Laser Skin Resurfacing & Rejuvenation
With age, the skin develops wrinkles as it thins, loses elasticity and the underlying structural support protein, collagen, breaks down. The process is accelerated with exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking, hormonal change, and poor diet. The Carbon dioxide and Erbium resurfacing laser skin treatments can however, by removing the superficial, damaged layers of skin, to produce “new” smoother and more youthful skin, considerably improve the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles
How Do the Lasers Work?
The lasers emit very short pulses of extremely high energy laser light, that when directed at the skin, result in the removal of a microscopically thin layer of the superficial skin (epidermis), but without causing any damage to the underlying tissues. The ability to finely adjust the amount of energy being delivered to the skin offers a very precise form of treatment, considerably more controlled and predictable than previous forms of skin rejuvenation such as chemical peels or dermabrasion.
What Can Be Treated by These Lasers?
The resurfacing lasers not only may be used to reduce the number and extent of facial lines and wrinkles, improve the appearance of acne scarring and treat sun damaged skin, but also to remove unwanted moles, warts, and other skin lesions on the face and elsewhere. The whole face or part of the face eg around the eyes or mouth, may be treated.
Is Treatment Painful?
You will require some form of anaesthesia. If you are considering a full-face treatment we generally recommend a general anaesthetic, but if only one facial area, local anaesthetic injection will usually suffice. If the problem is a solitary mole or wart, then the application of an ice pack may be sufficient to satisfactorily numb the skin.
What Will My Skin be Like After Treatment?
The treated are will become very red and, for a few days, will ooze,and is best managed with the regular application of Vaseline type of ointment that prevents the skin from drying out. After a few days this can be substituted for a bland skin moisturiser of your choice. The skin will feel hot and tight, like sunburn, but is not particularly painful, and will heal up after 7-10 days, after which mild make-up can be applied. It is quite usual for the “new” softer skin to remain pink for several weeks after treatment – perhaps longer if you have a fair complexion.
What Are the Risks?
As with any type of laser treatment, there are risks, but these very unusual. Because treatment removes the skin surface, infection is a possibility and antibiotics are therefore prescribed (and antiviral tablets if treatment around the mouth, to reduce the risk of cold sore development). Increased or reduced skin pigmentation, and scarring can rarely occur. The use of high factor sunblocks to protect against ultraviolet exposure will help reduce the risk of post-laser increased pigmentation. These will all be discussed at your consultation.
The cost of treatment ranges from £350 for the removal of a single mole to around £4,500 for a full-face resurfacing.