Laser Resurfacing is a method of treating skin texture, tone and pigmentation while also reducing visible signs of sun damage and fine lines. The method is called “resurfacing” because it works by either ablating the surface layer of dead skin cells or accelerating natural cell turnover to clear the surface layer of dead skin cells. As a result, a new layer of healthier, younger skin is revealed.
There are different technologies used for this procedure, including Fraxel, Erbium and CO2, depending on your skin’s condition and type (more on this below). Certain resurfacing treatments may have some downtime, but the benefit is that you can see improvement in fine lines, skin texture and skin tone from the same treatment. They’ve been increasingly popular as professional employees who love these treatments can work from home for a couple of days while the redness passes.
How Does Laser Resurfacing Work?
To understand how Laser Resurfacing works, it helps to get a clear picture of the aging process, pigmentation and skin cell cycle.
Sun exposure, pollution, oxidisation and internal factors can lead to visible signs of ageing, pigmentation and damage on the skin. Excess pigmentation created by your melanocytes (the pigment-producing cells) can also become trapped, leading to visible, uneven pigmentation and sun spots.
Additionally, your skin cells age as they’re exposed to external factors mentioned above. This contributes to uneven texture, dullness and fine lines.
Your skin cells are in a constant state of regeneration, and it takes 28 days for the full cycle to occur, but the deeper epidermal cells are prone to ageing and other minor damages as they move to the surface. Your melanocytes also have time to inject pigmentation into the cells as they reach the surface.
A resurfacing treatment removes the top layer of damaged, aged or pigmented cells to bring forth the fresher, younger cells underneath. The result is that they come through as smoother, healthier, younger skin with a brighter, more even skin tone.
Proper UV protection and an ongoing skincare routine with good quality medical grade ingredients and no occlusive fillers can help you maintain your treatment results by promoting the healthy function of the skin cells and keeping your skin healthy and nourished.
Are Laser Resurfacing Treatments Safe?
Laser resurfacing treatments are safe as long as they’re performed by a well-trained, experienced provider. With improper use, there can be a risk of burns to the skin. There can also be a chance of unwanted side effects such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) if proper protocols or skin preparation aren’t followed.
At Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia all of our Doctors, Nurses and Clinicians who provide Laser Resurfacing treatments are accredited through our training and education program in clinic, which includes theoretical and practical assessment, to ensure the safest treatment with the best possible outcome.
We also recommend having a consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin type, and prepping your skin before treatment, which usually involves a pigment inhibiting serum and UV protection. We’re happy to discuss skin preparation in detail during your consultation.
What are the different Laser Resurfacing Treatments?
For Laser Resurfacing, we use Fraxel, Erbium or a CO2 Fractional Laser, depending on your skin’s condition and your skin type.
Fraxel is a well known and highly trusted fractionated laser with years of research and practice behind it. It doesn’t ablate the surface layer of skin cells, but rather it accelerates natural cell turnover to reveal an underlying layer of healthier, more youthful skin.
It’s main benefit is in treatment of ageing, sun damage and pigmentation.
There is a little bit of downtime after treatment, in which your skin will have a red or bronzed appearance for 2-4 days, and you’ll need to avoid UV exposure, but you can otherwise continue with most of your normal activities.
You may have also heard of Fraxel Lite. The difference is that Fraxel Lite is a gentler treatment, so there is less downtime, but you may require a course of treatments to achieve the same result as a single Fraxel treatment.
The Erbium Peel
The Erbium Peel is a gentle yet advanced Laser Resurfacing treatment that gently ablates the surface layer of dead skin cells to help brighten the skin and treat textural concerns such as acne scarring for a smoother, brighter and more even complexion.
It can be delivered as a full face treatment, a spot treatment for specific blemishes, or to any area of the body that requires resurfacing or has mild scarring such as PIH from body acne.
The Erbium is an Er:YAG laser that targets the water in your skin. It uses quick micro-pulses of energy to evaporate water in the surface layers of dead skin cells and remove them to reveal the younger, smoother, healthier layer below. The process also stimulates some collagen production in your skin for a more youthful appearance.
This laser has a number of different settings for controlled depths. There is no downtime associated with the lighter depths. The deeper settings may have some downtime (which includes redness and mild flaking), but the deeper the setting, the more prominent the result.
CO2 Fractional Laser
The CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Fractional laser rejuvenates the skin by reducing fine lines, scarring and sun damage, and at the same time it provides some skin tightening benefits.
This laser works by delivering multiple columns of energy beams to vaporise dead skin cells and ablate the superficial layer of skin. The procedure initiates a natural healing process in which your skin pushes out columns of old skin and rejuvenates the newer, healthier layers that shine through.
The CO2 Fractional Laser tends to involve more downtime than the Fraxel or Erbium lasers, but depending on your skin type, it may also have a more powerful anti-ageing result.
Some resurfacing treatments are not suitable for all skin types, so we recommend having a face-to-face consultation with a professional to discuss your skin concerns and get advice on the treatments that are right for you, individually.