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Laser Skin Resurfacing

There are many cosmetic procedures available nowadays to “rejuvenate” skin including chemical peeling, mechanical dermabrasion, wrinkle relaxers and wrinkle fillers.

Laser Skin resurfacing is a brilliant way of rejuvenating and tightening skin when used appropriately.

Laser Skin resurfacing can achieve excellent and dramatic results; often it is used in conjunction with other surgical procedures to give the best outcome.

Recent technological advances have enabled the use of the powerful carbon-dioxide (CO2) lasers (which have a wavelength of 10,600 nanometres) to deliver char-free ablation (i.e. free of scarring and pigmentation) by moving the high powered focused beam rapidly by a microprocessor controlled opticomechanical device, and hence enabling a short exposure time at each position. Erbium: YAG lasers have also become available for laser skin resurfacing. They have a wavelength of 2940 nanometers, and very short pulses deliver the bursts of energy.

The laser treatment delivers a very precise pulse of energy to remove the outer skin wrinkle layer and to permit a regrowth of healthy skin with better alignment of collagen fibres. The cosmetic Laser skin treatment can be applied to specific regions, such as under the eyes or the upper lip, or to the entire face. The new generation of carbon dioxide cosmetic skin lasers are the most effective and the most reliable. The erbium cosmetic laser provides a faster recovery for both epithelialisation (renewal), and post-operative erythema (redness) but does not provide a consistent effective result.

In the three to six months following the operation, the remodelling of collagen (structural protein of skin) will continue, and hence the process of skin rejuvenation is ongoing.

What to expect during and after the procedure

The procedure is usually performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. It is usually an outpatient procedure, so you won’t need to stay overnight. Depending on the areas you are having treated, the doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic. If you are having a whole face treated, you may need to be under general anesthetic. For singular areas, the procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes. A full-face treatment takes up to 2 hours. After the procedure, your doctor will bandage the areas that were treated. After 24 hours, the areas need to be cleaned 4 to 5 times daily and apply an ointment such as petroleum jelly in the prevention of scabs forming. It is normal to see swelling after the procedure. If steroids are needed for the swelling your doctor will prescribe these to ease the swelling at night.

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