Why Do Lasers Make You Look Younger? By Joseph M. Brown, MD, FACS on September 21, 2021

Laser skin treatments are increasingly popular among young to middle-aged patients. This growing popularity is directly tied to the fact that laser skin treatments are effective on discoloration as well as fine lines without scarring or significant downtime. Their subtle but noticeable effect makes these treatments the perfect way to gracefully reduce the signs of aging as they come along rather than waiting until it’s all just too much. Why do lasers make you look younger?

Why Do Lasers Make You Look Younger?

What may surprise you is that despite the popularity of laser skin treatments, very few non-medical professionals actually understand how the treatment works. That is why we are going to discuss the scientific reasoning behind these treatments. Of course, you should still discuss laser skin treatments with your doctor at the Tampa center for plastic surgery because everyone’s skin is different. This article is only intended to give you the basic information to help you determine whether laser skin treatments may be a good fit for you. So let's look at how lasers make you look younger.

Types of Treatment

Laser skin treatments work in two different ways depending on the type of laser used.

  • Ablative Laser Treatments remove dead layers of skin to create a fresh, hydrated surface. The fractional laser treatment in Tampa is one example.
  • Nonablative Laser Treatments work underneath the uppermost layers of skin to activate your skin’s natural regenerative tools.

Many laser treatments are a mix of both, so you’ll want to discuss your choices with your board-certified plastic surgeon to find the right laser treatment for your skin.

Understanding How Treatment Works

Ablative laser treatments are fairly straightforward. Layers of dead and damaged skin are removed to reveal the healthier skin beneath. However, nonablative lasers are a little more complicated. You see, these laser treatments work by doing a very small amount of damage to your skin cells. Your immediate reaction may be confusion, but it actually makes perfect sense once you understand how your body responds to that kind of damage.


According to a study performed at Johns Hopkins, laser treatments and retinoic acids use a “common molecular pathway,” which encourages your skin to produce Retin-A. Retin-A is commonly used in dermatological products to fight discoloration, acne, and wrinkles, so an increase in normal production does have direct anti-aging benefits. However, this isn’t the only benefit of laser skin treatments.

The same process of minimally damaging skin cells sends messages to your body encouraging it to heal those damaged cells. As a result, your body increases collagen production. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin its youthful plumpness, so the increase in production will fill out your skin. Thanks to this important protein, you should notice an apparent decrease in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Deciding What Works for You

Laser skin treatments are considered safe and effective, but they may not work as well for everyone. Unfortunately, most of the data gathered is based on the use of laser skin treatments on middle-aged Caucasian women. Johns Hopkins recent study only included Caucasian women with an average age of 55. That means that people outside of this very specific group should always discuss potential complications.


For example, patients with darker skin have a higher rate of complications. Older patients may not receive dramatic enough results. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a laser skin treatment. It just means that you have to be careful. Always use a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Always discuss your any concerns you may have. It may also be beneficial to find a doctor who has a history of working with skin similar to yours.

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Dr. Joseph Brown

Plastic Surgery

A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Joseph M. Brown strives to provide patients with transformative, yet natural results in a safe and comfortable environment. When you choose him as your provider, he will develop a patient-doctor relationship based on honesty, trust, and a clear understanding of a common goal. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
  • Florida Medical Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons

To get started, request an appointment using our form or call (813) 258-2425.

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