Laser Surgery

A laser generates a high-intensity light-beam which can safely pass through the skin without damaging surround tissue to treat specific areas. The laser converts to heat and causes thermal damage to the selected tissue. As well as medical uses they are also used to treat wrinkles such as fine lines and skin blemishes and stretch marks by gently burning away a top layer of skin. It is also a method of permanent hair removal.

There are several different types of laser, depending on the treatment. The deeper the penetration of wavelength and number of times it crosses the face determines how red the face will be after treatment.

Lasers are safe if the treatment is being carried out by a professional. There should be no scarring and no bleeding. Discomfort may include sightly tender skin, similar to sunburn, for a few days for small areas. A full face treatment is more painful with the skin itching and possibly weeping although there will be continued improvements over several months.

“Non-ablative” lasers work using high heat to stimulate new collagen growth and eliminate unwanted hair and/or hyperpigmentation without burning. Wrinkles, scars, unwanted hair, brown spots and broken blood vessels can all be treated with this method. The actual treatment takes 15 minutes to an hour and you may need four to six treatments. Results can last years for wrinkles, scars and blood vessels; hair removal may need as many as four touch-ups annually. These are kinder to the skin and work best on superficial lines.

Risks: Those with olive, brown or black skin are at a higher risk of pigmentation changes. As with any surgery there is a certain amount of risk. There is a risk of burning. Lasers can also activate herpes virus (cold sores). You should also not have laser surgery if you have taken accutane in the past 18 months. You will need to pre-prepare for the surgery. The final results of laser surgery may take some type to appear and you should take protection from the sun. It is also important to remember that although the effects are long-lasting they are not permanent.