Excessive skin pigmentation is a result of the overproduction of melanin. This excessive pigmentation can have a number of causes including excessive sun exposure, hormones, skin trauma and congenital conditions.
This unsightly pigmentation can now be treated effectively with lasers. The type of treatment used will be dependent on the type of pigmentation. Different lasers are used for different types of skin pigmentation and skin types.
Intense Pulsed Laser (IPL) technology works by a laser targeting cells and causing damage to the area. This damage promotes a wound-healing response in the skin, without a major tissue build-up. After treatment, the skin begins to rapidly produce new skin cells which replace old and damaged areas of skin.
C02 Lasers can provide dramatic improvements for sunspots and offer long-lasting results with the least amount of treatment. The intensity of the laser is adjusted on an individual basis and thus offers the practitioner a wide range of flexibility in minimising the appearance of sun damage on the skin.
Fractional Laser uses pinpoint, computer-guided precision to create microchannels in the skin. This initiates the body’s healing response by stimulating new collagen and elastin production, while the surrounding skin remains intact for rapid healing. Fraxel laser offers a less invasive wrinkle reduction treatment, while also targeting scars and discolouration; giving you fresher, more evenly coloured skin.
Laser facial rejuvenation is clinic procedure. You may have sections treated individually or treat your entire face and chest. For some areas, you may be numbed on the areas with a local anaesthetic cream.
Treating sections of the face takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes. A full-face treatment can take up to two hours. Swelling after laser skin resurfacing is normal. Sleeping on an extra pillow at night can ease this swelling.
Each treatment varies, so you will need to discuss with your laser practitioner as to how long your recovery (downtime) is. Depending on the type of laser used and the amount of treatment you have had will influence the recovery period greatly. As a guideline, you can expect all facial skin to be recovered within a week to ten days.
Risks and Complications
Potential risks of laser rejuvenation procedure include:
- Burns or other injuries from the laser’s heat
- Changes in the skin’s pigmentation, including areas of darker or lighter skin
- Reactivating herpes cold sores
- Bacterial infection