Laser Skin Resurfacing Risks

Laser skin resurfacing is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation alternative for people who want to avoid cosmetic surgery.

Laser skin resurfacing is a safer procedure with mild, temporary side effects. The skin will typically feel like minor sunburn in the treated sites. Some amount of redness and swelling may occur for a few days. Itching or stinging sensation may also be felt in a few cases.

An experienced laser skin resurfacing provider will perform the treatment will high precision, using controlled heat as per the patient’s skin type, color and their unique cosmetic requirements. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bryson Richards provides laser skin resurfacing to patients in Las Vegas, NV, and surrounding locations across the horizon.


Potential Risks

If a stronger laser skin resurfacing procedure is applied, the patient may have what looks like a severe sunburn. The skin becomes raw, oozing and may even get blisters. From the treated sites, a yellowish liquid may ooze to form a crust. Picking or scratching at the crust must be avoided to prevent scarring. In any case, the risks will be significantly lesser than in the case of a plastic surgery.

Bacterial infections and acne flares are other potential risks that may occur after laser skin resurfacing. The doctor may prescribe a short antibiotic course before and after the procedure to mitigate the risk. If laser skin resurfacing is performed around the mouth area, it may increase the risk of reactivating cold sores.

The patient should disclose about any history of cold sores, if any. Reactivation may be prevented by taking antiviral medication before and after the procedure. A few patients may experience hyperpigmentation, and the treated area may become darker in tone. The provider may recommend a bleaching solution to improve the appearance.

During the healing process, small white bumps or milia may appear. A gentle cleansing solution with a washcloth can help to remove these bumps. Risk of scarring is minimal, but it may still occur in a few cases. If the procedure is performed around the eyes, the provider may prescribe oral steroids to address the risks of swelling.



The patient will take about a week to recover in case of Erbrium laser, while CO2 laser resurfacing can take about two weeks. The skin will become dry and peel after the initial healing period. The patient may use an ice pack in the first two days to minimize swelling. The following steps can help the patient achieve a faster recovery:

  • Clean the treated areas a few times a day with saline or diluted vinegar solution.
  • Apply skin care ointments.
  • Use a special sunscreen, which is formulated for sensitive skin on the face.
  • Apply a liberal amount of moisturizer every day as per the provider’s advice.

The new skin will be pink once the treated sites begin to heel, but will lighten in about two to three months. Full natural complexion may occur over a period of almost one year. Remarkable and percipient cosmetic surgeon Dr. Richards receives patients from Las Vegas, NV, and nearby areas for laser skin resurfacing.

If you would like more information on cosmetic surgery procedures and treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada plastic surgeon, Dr. Bryson G. Richards please contact us at 702.870.7070

Taking new patients from Las Vegas, Bullhead City,  Laughlin, Pahrump, Mesquite NV and surrounding areas.

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