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What are the risks of laser resurfacing?

Risks of laser resurfacing, a procedure that uses a laser to remove fine wrinkles, age spots and other minor facial flaws, may include:
  • acne flares
  • bacterial infection. Your doctor may recommend taking an antibiotic before and after the procedure
  • cold sores if you are prone to getting them. Tell your doctor about your history of cold sores (oral herpes), before having laser resurfacing. You can minimize this risk by taking an antiviral medication before and after the procedure
  • change in skin color. Skin in the treated area may look darker or lighter than the skin around it
  • milia. These small white bumps may appear during healing. They can be removed by gentle cleansing with a washcloth
  • prolonged redness
  • scarring. This is rare, but possible
  • swelling. If you are having laser skin resurfacing around your eyes, your doctor may prescribe oral steroids to manage this swelling

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.