Resurfacing provides remarkable results and Minimal Down Time especially for those patients who suffer from acne scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, sun damage and pigmentation.
The Body Perfect Clinic is offering this revolutionary laser skin resurfacing treatment with recovery time of 3 days compared to the traditional 3 months. Our New Advanced Laser Resurfacing System allows the remarkable results of traditional ablative lasers with a fraction of the recuperation and none of the discomfort or inconvenience patients had come to expect from laser resurfacing. Most patients will need 2-3 treatments with the our Laser.Read more
The process of directing a light source to target a selected area of the skin to damage it is technically known as "selective photothermolysis"; where “thermolysis” refers to ‘decomposition by heat’ and “photo” refers to ‘light’. Unlike with selective photothermolysis, where the whole of the selected target area is damaged; “Fractional Photothermolysis” seeks to only damage certain zones, (producing tiny dot-like treated areas on the skin), leaving the other zones within it perfectly intact; hence only causing fractional damage. This allows the skin to heal much faster than if the whole area was treated.
The use of light as a medical treatment has grown considerably over the past few years. There are now many kinds of devices, which deliver various different types of light for an ever-increasing number of potential uses.
Since the early 1990s, lasers have become the high tech equivalent of dermabrasion or deep chemical peels for skin resurfacing (removal of the outer layer of the skin). Laser skin resurfacing declined in popularity due to the development of less aggressive light treatments aimed at skin rejuvenation.
If you are considering fractional laser skin resurfacing the following information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure. It can't answer all your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the practitioner. Please ask a practitioner about anything you don't understand.
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 process of directing a light source to target a selected area of the skin to damage it is technically known as "selective photothermolysis"; where “thermolysis” refers to ‘decomposition by heat’ and “photo” refers to ‘light’
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, neck, and other parts of the body. 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.
There are two main types of ablative laser - the original machines used were carbon dioxide lasers, and more recently erbium:YAG laser systems have been introduced.
The so called non-ablative lasers have been a more recent introduction in types of aesthetic equipment for skin rejuvenation.
These lasers have lower energy levels than ablative lasers (which resurface or remove the outer layer of skin completely), and try to cause damage within the dermal layer of the skin without removal of the outer epidermal layers. That is to say that the laser treats the layers of skin under the surface without damaging the surface too much. This lessens the recovery period after the treatment and reduces the number of complications that can occur.
It is thought that the laser's heat in the dermal layers causes collagen to be produced which helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. However, the results from this type of procedure are less obvious than those which can be achieved with ablative laser skin resurfacing during which the surface of the skin is removed.
The use of different types of lasers by cosmetic clinics has increased significantly in recent years. The new non-ablative laser machines are aimed at giving maximum treatment results with minimum recovery time after the treatment. More recent still is the arrival of other non-ablative light machines, such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Light Heat Energy (LHE) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) systems that can be more flexible in their use than some other lasers.
Unlike with selective photothermolysis, where the whole of the selected target area is damaged;“Fractional Photothermolysis” seeks to only damage certain zones within the selected target area, (producing tiny dot, or pixel-like treated areas on the skin), leaving the other zones within it perfectly intact; hence only causing fractional damage through the heat of the light source. This allows the skin to heal much faster than if the whole area was treated, as the ‘healthy’ untreated tissue surrounding the treated zones helps to fill in the damaged area with new cells.
Fractional Photothermolysis or Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing can therefore be compared to the precise alteration of digital photographs that we are able to do nowadays; pixel by pixel.
This fractional approach (ablative and non-ablative) claims to achieve comparable skin improvements as obtained with conventional ablative laser resurfacing with an Er:YAG or CO2 laser, (depending on depth and severity of wrinkles), but without the associated side effects or downtime; i.e. you get the results of an ablative laser but with the downtime of a non-ablative laser.
Optimal improvement after fractional treatment is usually visible in about 2 - 3 months as collagen remodelling and skin tightening continues. The longevity of results is comparable to ablative laser resurfacing and as always is dependent on future ageing, the effects of gravity and sun exposure.
