What is Skin Resurfacing?

Skin resurfacing targets the skin to improve its quality and appearance, correcting many years of sun damage. Specifically, it can improve the appearance of fine lines, remove superficial blemishes, correct many pigment problems, and provide a smoother texture to the skin. There are a wide range of resurfacing methods available using various chemicals, lasers, or dermabrasion. Excellent results can be obtained using many of these methods.

How Does Skin Resurfacing Work?

All resurfacing treatments whether using a laser, dermabrader, or chemical like phenol or TCA, work essentially the same way. The outer layers of damaged skin are stripped away and as the new skin heals, a smoother, tighter, more uniform skin surface appears.

How is Skin Resurfacing Commonly Used?

Skin resurfacing can be applied to a small region of the face like the upper lip or lower eyelids or to the entire face and sometimes the neck. Skin resurfacing is also frequently used for acne scar removal and skin rejuvenation. It is common for Dr. Hovsepian to combine skin resurfacing with other procedures like a facelift to enhance the results. Although the whole face cannot be resurfaced with a facelift, target areas like the lower eyelids and lips can be treated. Since a facelift does not address fine wrinkles in these areas, adding resurfacing will provide a better overall result. Additionally, resurfacing can be applied to the hands and décolletage (breast cleavage).

How is Skin Resurfacing Treatment Performed?

Chemical Peel

For a chemical peel, a thin layer of TCA or phenol is applied to the skin and when the desired depth of penetration is obtained, the chemical is neutralized. Often a little anesthesia is required as the chemical itself provides an anesthetic effect. Depending on the areas treated, this procedure can take 15 minutes to one hour.


With dermabrasion, the upper layers of skin are filed away using a rotating diamond burr until the proper depth is reached. This is also a short outpatient procedure requiring local anesthesia. These are usually outpatient procedures and performed in Dr. Hovsepian’s Beverly Hills office. When you meet with Dr. Hovsepian he will assess your needs carefully before guiding you toward an aesthetic enhancement plan that matches your desires. For some patients, it may be more appropriate to combine skin resurfacing techniques with other skin care or rejuvenation treatment.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

For laser resurfacing, a precise depth is obtained by the laser being calibrated to the appropriate settings. These settings vary depending on the desired treatment goals. The laser is then carefully passed back and forth over the skin until the desired results are achieved. Laser resurfacing also takes anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour and is an outpatient procedure. It is usually performed using local anesthesia with sedation, meaning you will be sleepy but slightly aware of your surroundings.

Fractional Therapy CO2 Laser

The CO2 fractionated laser is made for skin rejuvenation, and delivers many tiny dots of laser light in a unique scan pattern. This pattern helps reduce heat buildup in the skin during treatment. The result is a treatment that is fast, comfortable and has less downtime than traditional resurfacing, enabling you to get back to your lifestyle sooner. The CO2 fractionated laser has been proven effective in enhancing the skins tone and texture, eliminating the effects of the sun and aging on the skin, smoothing lines and wrinkles, skin tightening, and even acne scars. Treatments range from mild to aggressive based on the extent of the rejuvenation you are looking for.

How is the Fractional Therapy CO2 Laser Treatment Performed?

Dr. Hovsepian will ensure you are as comfortable as possible. An anesthetic will be applied to the areas being treated and the settings of the laser will be adjusted according to your specific skin type and treatment being performed.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Generally you will see the difference you want after only one treatment. In the days after the treatment your skin will gradually look and feel softer, smoother, tighter and fresher. The fine lines and wrinkles, age spots and uneven textures will show immediate improvement. The durability of this procedure approaches that of a surgical procedure. However there are a number of variables that will determine how long you can expect the results to last including: your health, age and how you care for your skin after your treatment.

Raffi Hovsepian, MD

Laser Removal of Sun Spots, Tattoos and Scars

Dr. Hovsepian performs a variety of advanced laser treatments to remove undesired blemishes from the skin such as tattoo removal, pigmented lesions, sun/age spots, freckles, melasma, dermal nevi, and birthmarks.

Treatments can be anywhere from one to 5 sessions. Following a careful evaluation by Dr. Hovsepian, the best laser treatment will be selected for your special needs.

Getting Started

Dr. Hovsepian is dedicated to providing you the best possible care and utilizing the most innovative advancements in non-invasive skin resurfacing techniques. To take the first steps in achieving your aesthetic goals, request your consultation online or by telephone.

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