Skin resurfacing technology has improved radically since the early 1990's. Previous techniques, such as chemical peels or dermabrasion, have been complemented by laser techniques for the treatment of scars and wrinkles.
All of these technologies, to different degrees and by different methods, remove the upper layers of skin where fine lines and superficial scars exist. Chemical peels do this (to different depths based on the specific peeling agent) chemically, laser resurfacing vaporizes the upper layers and dermabrasion mechanically planes down the layers of skin. Once removed, elements from the deeper portions of the skin heal the wound, only in a smoother fashion.
Other light based treatments, such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Nd-YAG lasers, can be used to remove age spots, spider veins and broken capillaries, reverse sun damage, permanently reduce unwanted hair or tighten the skin.