13 08 laser resurfacing skin treatmentsDescription: Laser skin resurfacing removes damaged layers of skin, whether it's acne scars, lines, wrinkles, pigmentation or unevenness. The procedure delivers energy that drills tiny holes into the skin and encourages the regeneration of new, healthy tissue and improves skin's surface texture.

How it's done: There are two types of lasers for skin resurfacing: erbium lasers, like the popular brands Fraxel and Affirm and carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers like the brand Sciton. Erbium lasers are ideal for skin discolouration and require three to five treatments for optimum results, to allow the skin to heal itself. This results in some blood scabs and oozing after treatment. Recovery time is about two weeks. With CO2 lasers, on the other hand, there's no bleeding post-treatments, and most patients will see results after one treatment. Recovery time is approximately three to five days. Both procedures require topical anesthetic and oral analgesics.

Complications: With any laser-based treatment there is always a risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, scarring and reactivation of cold sores. Most patients begin a pre-treatment regimen that may include the use of hydroquinone to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Recovery: Ten to 14 days.

Cost: Erbium laser resurfacing treatments cost approximately $700 to $1,000 per treatment; CO2 laser resurfacing treatments cost approximately $2,000 per treatment. Fractional Laser Resurfacing costs $500 - $800 per treatment.