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What is laser skin resurfacing and rejuvenation?

As we age our skin becomes less elastic and unwanted lines and folds start to appear on the surface of the skin.
Laser skin resurfacing and rejuvenation treatment provides a highly effective, simple solution to restore that smooth, even and fresh surface appearance by using thermal energy to remove the very outer layers of skin, encouraging new skin to grow in its place.

The treatment is extremely straightforward and can take from as little as 20 minutes per session. There is no associated downtime.

The method restores a refreshed appearance on the face and neckline without the need for more invasive anti-ageing treatments.

What are the benefits of laser skin resurfacing?

  • Improved skin tone and texture
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Tightened or lifted skin 
  • Repaired sun damage
  • Quick, highly effective 20 minute procedure
  • Minimally invasive, no need for surgery

What skin conditions can laser skin resurfacing treat?

Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat one or more of the following skin concerns:

  • acne scars
  • age spots
  • crow's feet
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • sagging skin
  • scars
  • uneven skin tone
  • warts

Who is suitable for laser skin resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing treatment is most suitable for patients who are skin type 1-3 on the Fitzpatrick scale. That is, those who are either light-to-medium in skin tones and have skin imperfections due to aging and sun damage.

We typically recommend laser skin resurfacing and rejuvenation treatment for those just beginning to experience the signs of ageing, such as pigmentation change, age spots, sun damage, and wrinkles, as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions such as acne scars.

All patients will require a patch test ahead of their first treatment.

How does laser skin resurfacing work?

Laser skin resurfacing is a thermal photorejuvenation technique, that removes old skin cells using heat produced by a laser.

The skin resurfacing treatment removes the outer layers of the skin and stimulates the body to create new skin cells in their place. This alters the surface appearance of the skin and reduces the appearance of cosmetic blemishes such as wrinkles, scars and pigmentation irregularities.

The laser simultaneously heats the underlying skin layers and causes the collagen fibres which bind skin together to tighten and leave the skin with a more toned, rejuvenated appearance.

Whilst the treatment is unable to prevent future ageing, it is highly effective at reversing existing signs of ageing on the skin.

Laser variants used as part of laser skin resurfacing treatment include:

  • Coloured lasers (such as Nd: YAG) to correct colour change, e.g. sun spots, broken blood vessels 
  • Non- ablative fractioned lasers to deliver pulsed energy to tissues in order to tighten the skin, e.g. can correct rosacea, spider veins, and acne-related issues  
  • Ablative fractioned C02 lasers to remove outer layers of skin and resurface, tighten and lift, e.g. can correct scars and reduce fine lines and wrinkles 

Frequently Asked Questions

At the Cadogan Clinic laser skin resurfacing can be performed by one of our highly trained cosmetic dermatologists, or one of our skilled aesthetic practitioners.

The Fitzpatrick scale is an objective skin type classification scale used to determine whether laser skin resurfacing is a suitable treatment for you.

Only skin types 1 to 3 on the scale are suitable for laser skin resurfacing treatment

+ Type 1: always burns, never tans (pale, freckles).
+ Type 2: usually burns, minimal tanning.
+ Type 3: sometimes burns mildly, tans uniformly.
+ Type 4: burns minimally, always tans well (moderate brown).
+ Type 5: very rarely burns, tans very easily (dark brown).
+ Type 6: Never burns (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown)

+ The wavelength of Nd: YAG targets pigment to heat it and denature the molecule. This cause the body's immune system to absorb the pigment naturally. This delivers unblemished skin that appears and feels rejuvenated.

+ On different settings, Nd: YAG can also target broken veins. It heats up the blood in the veins destroying and clotting at the same time which are then reabsorbed naturally by the body, often with immediate results.

+ Non-ablative laser usually results in effective dermal regeneration over a number of repeat sessions. It does not destroy tissues (non-ablative) so the downtime is remarkably low.

+ On the other hand, ablative fractional laser (Co2) results in marked dermal regeneration over a far shorter timespan because more energy is imparted to skin there is also a higher downtime which is usually capped at 5-7 days. Energy imparted to the skin excites a controlled inflammatory response. Cells that make-up the dermis and maintain it are recruited to the area. Such cells include fibroblasts which lay down new collagen and eventually reorient it according to the grain of the skin. When collagen and other ground substances (e.g. elastin) are deposited this results in plumped, rejuvenated more elastic and youthful skin.

+ On yet another setting Co2 laser can be used to resurface the skin and this can include sun-damaged areas leaving behind in-tact dermis from which new skin grows. Considering that this skin is perfectly matched to surrounding areas, the aim of rejuvenation is achieved.

We typically recommend 3 to 4 treatments for the very best outcomes, but this is determined by the pre-existing status of your skin condition. Your aesthetician can discuss this with you at your free consultation.

Laser skin resurfacing treatment should be virtually painless. We liken the pain to a pinch or an elastic band snapping against the skin. Topical anaesthetic can be applied if required

You should expect healing to take place in the first 5 – 7 days. That said, the skin's surface should immediately appear healthier, and first results should start to be seen after the very first treatment.

The underlying structure of the skin should improve for six months as new collagen is generated.

The very best results should be seen after a course of treatment, by which time your skin should appear completely rejuvenated and revitalised with a noticeable improvement in skin tone and texture, and a dramatic reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Yes laser skin resurfacing is safe if performed by a qualified practitioner in a medical environment.

Side effects are rare, but like any cosmetic procedure are possible. This can include:

+ burning
+ bumps
+ rash
+ swelling
+ infection
+ hyperpigmentation
+ scars
+ redness

These can be mitigated by qualified practitioners practicing in a safe medical environment and according to proper protocols.

Skin rejuvenation treatments can be classified as follows:

+ Thermal (i.e. laser skin resurfacing)
+ Chemical (a 'chemical peel') 
+ Mechanical (e.g. dermabrasion)
+ Injection (e.g. anti-ageing injectables)
+ Light treatments (e.g. IPL treatments) 

We offer all of these at the Cadogan Clinic and would be delighted to explain the various pros and cons at your initial consultation.

Very much so. It is commonly combined with facial surgery such as a facelift or eyelid surgery.

IPL Skin Rejuvenation and Laser Skin Resurfacing are very different treatments.

An IPL Skin Rejuvenation treatment consists of a series of high-intensity pulses of broad spectrum light that pass through several layers of skin at once, targeting only the unwanted cells. IPL can thus improve the texture, quality, colour and health of your skin and treat multiple conditions simultaneously, such as the appearance of veins, capillaries, redness, age spots, blotchiness and freckles.

By contrast, Laser Skin Resurfacing delivers a direct beam of thermal energy to one specific target. Laser Skin Resurfacing  uses a laser beam focused on one specific wavelength and targets the very outer layers of the skin, which are removed, encouraging new skin to replace them. This process restores the smooth, even and fresh appearance that the skin tends to lose with age.

We offer two main Laser Skin Resurfacing treatments: ClearLift & Pixel Perfect, each having its own specific benefits and advantages.

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