Laser skin resurfacing

Purpose:

To reduce blemishes, fine lines, uneven pigmentation and scars.

The treatment:

These treatments are "ablative". This means that the laser beam will remove the top layer of the skin. When the skin heals and grows back it should do so without the blemishes, wrinkles and scars which were previously there.

A local anaesthetic may be used for the treatment and your eyes must be protected with specially designed goggles. The treatment may take up to 30 minutes, and there may be some pain.

The skin care regime in the week following the procedure is demanding and it is extremely important that it is adhered to rigidly. The regime will consist of rigorous cleansing of the skin every 2-3 hours initially and thorough moisturising using prescribed products. The skin will remain red for approximately 6 months post treatment and must be protected from the sun for a year.

The results:

Laser skin resurfacing can remove acne scars, birthmarks, sun damage and other skin blemishes.

The risks:

Laser skin resurfacing can leave skin blisters or burns which can lead to mild scarring and changes in skin colour or pigment. If used around the eyes, it can also lead to eyelid swelling - though this is temporary. Some people can experience permanent scarring. Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat birthmarks, which should fade as a result of treatment but may not disappear altogether.

Before you start:

Make sure that your chosen clinic is registered with the Healthcare Commission, and ensure that your practitioner holds BTEC qualifications or equivalent in light-based treatments. You should also check that your practitioner has experience in treating different pigmentation types. You should also make sure that your chosen clinic has a light-based system which can achieve the result you want for your skin and pigmentation type.

You will need to wear a sunblock after this treatment.

Also see:

Chemical peel

Procedure information is copyright Department of Health (http://www.dh.gov.uk. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.