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7 Must-Know Facts Before Booking Your First Skin Resurfacing Treatment

Google the pros and cons of laser skin resurfacing treatments and…welcome to the rabbit hole! While it’s best to know all the options before leaping into any treatment plan, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s best to go in informed, but instead of getting bogged down with specific details, start with these seven simple must-know facts to help you find the best skin resurfacing treatment plan for you.
1. Know Your Goals

The information available out there for skin resurfacing treatments can vary depending on the source, but keeping an eye on one’s top aesthetic goals will help narrow down the options. Skin resurfacing treatments can be used to improve the appearance of deep wrinkles, uneven skin texture, pigmentation spots, stretch marks, rosacea, enlarged pores, acne scars, or other scars—no matter the need, there’s a treatment out there for that. As well, treatments may vary based on body part and other factors, so be sure to have a clear picture of the target outcome and ideal way to get there. A certified treatment provider can help narrow down the rest.
2. Not All Treatments Are the Same

All the names of devices and treatment types can get a little confusing, so it may be best to consider treatment categories by technology type instead:

CO2 laser treatments are effective for deeper skin concerns. Since these treatments work by stripping away the skin’s surface while penetrating more deeply, they often come with a lot of pain and downtime.
Microdermabrasion and chemical peels vary in terms of pain and downtime, and are best suited to superficial concerns.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are best suited to pigmentation concerns (acne, rosacea, sun damage, etc.) and tend to be fairly comfortable.
Radio frequency treatments can provide targeted treatment to both the surface of the skin and deeper by creating micro-dermal wounds, treating uneven skin texture and pigmentation.

While the last two options offer a faster recovery time, a treatment plan (rather than a single session) is often required for best results.
3. And Not All Options Are Best for All Skin Types

Some skin resurfacing treatments run a risk of scarring or causing further pigmentation spots in some skin types and tones. For the most part, those with sensitive skin will want to avoid CO2 laser treatments, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. IPL and radio frequency treatments may offer a more comfortable alternative. As for skin tone, for those with darker skin, radio frequency treatments are generally the best bet. Before taking the plunge on any treatment though, be sure to seek out the opinion of an experienced, certified skin resurfacing treatment provider.
4. Preparation is Everything

We’re not talking research here (although it’s a good start)—we’re talking about proper skin prep. While preparation tips will vary by procedure, it’s best to avoid tanning at least two weeks prior to the first treatment. Shaving the treatment area may be necessary. As well, treatment providers may recommend a specialized skin care routine prior to the first treatment and between treatments to improve overall results.
5. Don’t Forget Post-Treatment Care

These aren’t fix-it-and-forget-it treatments. Similar to treatment prep, post-treatment care will post-treatment care can greatly affect the overall outcome. The treatment provider will often have a list of tips for ensuring a speedy recovery and the best results, so be sure to pay attention and follow their guidelines. Ask any and all questions that may arise in terms of skin care, exercise, or other lifestyle factors. A minimum of 24 hours free of exposing the skin to makeup, lotions, water, sweat, heat, and tanning can be expected—though, again, this will vary by treatment and may be extended for options that remove the surface layer of the skin (i.e. CO2 laser, chemical peels, microdermabrasion).
6. External Factors Can and Do Come into Play

Lifestyle factors and medications can impact the results of many skin resurfacing treatments. Smoking can affect recovery time, since nicotine impedes healing by restricting blood flow and the movement of oxygen to the treated skin cells. Likewise, acne treatment medications that contain the ingredient isotretinoin (Accutane) can affect results and possibly even lead to scarring. A qualified treatment provider will know many of the questions to ask, but it may be a good idea to make a list of medications and supplements taken, as well as common lifestyle habits (i.e. smoking, drinking, tanning, or even exercising) to ensure nothing is missed.
7. Trust No One—Except a Qualified Provider

We’ve been nailing this one in for most of the article, but a qualified provider really is the best resource. While a friend, colleague, or beauty blogger may swear by a particular treatment, it’s best to seek a customized consultation. There certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to aesthetics, and a certified aesthetics expert will be able to narrow down the best skin resurfacing options for individual skin type, skin tone, and aesthetic goals.

Begin your research into a customized radio frequency skin resurfacing treatment plan today by locating a certified provider near you.
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