Correcting Summer Sun Damage with Lasers

Published on December 13, 2016

Summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors. In Arizona, this means boating on one of our lakes, hiking through the South Mountains or tubing down the Salt River. While spending time in the sun is leisurely and enjoyable, summer sun damage is definitely a downer.

Luckily, a quick and easy procedure called laser rejuvenation can reverse some of this damage, leaving your skin in pre-summer condition, and the winter months are the perfect time to have this procedure to ensure your comfort during recovery.

Laser Rejuvenation FAQ for Summer Sun Damage

How do lasers work to reverse the signs of summer sun damage?

Lasers reverse summer sun damage by sending tiny particles of light into your skin’s layers. With stronger treatments, sun damaged skin will be reduced immediately or gradually over a series of treatments. The lasers remove the pigmented areas while stimulating new skin cell growth and collagen production for more youthful skin.

What can I expect during treatment?

Prior to treatment, your provider will ensure your total comfort with an anesthetic. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the depth of the treatment you receive. Your eyes will also be covered to prevent eye damage from the light. Once the anesthesia is working its magic, your provider will then apply the laser device to the skin, checking in frequently to ensure you’re comfortable. After treatment, an ointment will be applied and instructions will be given to you in proper care of your skin at home. You will also schedule a follow-up treatment with our team to check on your results and do repeated treatments, if necessary.

Are laser skin treatments invasive?

Invasive and non-invasive laser rejuvenation treatments are available for summer sun damage. Our non-invasive option uses light energy to repair skin that’s been damaged by the sun. If the sun damage is extensive, treatment may require laser resurfacing. This treatment involves removing the top layer of skin for more dramatic results in a single procedure.

What’s the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers?

If you decide to have an ablative rejuvenation procedure, this type of laser breaks down the cells of your skin. The treatment mainly involves your skin’s outer layer where natural shedding occurs. With a non-ablative procedure, these skin cells are not removed. Instead, the treatment works by heating the deeper layers of the skin to encourage collagen production and stimulate skin growth, providing results over a series of treatments. Ablative laser treatments require treatment by a physician and downtime is longer, as it’s more invasive. This is what is called laser resurfacing. With non-ablative lasers, a certified laser technician may provide your treatment, and downtime is minimal.

Is this treatment painful? Will anesthesia be used?

While pain is a consideration, Dr. Hecht and our team take added steps during your laser rejuvenation treatment to keep your discomfort to a minimum. This includes applying a topical numbing cream to the sun-damaged areas, as well as a cold compress. If you need aggressive resurfacing, we may need to use sedation to keep you comfortable.

What can I expect during recovery? Is there any downtime?

After the treatment, your skin will likely feel a little raw. You could also experience swelling and itchiness. Your provider will apply a thick ointment to help with the healing process. You may want to take it easy for a day or two, but most people don’t need downtime with laser skin rejuvenation. Skin resurfacing will take longer, however.

How long should I stay out of the sun following my treatment?

Stay out of the sun for at least a week or two following this treatment. If you must go outside, we recommend protecting your skin with sunscreen and big hats. Once your skin starts to heal, you can return to your typical outdoor activities. You should continue to slather sunscreen on, however, with a broad-spectrum formula that’s rated 30 SPF or higher. We will give you instructions on recovery and how to take care of your skin after treatment and can provide recommendations for the most effective

What are the possible side effects of a laser treatment?

The side effects for laser treatments are generally minimal, but they may include swelling, discoloration or crusting.

How many treatments will I need?

You will probably require several treatments to get the skin resurfacing results you desire with non-ablative laser treatments. Your treatment number will depend on your needs and the type of laser used. Ablative treatments generally require just one treatment.

When will I see results?

Depending on the downtime associated with the type of laser used and the number of treatments you require, results and result timing will vary. We’ll go over your expected results during your consultation.

Who will be performing my laser skin treatments?

A facial plastic surgeon or a certified laser technician will perform your laser rejuvenation treatments. With laser resurfacing treatments with an ablative laser, treatment must be performed by a physician. With non-ablative lasers, a certified laser tech can perform the treatment.

Are other options available?

While laser rejuvenation treatments are effective for treating summer sun damage, other treatments are available. Microneedling with Rejuvapen involves the use of nine small needles. It is especially effective for excessive damage. Chemical peels are a good option too because they remove the top layer of skin. Topical skin lightening products are another treatment choice for sun damage. These products make the damaged areas appear lighter. You can learn more on our medical grade skin-care page.

Reverse Summer Sun Damage with Laser Rejuvenation Treatments in Scottsdale

Turn back the clock on summer sun damage by scheduling laser rejuvenation treatments with Dr. David Hecht and our certified laser techs. He is one of Scottsdale’s premier facial plastic surgeons, offering an array of surgical and non-surgical anti-aging and facial plastic surgery services. Dr. Hecht specializes in helping people
look their best and even provides skin cancer reconstruction for patients who have had cancerous growths removed from the face. Contact us for a consultation today.

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