Fractional photothermolysis is used for the treatment known as skin rejuvenation/resurfacing, which includes; the reduction and possible removal of fine lines and wrinkles, improvement of deeper wrinkles, repair of sun damaged skin on the face, neck, shoulders and hands, the reduction of age spots and blemishes, acne scars and hyperpigmentation (areas of darker pigment or brown patches in the skin). Also for the correction of peri-orbital wrinkles (crow’s feet), acne scarring and pigmented lesions, including age spots, sun spots and skin discolouration; for skin resurfacing and for the treatment of melasma, (dark skin colouration which forms on sun exposed skin – often affects women during pregnancy).
Careful discussions regarding your reasons for wanting treatment are very important before you begin the treatment. You must also make sure that this treatment can deliver what you want and how you would like to look afterwards. Your practitioner will answer all these questions.
The skin is first cleansed and a topical local anaesthesia may also be applied to increase patient comfort during the procedure, the handpiece also has a built in cooling mechanism.
The laser treatment head is then passed over the surface of the treatment area in a series of horizontal and vertical overlapping passes, until an erythema or mild redness is noted in the skin by the practitioner.
The anaesthetic are washed off immediately after treatment.
A typical treatment of the face will take approximately 20-25 minutes.
Unlike with ablative laser resurfacing, where one treatment is usually enough; multiple treatment sessions are often required with fractional resurfacing to obtain optimal results, although as the machines have developed over the years many are now claiming a single treatment session only.
The number of treatment sessions required depends upon the individual patient and the condition undergoing treatment; your practitioner will be able to create an appropriate treatment regime for you.
Most patients will be able to return to work immediately following this type of procedure.
Due to the way the laser treats the skin, it remains relatively strong, therefore any redness can be camouflaged with make-up straight away without any ill effects; and men are also able to shave almost immediately after the treatment.
Fractional photothermolysis or laser skin resurfacing offers speedy healing and minimal to no downtime.
Depending on the area of your body treated and the type of device used, the procedure is said to be well tolerated; feeling like a mild prickling or burning sensation, or like elastic bands flicking on the skin. However, your practitioner may apply a topical anaesthetic to your skin prior to treatment to reduce any pain and discomfort, and offer you a chilled air device to hold over the treatment area yourself.
For several hours afterwards the skin will feel tight and have the appearance of a “sunburned” look. The skin will continue to look “pinkish” for 2 - 7 days (depending on the device used) and any swelling, which should be minimal, usually disappears after 1 – 3 days.
With the BPC laser, a bronzed, sun tan look caused by the dead, burnt cells at each MTZ will then remain for 3 – 14 days before naturally exfoliating.
Generally, as the skin heals itself, you will find mild to moderate skin flaking, which may last for up to 2 weeks.
It is very important that you follow the advice of your practitioner carefully after any light treatment to help make the procedure as successful as possible and to reduce the risk of complications.
Post – treatment advice may include:
Additionally, when you leave a clinic after a fractional laser treatment you are likely to suffer from varying degrees of redness
Patients generally not suitable for any form of light treatment are those who have a history of skin sensitivity to light or scarring problems, an active herpes (cold sores) infection or other skin infections such as impetigo at the site to be treated.
Patients who have used isotretinoin in the last year would also not be suitable candidates.
Depending on the type of fractional laser device used there may be issues of safety for people with some darker skin types, particularly Fitzpatrick skin types IV, V and VI; Hispanic, Latin, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and both lighter and darker toned black skin. Always seek advice about your skin type from an experienced laser professional.
Although there is no clinical evidence that this treatment is harmful for pregnant or nursing women, you would generally be advised to wait until after you have given birth and finished breast feeding before embarking upon a course of treatment.
Traditional ablative laser resurfacing has been shown to be very effective in improving deeper lines and wrinkles associated with sun damaged skin. The downside is the recovery time and potential complications.
As a consequence of this, the development of lasers has focussed on non-ablative laser and IPL light sources that do not remove the surface of the skin, but still cause visible improvement of lines and wrinkles. These alternatives do not, as yet, produce such dramatic and long lasting results as ablative lasers, but they are safer and involve virtually no recovery time. Please see our IPL section for more details.
The fractional laser arena can also be divided into fractional ablative and fractional non-ablative devices.
Fractional laser skin resurfacing appears to achieve comparable skin improvements as obtained with conventional ablative laser skin resurfacing but with fewer potential side effects.
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