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Laser Surgery (Wrinkles & Scars)

laser_resurfacing

What are lasers and how do they work?

A laser is a high-energy beam of light that can be directed into certain areas or tissues within the skin. These beams of light are produced in one wavelength or colour at a time, and can vary in terms of their strength and the type of tissue that they can target.

The use of light as a medical treatment has grown significantly in recent years. There are now a number of devices delivering different types of light for an ever-increasing number of cosmetic treatments. Laser technology has developed over the last few decades to treat patients with a variety of different skin problems, including the effects of sun damage.

Ablative Lasers

Used for wrinkles:

So – called “ablative” or skin resurfacing lasers briefly direct an intense burst of laser energy onto the surface of the skin. This energy heats water within the surface layers of the skin, causing both the water and the tissue of the skin to turn to vapour.

Every time the laser passes over the skin, some of the outermost layers of the skin are removed in a precise and controlled way to the appropriate depth.

The skin then heals over a period of time, as new layers of collagen are produced. The skin can literally resurface itself, causing an improvement in the appearance of sun damaged or acne scarred skin. After the treatment, the skin will look much healthier than it did previously.

This intensive treatment can significantly reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and pigment (or skin colour) changes on the face. They can be used in sensitive areas, such as lines around the lips, eyes and even eyelids, or over the whole of the face.

They can be used in sensitive areas, such as lines around the lips, eyes and even eyelids, or over the whole of the face. Acne and other types of scars and certain stretch marks can also be improved.

Used for vascular marks:

Lasers used on a variety of veins or pigmented (discoloured) skin problems can direct their heat towards a desired target in the skin which results in “damage” to particular tissues. For example, in the case of thread (spider or red) veins, the target is the blood filled vessel that is precisely heated and destroyed by the laser without harming surrounding areas.

If you want more information on Laser Surgery, please call us on 02392 264073.

What happens during a Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment?

Depending on the area of skin to be treated and the type of laser system used, different treatment procedures may be recommended for you.

Occasionally we will recommend doing a test patch of skin before the full treatment to familiarise the patient with the technique and educate them about the healing process. The skin test will also check for any tendency for pigment change or scarring in your skin.

Before laser resurfacing, the skin surface is treated with an antiseptic and gently cleansed. Surrounding hair is protected with wet gauze, and eye shields should be worn.

If the eye area itself is to be treated, then intraocular stainless-steel eye shields are used to ensure that your eyes are fully protected from the laser.

Depending upon the type of laser used this procedure can take from 15 to 30 minutes, for smaller areas of treatment, to over an hour for full face resurfacing.

How long will it take to recover from Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Most people find that they can return to work after a couple of weeks, but will need to wear a camouflage make-up for up to 6 months if they wish to hide some of the expected redness.

What should you do after a Laser Skin Resurfacing treatment?

It is very important that you follow the advice carefully after any laser treatment to help the procedure to be successful and to reduce the risk of complications.

Post treatment advice:

  • Using recommended painkillers as required;
  • The most important thing is that the wound is kept moist and clean during the healing process. This will involve using 2nd skin dressings for the first 5 days, changed twice daily,  and vaseline or aquaphor there after, until the skin is healed (normally 3-5 days) ;
  • Sleeping on your back with your head propped up by a few pillows;
  • Avoiding strenuous exercise for at least a couple of weeks;
  • Avoiding scratching or picking at the skin to reduce the chances of scarring;
  • Starting to use a sunscreen after the laser treated area has healed and avoiding any direct exposure to the sun for around six months;
  • Contacting the team immediately if you notice any signs of infection, scarring or pigment changes.

 

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