So Which Laser Treatment Do I Need?
There are so many laser treatments available today that it is almost impossible for an average person to really get their head around it. Lets us simplify things for you in plane language so you have a basic idea. When it comes to skin resurfacing lasers & light platforms, there are 2 basic type of treatments:
- Fractional Skin Resurfacing
- Full Field Skin Resurfacing
Fractional Skin Resurfacing – As the name suggests, a fraction of skin in the target area is treated, separated by small untreated islands of intact skin. This allows deeper penetration of skin by the laser beam, allowing rapid wound healing and is associated with less risk of skin burns. An ideal treatment for deep scars, loose skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
Full Field Skin Resurfacing – As the name suggests, the entire layer of skin in the target area is treated. Full field skin resurfacing is like a deep chemical peel. There are no small areas of intact skin left in the treatment zone. Hence this procedure is associated with better coverage of the treated area but comes with a higher risk of skin burns, prolonged down time and risk of pigmentary changes if patient selection is not optimum.
Full field skin resurfacing is now a lot less popular than fractional skin resurfacing. However, it remains the treatment of choice for smokers lines (Lines around lips) and eyelid skin tightening.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Fractional Skin Lasers?
There are 2 basic types of Fractionated Skin Lasers:
Ablative Lasers – The word “ablate” in dictionary: ablation |əˈbleɪʃ(ə)n| noun
1 the surgical removal of body tissue.
2 the removal of snow and ice from a glacier or iceberg by melting or evaporation.
Ablative Lasers target and evaporate areas of skin by inducing thermal injury zones. These lasers are very powerful and routinely used in surgery to cut tissue as well. Results are powerful and often dramatic. These devices can only be used by qualified medical personnel. There are 2 most common types of Ablative Skin Lasers:
-Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Lasers – Examples are Fraxel Repair™, Deka DOT™
-Erbium Yag/ Erbium Glass Lasers – Examples are Alma Harmony Pixel™
- Stretch Marks
- Facial Lines and Wrinkles
- Sun Damaged Skin
Non Ablative Lasers – As the name suggests, these lasers do not remove or evaporate any skin tissue. Instead, they simply create thermal injury or heat zones in the targeted area to stimulate collagen production and rejuvenate the skin tissue in that area. These lasers are gentle, have fewer associated risks and can be used by non medical personnel such as dermal therapists in most States & Territories. Examples are Emerge™ Laser and Clear+Brilliant™ Laser.
- Skin Rejuvenation
- Enlarged Pores
Which Skin Treatment Is Right For Me?
This depends upon:
- Your skin type
- Extent of sun damage
- Budget &
- Social downtime limitations
Patients with darker skin types can not be exposed to high energy laser treatments or deep chemical peels due to the risk of burning and darkening of skin pigment.
Similarly, patients who are unable to have red, swollen skin for a few days after a strong laser can not be treated with high energy, deep penetrating treatments.
At the time of your initial consultation, we will be able to advise you about the best treatment option for you based upon the factors mentioned above.
How Many Treatment Sessions Would I Need?
This depends upon the type of treatment chosen for you by your clinician. Some high energy, deep penetrating treatments may fix the problem in as little as one session. For less invasive and gentle treatments, multiple sessions (3 to 5) are usually required.
Are The Treatments Painful?
Most patients find Laser or IPL treatments somewhat uncomfortable but not intolerably painful. At Medaesthetics™ we make sure our patients are able to have treatments as painlessly as possible. To achieve this, we utilise:
-Topical numbing creams
-Laughing gas, to help reduce any discomfort.
Can I Go Out In the Sun Afterward?
UV radiations from excessive sun exposure is the reason why you have the freckles and sun damaged skin. It is critical to avoid direct sun exposure after any skin treatment for first few days and use sun protective clothing, headgear and sun screens to prevent future sun damage.
It is important to understand that high end, European or US manufactured Laser Skin Resurfacing platforms are extremely expensive and very few cosmetic clinics carry more than one platform. Please do your research before choosing your service provider.
Dr Ehsan Jadoon