Laser skin resurfacing at Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that uses pulsating beams of light to remove damaged skin, layer by layer. The treatment is performed for the reduction of facial lines and wrinkles and to diminish skin irregularities, such as acne scars, pigmentation, and other flaws. Also referred to as a laser peel, laser skin resurfacing is an effective treatment for patients desiring softer, clearer, youthful-looking skin. Depending on the condition of the skin, the laser can be adjusted accordingly. There is some downtime associated with most laser skin resurfacing treatments. Any concerns or questions can be discussed with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kirk Moore during your initial consultation at our Midvale, UT practice.


There are three types of laser skin resurfacing treatments that are chosen based on your skin’s needs. Some are performed for milder cases of skin damage while others are more aggressive:

  • Ablative Laser Treatments
    Ablative lasers remove thin layers of skin, like a deep chemical peel or dermabrasion, with a precision that allows the technician to minimize skin damage. Ablative lasers are best for skin tightening and removing wrinkles and acne scars.
  • Non-Ablative Laser Treatments
    Non-ablative lasers do not remove any skin — the light simply creates micro-damage to the skin to promote natural healing. Non-ablative treatments are best for removing fine lines and wrinkles on patients who are able to wait a few months for strong results.
  • Fractional Laser Treatments
    Fractional lasers are both ablative and non-ablative and create tiny holes in the deep layers of the skin. The skin’s natural healing process creates tighter, healthier skin. Fractional lasers may also be used to treat fine lines, deep wrinkles, acne scarring, sun damage, and uneven pigmentation.


There are many factors to consider when choosing which laser peel is right for you. Laser skin resurfacing is geared toward patients who are unhappy with their overall complexion. If you have sun-damaged skin, acne scars, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, redness, or pigmentation issues, this treatment can help correct these imperfections. In addition, it works well if you have scaly patches, rough texture, or other irregularities. This treatment is not recommended if you have very dark skin or active acne. In addition, it is important to understand that there is downtime associated with these laser therapies. Some patients, depending on the condition of their skin, may need up to 2 – 3 weeks to recover.


If you have a deeper or more intense laser peel, you may be asked to use a topical retinoid for a few weeks before your laser treatment. This helps to prepare the skin for maximum results. Medication will be given prior to the treatment to help reduce pain so you can relax during your session. If your skin requires mild correction, a topical anesthetic will be used to numb certain areas the laser will target. For the full face, or for more intense laser treatments, some type of sedation may be necessary. During the procedure, you will relax in our treatment chair while the laser glides over the skin, precisely targeting the designated areas for improvement. You will feel the heat from the laser, followed by cold air from the built-in cooling system. The laser works to destroy damaged skin cells while also stimulating new collagen growth.


For lighter peels, a healing ointment will be applied to the skin. Following this, you can return home to recover. The skin will appear red, and there will be some irritation and swelling. This should subside within a couple of days, and the peeling process will last over a 3 – 5-day timeframe. If you are undergoing a more intense laser treatment, your downtime will likely last longer. The treated areas potentially will be covered by dressings, which will cause the irritation, burning, and swelling sensation to intensify. Medication can be prescribed to help reduce these side effects. The downtime associated with a deeper peel can last 2 – 3 weeks. All patients should limit their sun exposure after their laser treatment and apply sun protection regularly. Regardless of the intensity of the peel, the skin will naturally flake, crust, and peel away over time. It is important to avoid interfering with the healing process to avoid scarring, and it will be crucial to protect your face from sun exposure. Once the peeling process has been completed, your skin will feel softer while looking younger, clearer, and rejuvenated.


How much does laser skin resurfacing cost?
Laser skin resurfacing costs vary based on the type of treatment you select. During your consultation, Dr. Moore will listen to your concerns and goals before explaining the different types of resurfacing treatments. From there, he can help you choose your treatment and discuss costs. Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah often runs treatment specials and discounted packages so be sure to ask about our offers during your consultation.

What’s the best type of resurfacing for me?
Dr. Moore will help you decide which laser resurfacing treatment is best for your needs and goals during your consultation. The best treatment for you will depend on the health and condition of your skin, your skin concerns, and how deep you want your treatment to go. How long you are willing to give your recovery may also be a deciding factor when choosing your treatment type. When in doubt, it’s best to start with a lighter treatment to see how you like your results and adjust as needed for your next treatment.

How can I help my skin recover after a resurfacing treatment?
Dr. Moore or a member of his team will explain how you can help your skin heal after a laser resurfacing treatment. The most important rule is to not pick or peel your skin. This could cause lasting damage, like scars. You should skip all hair removal methods in the treatment area, which means no shaving, waxing, or depilatory creams. We will also recommend an ointment to help soothe and heal your skin.

Should I get laser skin resurfacing, a chemical peel, or dermabrasion?
After listening to your skin concerns, Dr. Moore will help you decide if laser skin resurfacing, a chemical peel, or dermabrasion treatment is best for you. While they all improve the surface of the skin, each has its own benefits and drawbacks. During your consultation, Dr. Moore can explain each option and make a recommendation for your treatment.

How often should I get laser resurfacing treatments?
Depending on the resurfacing type you and Dr. Moore select for your treatment, you may need to wait weeks or even months between appointments. Deeper treatments will provide longer-lasting results, but they will also require a longer recovery period. You should talk to Dr. Moore about how often you are willing to come back for treatments so he can take this into account when recommending a type of resurfacing during your consultation.


A laser skin resurfacing peel offers outstanding results if you want a younger-looking complexion. If you are considering a laser peel and would like to learn more about them, as well as other nonsurgical skin treatments Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah offers, we invite you to call our office in Midvale, UT today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Moore.


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