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Laser Resurfacing

What to Expect continued...

It is also important to keep your new skin well moisturized. If you use Retin A or glycolic acid products, you should be able to start using them again about six weeks after the procedure or when the doctor says you can.

Once the treated areas have healed, you can wear makeup to hide the pink to red color that is typically seen after laser skin resurfacing. Green-based make-ups are particularly suitable for this camouflage since they neutralize the red color. Oil-free make-ups are recommended after laser resurfacing. The redness in the laser treated sites generally fades in two to three months. But it may take as long as six months for the redness to completely disappear. Redness generally lasts longer in people with fair skin.

People with darker skin tones are more likely to get darker pigmentation. Using  a bleaching agent before and after laser skin resurfacing may minimize that.

Complications of Laser Skin Resurfacing

Although skin resurfacing cannot produce perfect skin, it can improve the appearance of your skin. Potential risks of the procedure include:

  • Burns or other injuries from the laser's heat
  • Scarring
  • Changes in the skin's pigmentation, including areas of darker or lighter skin
  • Reactivating herpes cold sores
  • Bacterial infection

Milia, which are small white bumps, may appear in the laser-treated areas during healing. Your doctor can treat those.

Cost of Laser Skin Resurfacing

In 2011, the national average cost for laser skin resurfacing was about $2,300, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. However, costs vary widely depending on where the procedure is being done.

Because laser skin resurfacing is considered a cosmetic procedure, most medical insurance companies will not cover it. There may be an exception if you get the procedure to modify scars or remove precancerous growths on your skin.

Talk with your doctor and your insurance company before the procedure about what the costs will be and what, if anything, insurance will pay for. Most doctors offer financing options.

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