The use of lasers for cosmetic surgery or any other procedure used to be the stuff of science fiction and James Bond movies, but today their have their place alongside scalpels in cosmetic surgery. While lasers can be used as surgical instruments that cause less bleeding, their most common cosmetic surgery use is in laser resurfacing.
Laser facial resurfacing is a type of cosmetic surgery that is noninvasive, takes only a short amount of time, and can be done on an outpatient basis. The laser is used to vaporize superficial layers of skin on the face in order to treat damaged skin. Cosmetic laser surgery can be used to minimize scars, soften lines and wrinkles, normalize uneven pigmentation, and remove spider veins. Cosmetic surgery can also use a laser to remove benign and precancerous growths.
Surgeons performing cosmetic laser surgery to reduce acne scars first noticed that wrinkles surrounding those scars diminished significantly. A bonus side effect of laser resurfacing seems to be that collagen (the key protein in connective tissues that keep skin smooth) regenerates. The breakdown of collagen due to aging, sun damage, smoking and other factors causes wrinkles, and the formation of new collagen gives the skin back some of its youthful texture.
Laser cosmetic surgery poses fewer risks than invasive surgery, but is not risk-free. Some people lose pigmentation unevenly as a result, and others experience scarring. While serious side effects are rare, laser resurfacing is still cosmetic surgery, and should be considered with the same seriousness one would take when considering other forms of cosmetic surgery.