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It is a known fact that everything our body goes through reflects on our skin. The good as well as the not so good. Being the most exposed organ in the human body, justifies the effort some people take to ensure it appears flawless for as long as possible. Every few years, we hear of new cosmetic treatments that become the rage for a while and are then forgotten. Nevertheless, Laser Skin Resurfacing, which involves the use of a laser to treat skin imperfections, is a procedure that has stood the test of time and has continuously evolved over the years.
What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Laser resurfacing is a treatment to remove the outer microscopic layer of your skin which then allows new undamaged skin to grow. During this procedure concentrated pulsating beams of light are targeted on your skin, precisely removing the skin layer by layer. This therapy is able to correct skin irregularities like acne scars, stretch marks, enlarged pores, dark skin, dark circles, sagging skin, age spots, crow’s feet and face wrinkles.
What Are Major Benefits Of This Procedure?
- Laser skin resurfacing helps in the improvement of acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, sun damaged skin, age spots, birthmarks, blotchy patches on the skin, etc.
- It helps remove skin growths such as moles, warts, and certain growths attributed to the early stages of skin cancer.
- The appearance of mild to moderate facial scars left behind by previous surgeries or injuries can be reduced.
- There is visible skin smoothing and tightening with increased collagen generation.
- The recovery period is still considerably low.
- With a proper skin care regimen, the results achieved from this procedure is long-lasting.
- The treatment is performed in a controlled medical environment by experienced professionals.
- Apart from skin on the face, certain apparatus also works well on the skin on the hands, neck, and back.
Who Is A Good Candidate?
Laser resurfacing works on all skin types. Anyone suffering from the concerns mentioned above can opt for this procedure, though the minimum age requirement is 18 years.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment Procedure
There is no “one size fits all” option when it comes to zeroing down on the best laser. Your dermatologist will recommend a suitable option for you, depending upon various factors like the severity of your scars/marks, the amount of downtime that suits your lifestyle, the side effects, your medical history, the other treatment options that you have tried, etc.
The procedure involves the following steps:
- Your skin is prepared before undertaking the procedure to enhance its tolerance level and reduce the risk of any possible side effects. Occasionally, the preparation is done weeks before the actual procedure.
- Before the procedure, a numbing cream is applied to the treatment area. This makes the treatment painless and comfortable.
- Next, the skin is cleansed to remove any excess oil, dirt, and bacteria.
- Your dermatologist will begin the treatment by passing a laser beam on the selected area. This procedure is repeated till the affected layer of skin is removed or a particular depth into the skin layers is reached.
- After the treatment, a cream is applied.
Also Read: How Do You Get Rid Of Acne Holes On Face?
Laser Skin Resurfacing Cost In India
On average, the session cost of laser resurfacing can range between Rs.5,000 to Rs.30,000. The cost varies depending on the intensity of concern, the target area, the thickness of the skin, and the type of laser treatment the client is opting for. The total expense increases based on the multiple sessions required to see the desired results.
Based on the prices prevailing in different laser centres across major cities in India, like –Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kochi, Vizag etc.
Number of sessions – The number of sessions is subjective based on the concern, though 6-8 sessions are suggested to most people.
Alternatives To Laser Skin Resurfacing – Chemical peels and dermabrasion are a few alternatives for laser skin resurfacing. However, the results from laser skin resurfacing is more effective compared to other procedures.
What Are The Side Effects?
- Common side effects like redness, swelling, and irritation in the treated area can be experienced.
- With some deep lasers, the face might tend to look skinned with crust formations in the initial recovery period after treatment.
- Skin sensitivity can last up to 4-6 months in a few cases.
- Clients with darker complexions are prone to skin pigmentation and discoloration.
- In cases of acne scar removal, the presence of any active acne is a deal breaker for the laser resurfacing procedure.
- As far as wrinkles are concerned, this procedure may prove to be unsuccessful if the wrinkles form from the movement of facial muscles.
- Clients under certain medication or those who are prone to scarring may not be suitable to undergo this procedure.
- In some cases, certain skin disorders, allergic reactions as well as cold sores can be aggravated.
