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Skin Resurfacing Can Restore Your Skin to Youthful Beauty

As you age, your skin undergoes many changes. Wrinkles and fine lines appear. Discoloration, dark spots, and scars may also mar previously clear and beautiful skin.

Thankfully, a variety of skin resurfacing techniques can now resolve such issues to return your skin to its youthful beauty.

Skin Resurfacing Procedures

Skin resurfacing procedures are designed to improve the quality of the skin’s surface by minimizing fine lines and dynamic wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation issues, and skin laxity. Treatment options include laser surgery, chemical peels and dermabrasion. Good candidates for treatment include men and women who are looking to improve their skin quality. Patients with darker skin types may not be candidates for aggressive skin resurfacing.

Our Philosophy:

Dr. Moynihan performs the skin resurfacing procedure in his office-based facility or in an outpatient surgical center. The procedure can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to complete and may be performed with local anesthesia or sedation.

Chemical peels come in three different strengths. From the mildest to the deepest, they are glycolic acid peels, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels, and phenol peels. The chemical solution peels away the top layers of the skin, producing a smoother and more youthful appearance.


Dermabrasion is a surgical technique that uses a high speed rotating brush to remove the top layer of skin. The procedure can smooth and improve the appearance of scars and wrinkles.

Laser surgery uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device to vaporize the top layer of skin, improving the appearance of wrinkles, acne scarring, and sun damage. The treatment is also known as CO2 laser skin resurfacing or simply laser skin resurfacing.


After the procedure, it will take 7 to 10 days for the superficial layers of skin to repair themselves. The skin may appear pink for up to four more weeks. Patients can return to work in about 7 to 10 days, and makeup can be used to help conceal any redness. Light exercise may be resumed after one week, though more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for at least two weeks.

Peels, Dermabrasion, and Laser Skin Resurfacing Before and After

It’s normal to feel self-conscious about facial aging symptoms and skin blemishes. This is why countless people worldwide use skin resurfacing techniques to treat a range of issues, from wrinkles to scars.

By restoring your skin to its beautiful, youthful appearance, you can expect peels, dermabrasion, and CO2 skin resurfacing to boost your confidence, which in turn can have a major positive influence on many other areas of your life.

Kindly examine our peel, dermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing before and after photo gallery to see what these treatments can do for your appearance.

Additional Skin Resurfacing FAQs

What is skin resurfacing?

Skin resurfacing refers to a number of different procedures that can improve the quality of the skin’s surface by diminishing sun damage, fine lines and dynamic wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and skin laxity. These procedures include chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser surgery.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a procedure that uses a chemical solution to peel away the top layers of the skin. Chemicals come in three different strengths including glycolic acid peels (the mildest), trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels (a medium-depth peel), and phenol peels (the strongest). Chemical peels can smooth the skin and provide a more youthful appearance.

What is dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a procedure that removes the top layer of skin through a method of controlled surgical scraping using a high speed rotating brush. Dermabrasion can smooth the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles and scars.

What is laser surgery?

Laser surgery, also known as CO2 laser skin resurfacing, is a procedure that uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser device to remove the top layer of skin. This process improves the appearance of wrinkles, sun damage, and acne scars.

What is cool beam laser skin resurfacing?

Cool beam laser skin resurfacing is a type of laser skin resurfacing technique that uses a device that delivers quick pulses of laser light instead of a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to treat skin issues. It doesn’t heat or burn the skin as much as the CO2 laser.

Who is a good candidate for skin resurfacing?

Men and women who are seeking an improvement in skin quality may be good candidates for skin resurfacing. Aggressive skin resurfacing is not advised for patients with darker skin types.

Where is skin resurfacing performed?

Our double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Moynihan, may perform the treatment in his office or at an outpatient surgical center. Please refer to our contact information for the exact location of each facility.

What happens during the skin resurfacing consultation?

During the consultation, your skin will be examined, your medical history taken, and your goals discussed. A treatment plan will be recommended, and all aspects of the procedure will be explained including the anesthesia, the recovery, the risks, the costs, and so on.

What is the anesthesia used for skin resurfacing?

Local anesthesia or sedation may be used for the treatment. If only small areas need to be treated, your doctor will use local anesthesia to numb them. They may, in addition, sedate you. If your entire face requires treatment, you’ll likely need general anesthesia.

How much pain occurs during skin surfacing?

In general, these treatments cause little to no pain. However, local anesthesia or sedation may be used to drastically reduce or eliminate any discomfort.

How long is the surgical time for skin resurfacing?

The procedure may take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to perform. Treating the entire face may take 2 hours.

How long is the skin resurfacing recovery time?

Depending on the treatment, you’ll need between 7 to 10 days to heal. After this period, you’ll be able to wear oil-free makeup to conceal any lingering redness in the treatment areas. This redness will gradually fade within a couple of weeks.

What is recovery like after skin resurfacing?

Following treatment, the treated areas may require to be bandaged. A day after treatment, you’ll need to wash these areas four to five times daily, as well as apply an ointment to them to prevent the formation of scabs.

You may experience issues such as minor swelling and itching in the treated areas. These can be managed using medication your doctor will prescribe.

Expect your skin to dry up and peel around a week after treatment. It takes 7 to 10 days after your treatment for the superficial layers of skin to repair themselves. However, the skin may still appear pink for up to 4 more weeks, and makeup may be worn to help conceal this.

As the side effects fade, the results of your treatment will gradually appear. Depending on the type of treatment, expect full results to be revealed within 3 to 6 months.

How much time should I take off from work after my skin resurfacing?

You should plan on taking a leave from work lasting about 7 to 10 days. Any lingering redness can be concealed with makeup.

Will I be able to exercise after my skin resurfacing procedure?

Light exercise may be resumed around a week after the procedure, though more strenuous activities will need to be postponed for at least 2 weeks.

Are there any risks associated with undergoing skin resurfacing?

All surgery carries some risk. For skin resurfacing, this may include the risk of hyper or hypo pigmentation, prolonged redness, and scarring.

How long do skin resurfacing results last?

Depending on the strength of your chemical peel, results can last around a month, 2 to 6 months, or a lifetime.

Dermabrasion permanently removes scars, abnormal growths, and blemishes. Aging and sun exposure will gradually effect changes in skin texture and color.

The results of laser skin resurfacing can last between 3 and 5 years.

You can always return to your doctor for touch-ups once you feel the results of your treatment are fading.

How much does skin resurfacing cost?

Skin resurfacing costs depend on the results you wish to achieve, and the type and complexity of the treatment required to produce said results.

Typically, peels can cost anywhere from $150 to $3,000. Dermabrasion can cost from $500 to $4,000. The CO2 laser skin resurfacing cost can range from around $1,400 to $2,500.

Based on your unique needs, our double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Moynihan, can break down and go over the cost of your treatment.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of skin resurfacing?

Patients will need to check with their own insurer. In general, skin resurfacing procedures which are performed for cosmetic reasons alone are not covered. When treating a deformity or skin injury, some degree of coverage may be available.

Where can I get peels, dermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing near me?

Those living in Chicago or the surrounding areas will benefit from seeing double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Moynihan, who provides the best skin surfacing treatments in Chicago. Please refer to our contact information for the exact location of the facility or outpatient surgical center he performs the treatments at.

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