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Arab woman's face representing laser skin resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing - how it works, what it costs, and treatments near you

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Mai Elsayed Ahmed from Omnicare Medical and Aesthetic Center

Fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes are a part of being human and, for the most part, aren’t that noticeable.

However, laser skin resurfacing can help reduce the visibility of these wrinkles and blemishes, such as acne scarring, without the need of repeat injections like Botox or fillers.

Fast facts

  • Best results

    1 procedure

  • Duration of results

    3 to 5 years

  • Back to work

    2 weeks

  • Full recovery time

    3 weeks

  • Price range

    400 SAR to 918 SAR

  • Treatment duration

    30 minutes to 1 hour

  • Comfort

    Local anaesthetic

  • Treatment type

    Non-invasive

Laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive rejuvenation treatment that works by removing old skin cells. This helps stimulate the area and trigger new cells to grow. These fresh skin cells can then change the appearance of your skin’s surface.

Results can vary, including:

  • Smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin
  • Improved tone and texture
  • Reduction of unwanted brown spots
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes
  • Improved appearance of acne scars and surgical scars

It’s most often used on the face but may be done in other areas of the body such as, the hands, neck, and chest.

Image of Arabic woman representing laser skin resurfacing

How does laser skin resurfacing work?

The science behind it

Laser skin resurfacing uses a specially crafted beam of thermal energy that breaks down and removes only the very outer layers of the skin. It can be done with:

  • Ablative laser. Often referred to as wounding lasers, ablative laser treatments use an intense wavelength of light to remove the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and heat the underlying skin (dermis) to stimulate the growth of new collagen fibres. Types of ablative treatments include the CO2 and Erbium YAG laser. As the skin heals and regrows, the treated area appears noticeably smoother and tighter.
  • Nonablative laser. These are comparatively less invasive. Also known as non-wounding lasers, they work by delivering a precise wavelength of light below the skin’s surface to induce a controlled injury, which promotes cellular renewal and the production of collagen, a structural protein that is responsible for skin elasticity, integrity and firmness. The surface of the skin remains undamaged. This type of treatment is best for improving skin texture and tone, fine lines, mild wrinkles and pigmentation issues.

Before the treatment

  • Use our local listings to find an experienced practitioner.
  • At your consultation, discuss which areas you want to have the treatment on, raise any concerns and confirm cost.
  • If you get cold sores, raise this with your doctor as laser resurfacing can trigger breakouts in people who are prone to them.
  • There is a two-week rule when it comes to sunlight. Avoid sun exposure two weeks before and after the treatment. Sunbathing should be completely avoided during this period, but if you need to go out, wearing a hat is recommended.
  • For 10 days before the surgery, you should also avoid blood thinners such as aspirin, as these can cause blood clotting.

  • If you are using any peeling creams such as Differin, tell the doctor and stop using it for seven days before doing the procedure.

During the treatment

Skin resurfacing is a quick procedure that can be done in under an hour and that doesn’t require you to stay overnight. The surgeon may administer local anaesthetic to numb some sensitive areas, such as around the eyes and mouth. If, however, you’re having the treatment on your whole face, you may potentially need general anaesthetic.

Aftercare

  • After the procedure, the treated areas will be covered with bandages. These will need to be cleaned a few times a day, and your clinician will recommend if any creams or ointments need to be applied to prevent any scabbing.
  • Swelling is quite common after the procedure. You may have medication prescribed if the swelling is around the eyes.
  • Itching may occur up to 72 hours after the procedure. Your skin will become very dry and start to peel after around a week, with healing taking four to five days after a nonablative laser treatment and up to two weeks with a fully ablative laser treatment.
  • Redness will usually fade after a couple of months. Your clinician will advise on what types of makeup and cosmetics can be used, if any, to reduce the visibility of this.
Image of woman representing laser skin resurfacing

Is laser skin resurfacing permanent? Plus, other things you need to know

Is laser skin resurfacing permanent?

If the blemish or scar you’re trying to remove is small, laser skin resurfacing can sometimes be permanent. However, it’s likely you will need multiple treatments to get your desired results. Once you clinician has advised on how many treatments are needed, you can expect your results to last three to five years before needing a top up treatment.

How much does laser skin resurfacing cost?

The cost of laser skin resurfacing can be between 400 SAR and 918 SAR per session.

How can I find laser skin resurfacing near me?

If you think laser skin resurfacing is the right solution for you, you can find a range of clinics in your city using our locator.

Alternative treatments

There are a few alternatives to laser skin resurfacing to try, including:

  • Botox – Botox injections are one of the most popular ways to reduce the signs of lines and wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. You usually start to see results after one round of treatment, but Botox isn’t permanent and needs to be topped up every three to six months. The average price of Botox is 42.8 SAR per unit in Saudi Arabia.
  • Fillers – like Botox, but for deeper, static lines. Fillers are usually made from hyaluronic acid and can be used on lines and some acne scars to plump the skin. With filler, you will also require regular rounds of treatment to maintain results. Fillers can cost on average around 1,531 SAR in Saudi Arabia per session.
  • Retinoid creams – retinoids can be bought over the counter and are a key part of many popular skincare lines. Using retinol in your skincare can reduce the visibility of wrinkles and freckles with continuous use. There are several different strengths available – it’s a good idea to start with low strength formulas (under two per cent) as retinol can make some skin types very sensitive.

Laser skin resurfacing facts

  • Leon Goldman, an American surgeon, was a pioneer in using lasers on dermatological conditions in 1963, when it was first used on pigmented skin.
  • Your skin renews every 28 to 30 days by creating new cells under the deep layer of the skin, which take around four weeks to come to the surface. It sheds 0.001 – 0.003 ounces of flakes every hour.

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