At its core, skin rejuvenation involves treatments that physically remove the top layer of skin, thus eliminating damaged skin cells. This is typically achieved via light treatments, acids, or lasers.
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This latter technique – known as laser resurfacing – involves directing a laser at the skin to destroy the outer layer and heat the underlying skin. The intense beam of light works to essentially reduce surface blemishes while stimulating collagen and elastic production of the dermis.
Upon receiving this blast of intense light, the skin responds by triggering a natural healing process of the compromised tissues. In doing so, the underlying structure of the skin is restored, adopting a more youthful, toned, smooth and tight appearance.
What can be treated?
Laser resurfacing is an ideal option for targeting superficial skin concerns including:
Fine lines and wrinkles
Mild to moderate acne scars
Uneven skin tone or texture
How do I know it will work for me?
Basically anyone in good health is considered a suitable candidate for laser resurfacing. It’s also beneficial to receive this treatment during autumn or winter as you’re less likely to damage the resurfaced skin by exposing it to the sun.
On the other hand, those with excessive sagging skin, cold sores, fever blisters or active acne breakouts are unlikely to benefit from skin rejuvenation.
Types of lasers: ablative versus non-ablative
Different lasers are used to treat different skin types. Ablative lasers are more aggressive, meaning they focus on removing the top layer of skin. The results are therefore typically more substantial and longer lasting. Often, patients who undergo ablative laser procedures only require one treatment at a time.
Non-ablative lasers are considered as a gentler option of laser resurfacing. Here, the focus is on heating the underlying layers of the skin rather than removing the top layer.
Knowing which laser treatment is best for you will depend on your current skin condition and personal goals. Your therapist will discuss these with you and determine the optimal procedure to suit your skin and meet your needs.
What to expect during the procedure
While a non-invasive cosmetic procedure, laser resurfacing still requires some prep and downtime. To begin with, you may wish to consult a doctor or dermatologist – they may ask you to avoid certain medications or supplements for approximately 10 days before the procedure. It’s also a good idea to stop smoking before and after your scheduled appointment, as this can prolong the healing process.
Depending on the actual laser resurfacing treatment used, numbing agents may or may not be applied. Your therapist will inform you if a local anaesthetic or numbing cream will play a part in the procedure.
Generally, treatments of part of the face can take between 30 to 45 minutes, while a full-face treatment may take up to two hours. This again depends on your unique needs and the type of laser resurfacing technique employed.