As we age the effects of the harsh Australian sun take their toll on the appearance of our skin. Generally, lines appear around the eyes and lips first. Then, as the collagen beneath our skin breaks down, deeper lines begin to appear, as well as obvious sun damage in the form of hyper-pigmentation (unattractive dark blotches).
The scarring of acne may worsen with age with an increase in redness, capillaries and facial veins more obvious. These can begin to appear along with a less firm surface to our skin.
Laser facial rejuvenation can help repair and renew our skin, producing excellent results. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) skin rejuvenation is a form of light-based skin therapy. By using safe and effective laser in a small area of the skin particular skin issues can be targeted and corrected.
This IPL technology works by lasers 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 the old and damaged areas of skin.
Fractional Laser uses pinpoint, computer-guided precision to create micro-channels 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, and can also target scars and discolouration, giving you fresher, smoother, more elastic skin; especially around the eyes and mouth.
Laser skin resurfacing removes skin layer by layer. The new skin cells that form during healing give the skin a tighter, younger looking surface. The procedure can be done alone or with other cosmetic surgeries on the face.
Tell your practitioner if you get cold sores around your mouth. Laser skin resurfacing can trigger breakouts in people who are at risk. If you smoke, you should stop for two weeks before and after the procedure as smoking can prolong healing.
Laser facial rejuvenation is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll not have to stay overnight. You can treat wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or forehead individually, or treat your entire face. For smaller areas, you will be administered a local anaesthetic and in some cases you may also be sedated.
Treating sections of the face takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes for each section. A full-face treatment takes up to two hours. Swelling after laser skin resurfacing is normal. Your practitioner may prescribe steroids to manage the swelling around your eyes. Sleeping on an extra pillow at night can also ease 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 recover (and be on the way to looking fabulous!) 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