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Treatments and Procedures: Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing can address some skin growths, port-wine stains, tattoos, acne scars, fine lines and discolorations. Short pulses of laser light beams gently remove damaged, scarred or wrinkled layers of skin and may stimulate collagen production.

Laser Skin Resurfacing: Why Choose Johns Hopkins Facial Plastic Surgery?

  • You can be confident in our approach, which takes into account your general health, age, skin type and what you want to achieve.
  • Our surgeons use the safest, most modern methods for laser skin resurfacing, ensuring optimal results with minimal discomfort.
  • We communicate clearly with you from consultation through follow-up, and support you throughout the procedure with care and understanding.

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Laser Skin Resurfacing: What to Expect

Skin resurfacing uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) or erbium laser beam. The treatment takes place in the doctor’s office or in a surgical center.

Depending on the extent of the treatment, your doctor may use general anesthesia, which puts you into a deep sleep, or sedation and local anesthesia — a relaxing medication along with an injection to numb the treatment area.

Once you are comfortable, the doctor gives you goggles to protect your eyes. If you are awake, you may hear a snapping sound or notice a slight stinging sensation as the beams vaporize the top layers of skin.

Bleeding is usually minimal. Your practitioners gently dab away the treated layers of skin and then cover the area with a protective ointment and gauze.

After the Procedure

Follow your physician's care instructions. The skin is likely to be red, raw and swollen, and you may notice it seeps clear fluid or develops a crust — these symptoms are normal. Using prescribed ointment for seven to 10 days will keep the area moisturized and speed healing. Cold compresses help with any remaining soreness.

In a week or two, you will notice new skin emerging in the treatment area. The redness will fade in about four weeks.

Your surgeon will follow up to monitor the healing process. In the meantime, you will get instructions on avoiding extreme temperatures and unprotected sun exposure, and other tips to hasten your recovery and optimize your results.

Our Physicians

Our doctors are board certified in both otolaryngology—head and neck surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, which gives our team a unique and comprehensive level of expertise.


Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Johns Hopkins | Q&A


Lisa Ishii, M.D., a Johns Hopkins facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, answers frequently asked questions about facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. She provides information on when and why you should consult a facial plastic surgeon and what you can expect at your first appointment.

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