Laser resurfacing, is a new age skin rejuvenation treatment, which helps to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and other skin blemishes which are all tell tale signs of ageing. In short any skin irregularity which mars the natural beauty of the skin is removed with laser skin resurfacing. Laser resurfacing is also called laser vaporization, lasabrasion and laser peel treatment.
What is a Laser?
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation of LASER is an intense beam of high intensity light that is unidirectional in nature. Emitted in brief pulses, whose intensity and duration can be varied, laser beams are used to ablate skin tissues layer by layer. Fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and acne scar marks are removed along with the upper layers of the skin. The new skin which grows back appears younger and is free from all kinds of blemishes.
What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
While some laser treatments remove the upper damaged layers of the skin, others only tighten the skin through a heating procedure. The success rate of laser skin resurfacing treatment is very high because this treatment procedure is extremely precise and selective.
As we grow older our skin loses its youthful glow. Fine lines, wrinkles and age spots begin to appear on the skin. The skin rejuvenation technique called laser resurfacing can correct all these cosmetic flaws and restore our skin’s lost beauty. Most people opt for this anti- ageing skin treatment because it is a non invasive treatment procedure with a quick recovery time.
There is a common misconception that laser skin resurfacing treatment is limited for treating facial blemishes. However this is not the case. Laser resurfacing can be done on any part of the body except on the chest, neck and the hands. The reason for avoiding the chest, hands and the neck is because the skin in these particular regions does not heal very well after a laser skin resurfacing treatment. The skin also tends to scar and thicken in these regions. However many cosmetic surgeons are using a low intensity laser beam to treat the skin on the neck.
Types of Lasers Used
Carbon dioxide lasers and erbium lasers are generally used in laser resurfacing treatment. These two types of laser beams can be safely used to remove the upper layers of the skin without the danger of skin being exposed to too much heat.
Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing
Carbon dioxide laser is the commonly used laser beam in laser skin resurfacing. Here ultra pulsed or short pulsed carbon dioxide laser beams are used to remove the upper layers of skin. The reason why most cosmetic surgeons opt for carbon dioxide laser beams over other laser beams in laser skin resurfacing is because it causes minimal heat damage to the skin.
Besides treating fine lines and wrinkles, carbon dioxide beams are also used to treat benign skin growths like birthmarks and warts. Even skin which has been severely damaged due to excessive exposure to the sun can be rejuvenated with carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing treatment.
Erbium Laser Resurfacing
Another type of laser beam, the Erbium laser beam is used in the skin resurfacing treatment especially to treat deep lines and wrinkles on the face. In this skin resurfacing technique the patient may be given a local anesthetic. The erbium laser beam can be used safety to treat skin flaws on regions like the chest, hands and the neck with minimal side effects. The erbium laser beam is normally used on individuals with a darker skin tone.
New Methods of Laser Resurfacing
Some of the newer laser skin resurfacing methods includes fractional laser skin resurfacing, plasma skin resurfacing, superficial erbium YAG laser resurfacing and infrared laser resurfacing. To treat microscopic columns of skin without any side effects like scabbing or bleeding most people opt for fractional laser skin surfacing.
Laser resurfacing treatment procedure where the lower layers of skin are removed while keeping the upper layers of skin intact using plasma energy is called plasma skin resurfacing. People with very minor skin problems or very slight wrinkling of the skin should go in for superficial erbium YAG laser resurfacing. To improve the skin color, the deeper layers of the skin are targeted in the infrared laser resurfacing technique.
Skin Problems Treated With Laser Resurfacing
Some of the common skin problems which are addressed by laser skin resurfacing technique includes smoothing and tightening of eyelid skin, erasing wrinkles and fine lines, softening pucker marks, reducing fine lines, erasing crows feet around the eyes, flattening scars particularly keloid scars, evening out blotchy and uneven skin tone and generally improving the overall skin tone.
How Is Laser Resurfacing Done?
Before a person undergoes the laser resurfacing treatment the skin is cleaned thoroughly. Next the treatment areas are marked with a pen. The patient is given a mild anesthetic to block out any possible pain or burning sensation during the treatment procedure. If a larger area of skin is being treated, the patient will be given a stronger than normal anesthetic.
Next the patient is made to wear goggles to protect their eyes from the laser pulses. Wet towels are also placed on the skin around the area which is going to be treated. Then short bursts of laser beams are passed over the skin. After each pulse of laser beam the skin is cooled down with a saline solution. The number of laser pulses that the skin is exposed to depends on the degree of skin damage that has to be reversed. Finally a soothing ointment is applied on the skin after the treatment is completed. This is to reduce any burning sensation that the patient may experience.
What to Expect After Laser Resurfacing?
The areas which have undergone laser skin resurfacing are covered with sterile bandages. After twenty four hours the bandages are removed. The skin has to be cleansed with a saline solution a couple of times a day. This is followed by the application of a soothing skin lotion. The skin heals completely in about three weeks. However it is advisable not wear any oil based makeup for at least three months following laser skin resurfacing.
Possible Side Effects of Laser Skin Resurfacing
Complications related to laser skin resurfacing are extremely low. In fact every year thousands of people undergo laser skin resurfacing without any side effects. Hyper pigmentation, skin redness and mild swelling are some of the possible side effects of this treatment. In extremely rare cases there may be some mild scarring of the skin.