Over the past 5 years, the laser has become the method of choice for treating a variety of conditions of the skin. The carbon dioxide laser is the original laser used, and is excellent for smoothing out deep facial wrinkles, restoring luster to aging and sun-damaged skin, and smoothing out scarring from acne and other etiologies. The Erbium laser is a newer laser, and because it is more delicate, is more effective for smoothing out fine facial wrinkles, such as around the lips and eyes. Occasionally, chemical peels are more effective for treating skin, especially when there is a problem of pigmentation (dark circles or lines).
Whatever the technique chosen, skin resurfacing can be a safe, effective procedure when performed by a board-certified, experienced physician. Unlike when laser resurfacing was just starting to be performed, the healing period is usually short, permitting patients to return to work and most activities (with the exception of sun exposure) within one week.