Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is done (usually on the face) to minimise the signs of ageing including scars, wrinkles, acne marks etc. Laser skin resurfacing removes the top layers of the skin, when ablative lasers are used (similar to dermabrasion). New layers of skin start forming underneath it, that looks younger, lighter and tighter. Laser skin resurfacing is performed by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.
There are two types of lasers used in laser skin resurfacing:
- Ablative Laser
- Non-ablative laser
Ablative lasers include carbon dioxide (CO2) or Erbium. Ablative laser skin resurfacing is one of the most effective cosmetic procedures to improve the looks of ageing skin. The laser beam when focused with the right amount of energy helps in exfoliating the outer layer of the skin while new skin forms beneath it. The laser energy also helps in stimulating the production of collagen that helps in improving the elasticity and youthful look of the skin. Ablative laser for laser skin resurfacing will be suggested to you when you need any of the following changes:
- Remove wrinkles
- Lighten acne scars or other scars and blemishes on the skin
- Remove skin that is damaged by the Sun
- Smoothen uneven skin tone
Non-ablative lasers don’t remove any layers of the skin. These lasers project pulsed energy beams onto the skin. Laser skin resurfacing using non-ablative lasers is also called Non-ablative Fractional Laser Resurfacing of Skin. Non-ablative lasers used to resurface skin include CoolTouch, Fraxel Restore and N-lite. These are less invasive than ablative lasers. Non-ablative skin rejuvenation is advised for the following cases:
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Reduce or lighten brown spots or scars made by an injury or surgery
- Treating acne, striae and skin rejuvenation.
Important things to note about laser skin resurfacing
- The procedure can be performed by a trained dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.
- It is performed as an out-patient procedure. You don’t need to stay in the hospital after the treatment/therapy.
- Procedure may be performed entirely in one session or may be split up into multiple sessions depending on the area to be treated and what needs to be done.
- A full face treatment may take around 2 hours.
- You will be provided with creams / ointment that must be applied everyday for a few days after the procedure.
- Quit smoking while you heal.
- Your doctor will let you know if you should not be taking any medicine.
- Redness or inflammation of the skin following the procedure is very common and nothing to worry about. It will go down in a few days.
- You may feel an itching sensation for a couple of days after the procedure and in around a week, the top layers of the skin start to peel off.
- Avoid sunlight during healing.