Important Things To Remember
- It is extremely important for a client to approach a clinic or a skin care institution that is certified by the concerned authorities and works with trained professionals under rigorously tested protocols. This brings down the risk of mishaps that can cause severe and irreparable harm to your skin.
- Do not be tempted to look for cheaper options in order to save money.
- Ensure that the equipment and technology being used is up to the mark and is handled by trained and certified professionals that are aware of the different settings and controls the equipment comes with.
- Ensure that you discuss your medical history in detail with your dermatologist before deciding to go in for the treatment. Take into consideration the number of sittings required along with their costs and the side effects (if any) before taking a final decision.
- Religiously follow the pre and post-treatment guidelines that are given by your doctor to ensure that the risk of side effects and complications is minimized.
Ablative Vs. Non-Ablative Lasers
- Ablative Lasers – This is a wounding procedure where the intensity of the laser light vaporizes the outer layers of the skin that has aged or is damaged due to excessive sun exposure. This is an invasive process, which triggers the skin’s natural healing process of giving rise to new skin cells to replace the skin cells in the affected tissue. The laser also triggers the formation of collagen in the underlying skin layers, which ensures that the newly developed skin is healthier and tighter.
- Non-Ablative Laser– These lasers are less invasive when compared to the ablative ones and do not cause wounds. They function below the surface skin layer, by heating up the targeted skin tissue but do not destroy it. This leads to speeding up the recovery period. The collagen production in the body is once again triggered here by the laser, which helps in filling skin imperfections that were targeted for the procedure.
When compared to non-ablative lasers, the use of ablative lasers leads to a longer recovery period and downtime in addition to the increased risk of infection and scarring. It is also worth noting that non-ablative laser treatments will require multiple sessions to arrive at the desired results.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Deep Acne Scars?
Types Of Lasers Used For Skin Resurfacing
There are several different types of lasers that can be used for skin resurfacing and they are differentiated based on their wavelengths, pulse duration as well as the way they are absorbed by the skin tissue that is being treated. Let’s take you through some of the best lasers that are available in the Indian market.
- Fraxel Laser: This is a non-ablative laser that does not destroy the superficial layers of the skin. Multiple Fraxel laser sessions will be required to see significant fading in scars and wrinkles. It is a pain-free process with zero downtime and the chances of post-treatment side effects are extremely low.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser: The CO2laser is ablative in nature and owing to its high intensity, the candidates wishing to opt for this procedure need to satisfy a specific set of requirements to be able to qualify for such an invasive treatment. The latest development in CO2 lasers sees the use of very short-pulsed light energy or continuous light beams that are delivered in a scanning pattern to vaporize thin layers of outer skin with the least amount of heat damage. The recovery period can last up to two weeks.
- Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatment: The use of fractional lasers was a major technological shift in the laser world. A single laser beam was split into multiple smaller beams to treat microscopic columns of skin. This allows areas of skin to remain unaffected within the area of treatment, which resulted in visible improvement without much bleeding and crusting.
- Pixel Resurfacing: This is a fractional erbium YAG laser that is ablative in nature and is extremely safe for people with darker skin tones as well. Pixel is much more precise than CO2laser and works by creating many tiny holes in the skin, thus vaporizing the top skin layer but still leaving the surrounding skin cells intact which aids in the healing process. The use of Pixel also leads to an improvement in the color and texture of the skin with a downtime of one week to recuperate. However, there are chances of the client developing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) in some cases.
- V-Beam Laser: This is a pulsed dye laser and is essentially used to treat redness caused by dilated blood vessels on the face but its use is not limited to this. The V-Beam laser can also be used to treat acne scars, bruises as well as damage caused due to sun exposure.
- eMatrix Laser: This non-ablative laser is relatively new and uses bipolar radiofrequency energy to generate intense heat under the surface of the skin without damaging the top layer. It stimulates the production of elastin and collagen. The use of eMatrix laser for acne scars, stretch marks, and mild wrinkles among other things has yielded great results in the past.
In conclusion, remember that every individual case is different and results vary from person to person. So, if unwanted marks and scars have negatively affected your life and other treatments have not worked to your satisfaction, contact a qualified and experienced dermatologist at the earliest for a consultation session.