Cost of Laser Skin Treatment (Laser Resurfacing)

Laser Resurfacing Cost

The cost for Laser Resurfacing is approximately $4,500 to $5,500 for the full face. This figure includes the surgeon fee, anaesthetic, theatre and day accommodation fees and follow up visits.  The prices vary depending on which Laser Skin Clinic you choose. Ensure to obtain a written quote breaking down which costs are included.

These prices are a general guide and vary based on the area being treated, the type of laser used and the time required. For example, resurfacing only the eyes, forehead or mouth as opposed to your whole face would cost about $2,500 to $3,000. You may be able to claim some of the costs from private health insurance. Medicare does not cover the cost of cosmetic procedures. Ask your surgeon for information about any rebates.

Types of Laser Resurfacing

The two most common types of lasers are the carbon dioxide laser or the erbium:YAG laser. The Q-switched ruby laser (QSRL) is only used to target problem areas rather than the whole face.  The carbon dioxide laser is more powerful and can give a greater effect. However, because it’s more invasive, this method is more prone to risks and complications. Laser skin treatment using a carbon dioxide laser needs to be carried out by an experienced specialist.

The erbium:YAG laser is less invasive and in turn the improvement is not so dramatic. However, it’s a safer option with lower risk of complications. To get the benefits of both techniques, some surgeons combine these two lasers in the one procedure.

Laser Resurfacing Recovery

After the treatment your face may have dressings. Some surgeons prefer to leave the facial skin exposed. Recovery after laser skin treatment is not very pleasant. You will look and feel like you’re severely sunburnt. You will most likely have swelling, redness, oozing and crusting. You may be prescribed pain killers.

Aftercare involves lots of moisturizing and cleaning. You’ll need to do this every couple of hours for the first day or two. It’s important to maintain moisture to keep the wound from drying out. This also aids the skin’s natural healing process.

At first you will be given an ointment. After a while, you’ll be able to apply light moisturizer and sunscreen. You’ll be required to wear sun screen every day and at least for three months (or if possible forever) you should avoid exposing your skin directly in the sun for extended periods.

Even though you may be itchy and crusting, you must avoid scratching or picking at your face. Your doctor will remove crusting with saline (salt water) at your follow up visits. Don’t attempt this yourself.

It takes about a week or two for your skin to heal. However, the redness will remain for about six to eight weeks. You should be able to return to work after about two weeks. The results from your laser skin treatment won’t be noticeable until about three months after the resurfacing.

Laser Resurfacing Risk

Laser Skin Treatment does carry risks and complications, which include:

  • Infection – the risk is highest immediately after laser resurfacing, when the skin is healing. Keeping up your hygiene should avoid an infection.
  • Milia – these are blisters and cysts which can form during the healing process. They eventually disappear after several months.
  • Scarring – this complication can be reduced by properly maintaining your skin after treatment. The deeper the treatment, the higher the risk of developing scars.
  • Hyperpigmentation – these are brown patches which can occur after laser resurfacing. They can be prevented with a high-factor sunscreen. If you develop hyperpigmentation the patches can be treated with bleaching creams.
  • Hypopigmentation –occurs more so with the carbon dioxide laser. It causes the skin to lose pigmentation, but is a rare complication.
  • Redness – your face will be red for about two months. It can take longer to subside, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Hypersensitivity – another rare complication. People with sensitive skins can be left even more sensitive after laser skin treatment.