All Medical Procedures

During allergy skin tests, your skin is exposed to suspected allergy-causing substances (allergens) and is then observed for signs of an allergic reaction.

Along with your medical history, allergy tests may be able to confirm whether or not a particular substance you touch, breathe or eat is causing symptoms.

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to skin to peel away the top layers. The skin that grows back after a chemical peel is smoother and younger looking.

Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, skin discoloration and scars — typically on the face. A chemical peel can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.

Chemical peels can be done at different depths — light, medium or deep — depending on your desired results. Each type of chemical peel uses a different chemical solution. Deeper chemical peels produce more-dramatic results, but also involve longer recovery times.

Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that uses a rapidly rotating device to sand the outer layers of skin. After dermabrasion, the skin that grows back is usually smoother and younger looking.

Dermabrasion can decrease the appearance of fine facial lines and improve the look of scars, such as those caused by acne. Dermabrasion can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.

During dermabrasion, your skin will be numbed with anesthetics. You might also have the option of taking a sedative or using general anesthesia, depending on the extent of your treatment.

Skin treated with dermabrasion will be sensitive and bright pink for several weeks. The pinkness will likely take about three months to fade.

Laser resurfacing is a skin resurfacing procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of your skin or treat minor facial flaws. Laser resurfacing can be done with two types of lasers:

  • A wounding (ablative) laser, which removes thin layers of skin
  • A nonwounding (nonablative) laser, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin

Although nonablative laser resurfacing is less invasive and requires less recovery time, it's less effective than is ablative laser resurfacing.

Laser resurfacing can decrease the appearance of facial fine lines. Laser resurfacing can also treat loss of skin tone and improve your complexion if you have scars or sun damage. Laser resurfacing does have limitations, however. Understanding the specific techniques, risks and possible results can help you decide if laser resurfacing is right for you.