Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine #70





and why?

Most resurfacing lasers work by removing

microscopic quantities of skin and stimulating the

production of new collagen. Non-ablative lasers

use wavelengths which do not burn away skin and

are suitable for the treatment of melasma, scarring,

fine lines and wrinkles and typically do not require

any downtime.

Ablative lasers include carbon dioxide (CO 2

) and

Erbium:YAG lasers. These use a process where

the upper layers of aged or damaged skin are

vaporised by the controlled laser. It is this damage

that stimulates the healing and restructuring of the

skin, resulting in a more even complexion and a

significant reduction in lines and wrinkles.

Carbon dioxide lasers can dramatically reduce

wrinkles but downtime and side effects such as

redness and peeling are extended, usually taking

many weeks to heal. Erbium lasers have a great

accuracy with fewer side effects but cannot treat

deep wrinkles as successfully.

most lasers

work by removing


quantities of skin

and stimulating

new collagen


laser therapy

The advent of fractionated laser, where microscopic

columns of skin are treated while surrounding skin is left

intact, has made it possible to achieve results comparable

to traditional CO 2

laser resurfacing with fewer side effects

and profoundly less downtime.

Fractional skin resurfacing can utilise both non-ablative

and ablative lasers – the breakthrough difference of this

technology is the fractionated delivery system of light.

Fractional laser technologies break up light beams

to allow columns of untreated tissue to activate healing

mechanisms beneath the skin’s surface, treating skin

conditions ranging from scars and birthmarks to wrinkles.

These lasers work by creating microscopic thermal

injuries that trigger collagen production, stimulating cell

renewal and plumping out the tissues. In other words, the

laser works by creating tiny holes, or ‘dots’, in the skin’s

surface, penetrating deep into the dermis which triggers

the body’s natural healing responses. It leaves the skin

around each dot intact, enabling the surrounding tissue to

heal these microscopic thermal injuries by stimulating the

production of new collagen.

The anti-ageing benefits of fractional laser technology

include improving evenness of skin tone and texture,

reducing pore size and the appearance of lines and

wrinkles, and helping to reverse the effects of sun damage.

A more mild treatment may take several sessions,

while one procedure is usually sufficient for a more

aggressive treatment.

Because laser treatments use heat, a mild to moderate

burning sensation is experienced during treatment and

slight swelling, redness and bronzing afterwards. This can

be covered with mineral makeup and normally subsides

after a few days, however full healing can take several

weeks, depending on the intensity of treatment and the

areas targeted.

Results of light-based therapies vary, depending on

the technique and experience of the practitioner, and

the individual patient. Patients should always ask their

practitioner how new the laser or IPL machine is and when

it was purchased. Recent models are far superior to earlier

ones in terms of achieving predictable and precise results.

With a wealth of medical, cosmetic and scientific

applications, research into laser and light-based technology

is constantly evolving. What offers outstanding results

today may one day be superseded by the next advance

in laser-based therapies. One thing is certain, however:

a wealth of conditions once untreatable can today be

improved rapidly and with minimal discomfort thanks to

laser and light-based technology. csbm 65

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