Skin resurfacing treatments are used to rejuvenate old or damaged skin. This may be due to age related changes, sun damage or scars resulting from injury or acne.
Skin resurfacing is not new. Ancient civilizations have practiced various forms of skin resurfacing techniques such as mechanical exfoliation or chemical peels with natural acids found in sour milk, wine or fruit juices. The ancient Egyptians are said to be the first to use dermabrasion skin care techniques to improve their skin. Kings and queens used alabaster and pumice to remove blemishes and rough spots and make their skin smooth and soft.
Various types of skin resurfacing treatments are available. Recent advances in laser technology allow a very precise and controlled skin resurfacing and we consider this to be the best method currently available.
CO2 laser resurfacing
CO2 lasers are used to burn off top layers of the skin in a controlled manner causing controlled tissue injury. Resultant healing response then produces new younger looking plumper skin. Lumenis introduced ultrapulse CO2 laser resurfacing in 1990s. CO2 or carbon dioxide laser has been considered king of ablative lasers and “Gold Standard” for skin rejuvenation and removal of wrinkles, pigment changes, sun damage, acne scars and skin resurfacing.
Conventional CO2 laser resurfacing can achieve great results in exchange for a recovery period. Social downtime can last a 1-3 weeks, some facial redness can last an additional few weeks. Complications include a risk of bacterial, viral or yeast infections with possible scarring and also delayed risk of pigment changes which could be darkening or lightening of skin color. These can be prevented by using prescription medication.
It is possible to customise CO2 laser resurfacing to address individual needs. Please note that this is a surgical procedure and compliance with pre and post-operative care will improve recovery and results. You will be prescribed oral medications and creams if aggressive laser resurfacing is carried out. This procedure is used for treatment of scars including acne scars, wrinkles and for skin tightening. It is recommended to perform full face procedures but it is also possible to use it around the mouth area for lines, wrinkles and scars and also around the eyes for eyelid skin resurfacing. Typically local anaesthesia nerve blocks or special local anaesthesia infiltration is used.
To avoid the risks of complications and reduce recovery time recently new technology called fractional laser resurfacing has been developed. Here the laser beam is broken up or fractionated into many small micro beams which are separated so that when they strike the skin surface small areas of the skin between the beams are not hit by the laser and left intact. These small areas or bridges of untreated skin promote a rapid recovery and healing with less risk of complications.
Dr Sanjay Gheyi MBBS MS FRCS FP Cert. BCAAM, Medical Director and Laser Surgeon of Coltishall Cosmetic Clinic has many years experience with IPL and lasers. He has received one to one training from pioneers of this technology in Italy and has reproduced excellent results in his clinic. Treatment is tailored to your needs. It can be a superficial laser peel to minimise the downtime or a deeper resurfacing to maximise the results but this can have some downtime.