Laser skin resurfacing has become an increasingly popular method for reversing the ravages of ageing on the skin. The procedure works by burning off the upper layers of the dermis so that new, smoother skin can regrow sans wrinkles, scars, and other skin damage.

The old technology, however, had drawbacks including a long recovery time as well as a high frequency of complications. Fortunately, the technology has improved with the introduction of fractional lasers, which treat only a part of the skin area, leaving the rest untouched to reduce complications while still providing the desired results. In an earlier post, we covered a range of conditions that can be treated by medical lasers.

There are however a number of myths that people commonly believe about skin resurfacing which might provide them with a mistaken idea of what it can and cannot do. These include:

  • Laser resurfacing can deal with any skin issues that you have. Laser treatments are only effective on the upper layer of skin and thus cannot help you with more deep-seated skin problems without the risk of scarring and permanent damage.

  • Laser resurfacing can give you ‘perfect’ skin. While the treatment can greatly reduce imperfections to the point where they are virtually undetectable, they won’t disappear entirely. This is particularly true with fractional treatments, since they treat small vertical pieces of skin in between healthy untreated portions. Thus, you will get more moderate results.

  • Laser resurfacing is suitable for everybody. This skin treatment is suitable only for light-skinned patients. Those with darker skin will have their skin pigmentation burned off and the color may not come back evenly. Even those who have skin pigment that is between black and Caucasian will still have to be careful if they choose to have laser resurfacing done.

  • Laser resurfacing is completely safe. While this procedure is an outpatient procedure that is non-invasive, there are still risks involved with the procedure, albeit minimal. This is why you should choose the practitioner who will perform your treatment carefully. You should ensure that they have sufficient experience in carrying out the procedure to get the best results while minimising the risk of complications.

Pearl Fractional lasers

The most recent laser used in skin resurfacing is the Pearl Fractional, a third-generation device that provides superior results with only one treatment. It also boasts of the best patient safety and shorter recovery time. The Pearl Fractional laser works by creating tiny holes deep in the skin through which sun damaged tissue is removed and the growth of healthy, younger-looking skin is promoted. In addition, since the process promotes the regeneration of collagen, the skin is plumped from underneath to repair sun damage and other dermal imperfections.

Laser-Resurfacing-300x225The best candidates for Pearl Fractional treatments are those who have light to medium skin tones. The procedure is also seen to be more effective in treating certain types of skin scarring, such as acne scars, as well as dealing with stretch marks. The areas of the face where the procedure is often most effective are the areas around the eyes and mouth – which are usually are where ageing first manifests itself.

Improvement in the skin can be seen in as little as a week after the treatment, although the complete results will typically manifest around one to three months afterwards after the treatment, once new collagen growth and remodelling have started to take place. However, the patient can already apply makeup five days following the treatment. Immediately after the procedure, the skin may look slightly swollen and sunburned, but this will eventually go away.

However, for the first four to five days afterwards, patients should avoid sun exposure and wear protective clothing, as well as putting ointment on the treated skin.

Please contact us to discuss the benefits of laser skin rejuvenation treatments in more detail.

[Photo by krystle]