Laser skin rejuvenation refers to the process of resurfacing the surface of the skin using a laser. This has long been viewed as a highly effective method to deal with a less than glowing complexion caused by wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation issues, uneven skin colour, rosacea and acne scarring.
The laser directs a high-energy beam of light onto damaged tissue, which kick starts the healing process of the body. This then stimulates collagen production. It differs from IPL in that a laser emits just one wavelength whereas IPL has a number of different wavelengths.
Traditional laser rejuvenation or resurfacing; the whole of the treatment area is ‘damaged’. Ablative lasers remove the top layer of the skin whereas the newer, non-ablative lasers try to cause damage within the dermis without removing the outer layers.
Fractional laser rejuvenation; this is suitable for more delicate areas on the face such as around the mouth and eyes and tends to have fewer side effects than traditional laser resurfacing, as only prescribed areas of the skin are damaged (usually a dot-like pattern). The skin heals much faster as the healthy, untreated tissue fills in the damaged areas with new cells.
Skin care; Am I suitable?
A skin care consultation with a qualified and experienced practitioner will ensure that you are suitable for laser skin rejuvenation or whether there is another procedure that would be better for you.
You may not be suitable if you have skin sensitivity to light, scarring problems or an infection or skin condition present in the treatment area. As lasers are attracted to pigment then it may not be advisable to perform the procedure on darker skin types.
Skin care: What’s the treatment like?
Traditional laser skin rejuvenation; this is a one-off treatment but the downtime is considerable.
Fractional laser skin rejuvenation; a number of sessions might be required to produce the optimum results.
Skin care: What about after?
Results should last for anything up to ten years, but this won’t halt the ageing process and it is imperative that you take care of your skin post treatment to maintain the effects.
Traditional laser skin rejuvenation; removing the top layer of the skin means an extensive post-treatment care regime to allow quick regrowth of the epidermis. The skin will be very red and itchy and it will scab and flake. Healing should take two weeks, but sun exposure should be avoided for three months.
Fractional laser skin rejuvenation; immediately after the skin will be red and tender – as if you had a case of bad sunburn and you will soon see the skin start to peel off. The redness should fade after a few days and you should be able to return to work quickly.
Skin care: Are there any risks or side effects?
Laser skin rejuvenation is a relatively safe procedure in the hands of a skilled and qualified practitioner. Also the laser systems themselves carry a number of safety features which control the depth and energy they emit.
Traditional laser skin rejuvenation; there may be a degree of pigment change but it should just last for a few months post treatment.
Fractional laser skin rejuvenation; long-term side effects are minimal and, unlike traditional laser treatments, this should not cause pigmentation changes.
Skin care: What will it cost me?
This depends on how many areas are being treated and which system is being used, but a fractional laser treatment can cost anything from £300 to £1,000.