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  • Costs
  • Number of Treatments
  • Recovery Time

As with any aesthetic skin procedure, you need to weigh the benefits of skin resurfacing procedures against the cost, number of treatments needed and recovery time. Of course, these vary by patient, by the severity of the problem that we are treating, and by physician.

The following are averages, your problem may require more or less treatments, your recovery time may be longer or shorter, and the cost may be greater or less than average. Many cosmetic practices offer discounts for packages of a series of treatments, or for multiple procedures performed together or on the same day. So the following are averages, your doctor may charge more or less:

Light Chemical Peels (Glycolic Acid 50-70%)

  • Cost: $75/peel or package of 6 for $375
  • Number treatments needed: 6
  • Recovery time: 1 day of crusted pimples, mild flaking 3-4 days

Medical Microdermabrasion (SilkPeel)

  • Cost: $165/treatment or package of 6 for $825
  • Number treatments needed: 6
  • Recovery time: none

GentleWaves LED

  • Cost: $ 140-185/treatment
  • Number treatments needed: 6
  • Recovery time: none

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

  • Cost: $500-700 face/treatment
  • Number treatments needed: 2-3
  • Recovery time: Redness for 1 day, brown spots turn darker and peel off day 5

IPL/PDT

  • Cost: $1000/treatment
  • Number treatments needed: 1-2
  • Recovery time: Redness and light sensitivity for 3 days, crusting of pre-cancerous areas for 1-3 weeks depending on severity

Laser resurfacing results, recovery time, need for anesthesia and costs vary based on the procedure. For example Fraxel now has 3 different versions of the original Fraxel, all named Fraxel (which leads to confusion when patients don’t know which version is which—bad idea I think but no one asked me): Fraxel re:fine (used by aestheticians), Fraxel re:store (the original Fraxel) and Fraxel re:pair (fractional ablative CO2). As you go up the scale, the cost and recovery time increases and the number of treatments decrease. Fraxel re:pair may require IV anesthesia in a surgery center.

Fraxel re:fine laser resurfacing

  • Cost: $750-$1000/treatment
  • Number treatments needed: 4-6
  • Recovery time: 1 day redness, mild flaking 3-4 days later

Fraxel re:store laser resurfacing

  • Cost: $1000-$1500/treatment
  • Number treatments needed: 3-5
  • Recovery time: 1 day redness and swelling, 5 days bronzing skin, fine flaking day 6-7

Fraxel re:pair laser resurfacing

  • Cost: $3000-$5000/treatment + possible anesthesia and facility costs
  • Number treatments needed: 1-2
  • Recovery time: Pinpoint bleeding and oozing for up to 48 hours. Swelling and crusting for 1 week, redness for 1 month

Laser resurfacing results, recovery time, need for anesthesia and costs vary based on the procedure. For example Fraxel now has 3 different versions of the original Fraxel, all named Fraxel (leads to confusion when patients don’t know which version is which—bad idea I think but no one asked me): Fraxel re:fine (used by aestheticians), Fraxel re:store (the original Fraxel) and Fraxel re:pair (fractional ablative CO2). As you go up the scale, the cost and recovery time increases and the number of treatments decrease. Fractional ablative CO2 resurfacing technology may require IV sedation and ambulatory surgical facility which may increase costs.

So there you have it, as always in life, there are tradeoff’s and you just have to decide what you want, what you need, and what you are willing to do to get it.

Next: Now the fine print about skin resurfacing—risks, side effects, and other unpleasant things

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