Many of the skin problems associated with age, are related to changes in the way our skin is shed and regrown. When we are young, our skin sheds and is replaced quickly, but the process slows with age. This leads to problems like fine wrinkles, dull skin, and sun and age spots. Many of these can be reduced by resurfacing procedures that remove the outer layers of skin and stimulate the remaining skin to heal and grow, in the process producing more of the vital compounds that are lost from older skin, including collagen and elastin.
In the past, skin resurfacing was accomplished with mechanical techniques like dermabrasion or chemical peels. However, both of these have largely been replaced with laser skin resurfacing, which is quicker, gives more uniform results, and has a lower risk of serious side effects.
Prior to the procedure, your face will be treated with Retin-A and other treatments to maximize the benefit. The procedure is accompanied by some discomfort, so it may be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of resurfacing and your desires.
After the procedure, the resurfaced areas will be covered with dressings that you may wear for up to five days. This reduces pain and encourages healing. Once the dressings are removed, you will be given some special gels and creams to use that encourage healing. Cover-up can be used after one week, but you are encouraged to avoid sun exposure to treated areas for at least two weeks.