerals to your daily regimen may help. Antioxidants are one of the best supplements to take in order to extend the results of laser skin resurfacing. A boost in the skin’s antioxidant levels can help to preserve it from the damaging and age-accelerating effects of free radicals.

Hydration

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Staying properly hydrated ensures that potential skin damaging toxins are properly flushed from the body while simultaneously ensuring that the skin maintains proper blood circulation. Focus on increasing your long-term intake of water. Drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses over the course of a day (more if you undertake physical activities).  Other organs in the body aside from the skin will also benefit from the proper hydration.

Clean + Moisturize + Exfoliate

Maintaining a sound daily skin care regimen is a great way to rejuvenate and restore the skin. Two of the biggest pillars of any routine should be cleansing (to remove built up dirt and debris) and moisturizing (to lock hydration into the skin). Regularly exfoliating can also help your skin appear more vibrant as older appearing skin is removed to expose a fresh new layer.  Other beneficial ingredients to add in to your regimen may include retinols, vitamin C, antioxidants, and growth factors.

Healthy Diet

The food you eat can help (or harm) the appearance of your skin. Vitamin A and vitamin C are both important to skin health as they protect the skin from free radicals while supporting collagen development (a key aspect of keeping aging at bay). Try to enhance your diet by eating plenty of foods that are high in both vitamins, such as broccoli, oranges, and green leafy vegetables.

Exercise

Regularly exercising has been shown to stimulate the production of human growth hormone (HGH), which in turn results in more collagen production. You can read more about the benefits of collagen to skin appearance in this previous post. The best way to boost HGH is to focus on resistance or endurance training. This includes weight training and long bouts of cardiovascular exercise like running or biking.

Stress is a common and sometimes unavoidable part of life. Unfortunately, stress has the power to wreak havoc on the skin. This is due to the release of cortisol while we stress. Cortisol is a natural hormone that helps the body deal with stress. However, cortisol also accelerates the aging process of the skin, rapidly enhancing common unwanted aging signs like lines and wrinkles, age spots, and skin dullness.


Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD

Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon specializing in the practice of both cosmetic and medical dermatology. Dr. Geddes-Bruce is fellowship-trained in cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. She served as Chief Resident at one of the nation’s top dermatology programs – The University of Texas at Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.


3 Responses to “How Long Will Laser Skin Resurfacing Results Last?”

  1. Theresa says:

    Hi, I am a 62 years old Asian woman. I have acne scars on all over my cheek. Would a laser resurfacing treatment work on Asians ethnic and if it does, would it help minimizing the vision of my acne scars? Thank you for your time and any advice you will give me.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Theresa, thanks for reading our post and submitting you great question! Laser resurfacing is a good option to treat acne scars. There are numerous different lasers dedicated to treating different skin characteristics, including darker skin tones. Additionally, other laser based treatments like IPL could be a good option. Your best bet is to come in for a free consultation. We’ll analyze your specific needs and help you find the best treatment plan!

      We hope that helps, thanks for reading!

      — WD Staff

  2. Blaine says:

    Just a heads up: most individuals with minor skin disorders may not be good candidates for laser skin resurfacing. Better consult a medical practitioner prior to taking the therapy.

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