As the years go on, it seems that more and more cosmetic treatments are available. Many have a real, dramatic effect and can make a huge difference to your look, whether it’s a one off appointment to give yourself an extra glow before a big event or a regular part of your routine. Others promise the world but fail to deliver – leaving you feeling disappointed.
In our quest to sort the wheat from the chaff, today we’re looking at Laser Skin Resurfacing: what it is, why you might choose it and what you need to know to be safe.
What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Lasers have proven to be a revolution in skin care. Laser lights can target areas of skin with precision and intensity, which can either burn off a few scientifically selected layers of skin to reveal newer layers beneath, that are younger and haven’t been exposed to the elements that cause aging and wrinkling.
That’s what’s referred to as ablative laser treatment – the laser ablates (cuts or erodes) the skin away. There is also a non-ablative variety of treatment, what’s known as fractional laser treatment. Rather than burning layers of skin away, fractional laser skin resurfacing targets small areas of the dermis, which, when heated like this produce new collagen. This leaves your skin looking fresher and younger, without having to risk more intense treatments.
Why Use It?
Skin resurfacing can help you with lots of different blemishes you may find on your skin: it’s especially good at rejuvenating wrinkles, leaving you looking younger. It’s also a good treatment for old acne scars – while no specialist would promise perfect skin as a result, it can have dramatic effects in removing these relics of teenage acne. It’s also good for surgical scars and age spots!
Fractional laser treatment can also help with stretch marks, but this is not recommended for the ablative version of the treatment.
Before you embark on any treatment like this, it’s worth consulting your doctor to ensure you don’t have any underlying condition that would make it a risk for you – that’s a good rule of thumb whatever cosmetic treatment you’re considering.
Your specialist should also run through a questionnaire with you, and perform a patch test to make sure you’re not prone to any adverse reactions, so make sure you pay careful attention and answer all the questions accurately. You can expect to be given a local anaesthetic during the treatment, to make sure you’re comfortable.
After treatment, ablative skin resurfacing requires more aftercare, as you might expect: your doctor will bandage the treated area and from 24 hours after your treatment you will need to clean it five times a day and apply petroleum jelly or a similar product. This is intended to avoid a scab forming and let the skin regenerate.
Fractional laser treatment merely causes some swelling and redness – you can expect these to fade shortly, and if you ensure you apply a good moisturiser and avoid sleeping on the affected areas, you’ll be recovered in no time!