What is laser skin rejuvenation?
Laser skin rejuvenation is treatment that uses one or more lasers to make the skin look better. Laser skin rejuvenation uses laser light to remove dead cells and debris from the outer layers of skin; if a greater effect is needed, the practitioner can also use the laser to remove the outermost layer of skin itself.
New types of lasers can also stimulate healing in the lower layers of skin without affecting the outer layers. Examples are the ‘pico’ lasers, such as the Picosure from Cynosure or the PicoWay from Syneron Candela. A pico laser fires its beam so quickly – in a picosecond, a trillionth of a second – that it manages to bypass the surface of the skin altogether and gets straight to stimulating healing in the lower layers with pressure waves. A pico laser is brilliant for breaking up the pigment in tattoos, which it shatters by acoustic vibration, and can also be used for skin rejuvenation.
Laser skin rejuvenation may combine the use of lasers with other treatments, such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion, to achieve the rejuvenating effect that you are after.
Is laser skin rejuvenation safe?
Yes. Laser skin rejuvenation is safe provided that the practitioner is experienced and skilled with the laser.
Does laser skin rejuvenation work?
Yes. Laser skin rejuvenation is a reliably effective treatment.
Does laser skin rejuvenation hurt?
Whether laser skin rejuvenation hurts depends on exactly which treatment you have and how sensitive you are to pain. Some laser treatments make the area being treated feel hot, but not uncomfortably so. In other treatments, the laser feels somewhat like having a rubber band pinged against your skin.
Normally, the clinic will offer to apply anaesthetic cream to the treatment area if the laser is likely to cause you discomfort.
What is fractional laser treatment?
In a fractional laser treatment, the laser light is fired at the skin through a grid of tiny pinprick holes. That means that the laser energy drills a mass of tiny channels of damage into the skin, but in between each of these, a fraction of skin remains intact and undamaged. Doing this means that you get the rejuvenating effect, along with clearing of pigment and softening of wrinkles, in the treated area of skin, but there is less obvious damage to the skin on the surface, and the skin heals up much more quickly, thanks to those undamaged ‘fractions’ of it that weren’t touched by the laser.
Where can I get laser skin rejuvenation?
You can use the Find a Practitioner tool on this website to find a practitioner who offers laser skin rejuvenation.
When looking for a practitioner, bear in mind that practitioners who use cosmetic lasers in the UK don’t have to be regulated; nor do their clinics: Anyone who can buy (or rent) a laser can use it for cosmetic purposes (as opposed to medical purposes, for which lasers are regulated). So it’s vital you make sure that your chosen practitioner is skilled with the laser they will be using and has demonstrated they can get the type of results you’re seeking.
How much does laser skin rejuvenation cost?
Laser skin rejuvenation costs from £400 upward, depending on the area you’re having treated and the clinic performing the treatment.
How long does laser skin rejuvenation take?
Laser skin rejuvenation usually takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area.
If you need to have anaesthetic cream before the treatment, that will add another 30 minutes.
How long does laser skin rejuvenation last?
The effects of laser skin rejuvenation usually last two to three years. The better you look after your skin, the longer you can make the effects last. Wearing SPF50 every day is particularly crucial after laser treatment.
What should I expect after laser skin rejuvenation?
The skin of the treatment area is likely to be pink or even red after treatment, and to feel warm or hot; with more aggressive laser skin rejuvenation treatments, the skin may feel as though it has sunburn and may itch. After 24 hours, the skin may develop a rash of small spots. These symptoms typically disappear after three days to a week, depending on the size of the treatment area and the depth of the lasering.
After having laser skin rejuvenation treatment, you will need to protect the treated area from sun exposure.
Are there any side effects to laser skin rejuvenation?
You are likely to experience the direct effects explained in the previous section, such as pinkness, sensitivity, and itching.
Apart from these effects, it is possible for lasers to damage the skin, particularly if they are used at too high an intensity or by an inexperienced practitioner. With any laser treatment, make sure your practitioner explains to you beforehand very clearly what treatment will involve, what it will feel like and whether there will be downtime afterwards.
What is it like to have laser skin rejuvenation?
This depends on the type of laser skin rejuvenation that you are having, but here are two examples:
Laser Genesis. The Laser Genesis treatment uses a non-ablative Genesis Nd:YAG laser to generate renewal within the skin. The treatment is relatively gentle, starting with a light acid peel to sweep away dead cells and provide a clean surface for the laser to tackle. The peel tingles, but not enough to sting, and leaves the skin pink in patches. The practitioner then works the laser around the treatment areas, keeping the beam constantly moving, heating up the lower layers of the skin to 42 degrees. The laser feels hot, but not painfully so. The treatment gives a nice instant brightening result.
PicoWay Resolve Skin Rejuvenation. The PicoWay Resolve laser has a photoacoustic effect (which means sound waves are created as the laser light is absorbed into the skin) rather than a photothermal effect (where the laser light creates heat), so it does not heat up the surface of the skin. As a result, this laser gives what is supposed to be a ‘pain-free’ treatment, so you don’t need to have numbing cream beforehand. However, this depends on the intensity the practitioner uses: some people describe the feeling of the laser as being like having a rubber band snapped against the skin. Afterward, the treated skin is red and feels hot, as if with sunburn; it may take several days to start getting back to normal. The full effect of the treatment becomes apparent after several weeks, with wrinkles reduced and the skin appearing firmer and brighter.