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What Is Pixel Laser Resurfacing?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 21, 2024
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Pixel laser resurfacing is a type of laser skin treatment that is used for cosmetic rejuvenation. It differs from other types of laser resurfacing in that the recovery period is neither as long or as obvious. While some mild redness is common after a pixel laser resurfacing treatment, it is not nearly as extensive as with more traditional laser treatments, and typically clears up within a day or so.

Like other forms of laser rejuvenation, pixel laser resurfacing tightens the skin, reduces or removes skin discolorations, decreases the size of pores, and reduces the appearance of both acne scars and stretch marks. The laser works in two ways, it removes the outer layers of the skin that are damaged, and it stimulates the skin to produce collagen. The production of collagen smooths fine lines and wrinkles so well that it makes a suitable replacement for Botox injections.

An erbium yag laser is used for pixel laser rejuvenation. It uses ablative fractional technology, where the small pieces of the skin are removed in a random pattern. Roughly 35 percent of the skin's surface is covered by the laser. The untouched areas speed the healing of the treated spots.

The pixel laser resurfacing process is generally considered painless, although some individuals may experience slight discomfort during the procedure. Afterwards, the skin will feel mildly irritated, similar to a sunburn. The practitioner will likely recommend not wearing makeup, and avoiding sunlight for a few days. Once normal activities are resumed, it is important to protect the skin with sunscreen.

Results from pixel laser resurfacing include firmer, tighter and smoother skin, and a more even complexion. The results from this type of laser resurfacing may be apparent after one treatment. For best results, treatments are typically scheduled in a set of five, with a two to four week wait between each session.

As laser resurfacing processes become less invasive, with shorter recovery times and less redness and irritation, they are becoming more popular. There is a growing trend to resort to cosmetic rejuvenation while younger, rather than waiting and getting more invasive plastic surgery. Having laser resurfacing at a younger age can reduce or eliminate many of the most common signs of aging, including fine lines, deep furrows, dark spots, and broken capillaries. Pixel laser resurfacing can be used on the neck, chest, and hands, in addition to the face, which are all areas that commonly show signs of age.

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Discussion Comments
By anon263640 — On Apr 25, 2012

I am 52 years old and just had pixel about eight days ago. My down time was about five days, and I feel great.

My skin is tighter, the fine lines are much better and my skin is smoother. I have just had my first of three treatments (head and neck) and I can't wait to have all three completed. I would just say trust who is doing it and make sure they are skilled. I saw some pictures before I had it done and I was a bit afraid, but not now!

By wavy58 — On Jan 10, 2012

@Perdido – Well, I guess the experience differs greatly among various people. I had pixel laser resurfacing, and I am unhappy with the results.

To start with, I had a lot of pain after the procedure. I couldn't leave the house for ten days, because I looked hideous. I had blisters and scabs all over, and I had to keep putting ice packs on my skin to ease the burning.

Tiny red dots showed up all over my skin. They scabbed up, and when these fell off, they left little raised areas. They are hard to see now, but I can still feel them.

I think that maybe my skin was just too sensitive for all this. Perhaps I should have known not to do this, because I have had allergies to even mildly scented makeup, and certain fabrics irritate my skin a lot.

By Perdido — On Jan 10, 2012

@lighth0se33 – I suppose it all depends upon the package you purchase. If you want it on your neck and hands as well, it will cost you more.

I spent $1,000 just to have my face resurfaced. However, it was worth it. It took years off my face, and my makeup goes on so much easier now.

There are days when I don't even wear makeup, just because I can get away with it. When I do wear it, I use a much lighter foundation. Sometimes, I just use a tinted moisturizer, because that's all I need.

I would definitely recommend it. You will feel so much better about your skin, and your confidence will increase.

By lighth0se33 — On Jan 10, 2012

Does anyone know how much pixel laser resurfacing costs? It sounds so glamorous, like something only a celebrity could afford.

Whenever I think of treatments like this, I think of Hollywood actresses and singers with millions to spare having them done. Their skin always looks so flawless, and it seems to be the kind of texture that leaves them not even needing makeup.

I have quite a bit of money in my savings account, and I would love to do something about my discoloration and fine lines. I don't want to spend it all, but I am willing to invest in my appearance significantly.

By orangey03 — On Jan 09, 2012

After reading this article, I am very interested in this procedure. I am in my early thirties, and though I regularly wear sunscreen, I love being on the beach so much that I inevitably have developed age spots and wrinkles.

I don't intend to stay out of the sun, but I am looking for a way to minimize the damage it has done to my appearance. Major plastic surgery scares me, because it is so often botched and you can wind up looking fake.

Pixel laser resurfacing sounds so much more natural. Your own skin heals itself, basically, and nothing artificial is introduced to it. This sounds like the way to go.

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