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Laser Skin Resurfacing

What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing uses the laser to send short, concentrated pulsating beams of light at the skin to either remove the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and/or heats the underlying skin(dermis) to reduce facial wrinkles, scars, and blemishes. This action works to stimulate growth of new collagen fibers. As the treated area heals, the new skin that forms is smoother and firmer. If the laser removes the top layer of skin, it’s considered an ablative treatment. If it heats the underlying tissue without damaging the top layer, it’s considered non-ablative.


For reference, for full face laser skin resurfacing, a premium clinic in Chicago is charging $400 for Clear + Brilliant®, $1,000 for Halo Laser, and $2,500 for CO2 Laser.

Prices may be based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment, type of laser skin resurfacing procedure performed, time and effort the procedure requires ,and your geographic location.

Recovery & Downtime

Your provider may numb the skin with local anesthetics as part of the preparation for the procedure so expect some recovery time from the numbing. Skin that's treated with laser resurfacing may react in different ways depending on the type and aggressiveness of the laser resurfacing treatment. It will feel like a mild sunburn to severe sunburn. You'll have some redness and swelling. You may also experience itching, stinging, or temporary sandpaper like texture for a few days after the procedure. It is very important to protect your skin during this time of healing. Recovery times will vary depending on your treatment. Nonablative laser resurfacing may take up to one full week. CO2 laser resurfacing may take up to two weeks.

Best For

You may not be a good candidate for laser skin resurfacing if you have active acne, very dark skin tone, deep wrinkles, and advanced skin elasticity issue. Patients with darker skin tones have a greater risk of healing with hyperpigmentation. Discuss with your provider your general health status, pre-existing health conditions, and current lifestyle choices for likely outcomes and any risks or potential complications.

Potential Side Effects

Complications of laser skin resurfacing may include acne flare, cold sore reactivation, hyperpigmentation, prolonged redness, swelling, etc.


GentleMax, Clear + Brilliant®, LaseMD®, HALO, Fraxel®, Fractora®, Co2re® CO2 laser, and more. Different brands and manufacturers may vary in treatment approaches and their intended results.

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