Question: I’ve read about lasers being used on the face to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles or skin discoloration. It sounds like something ‘™d like to do but right now I can’t afford it. Is there anything I can do for improvement while I save my pennies for a procedure like that?
Answer: Laser treatments for facial skin, depending upon the laser used and the intensity of the treatment, can be highly effective. The drawbacks for people wanting such procedures are, as you noted, the cost and also the recovery time required.
The cost of laser treatments for the face can differ widely due to a few factors and range anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per treatment. Most doctors recommend a series of 2 to 3 treatments for the best outcome. The current laser technology that’s available is outstanding so obviously, the newer lasers will offer a better result. Generally, a more aggressive laser treatment offers a better result but also a longer the healing period.
A very nice alternative to laser treatments, are chemical peels. The chemical peels are lower tech, and therefore significantly less expensive. Prices can vary from several hundred dollars to five hundred dollars. As with laser treatments, results vary with the intensity of the chemical peel. The more aggressive the chemical peel, the better the result but a longer healing period. Chemical peels vary in intensity from mild to highly concentrated and can be performed in an office setting without sedation or with a mild oral sedative such as Valium or Ativan, taken prior to a more powerful peel. The results vary from a patient having a rosy glow for a few hours, to looking as if they have a moderate sunburn and peeling skin, which takes anywhere from a few days to a week to resolve. Pretreatment of the skin with Retin A or other medications can further enhance the results. Chemical peels offer a lower tech, significantly less expensive, alternative to laser treatment and the results can be almost as good; definitely a procedure worth considering.