Is laser skin resurfacing safe?
Laser skin resurfacing is safe provided that the practitioner is fully trained, experienced, and skilled with the laser they will use to treat you. If the practitioner is untrained or is unskilled with this particular laser, you risk severe damage to your skin.
Does laser skin resurfacing work?
Yes, laser skin resurfacing does work, and it can help with a wide range of skin conditions, from reducing acne scarring to smoothing and brightening older skin.
Does laser skin resurfacing hurt?
How much laser skin resurfacing hurts depends on the type of resurfacing you’re having. Ablative treatment, which removes the outer layers of skin, typically hurts more than non-ablative treatment, which does not remove layers of skin. Still, non-ablative Fraxel treatment can be pretty uncomfortable, depending on the intensity of the treatment that you are given.
Clinics generally offer pain relief for laser skin resurfacing. For ablative treatment, you may have a local anaesthetic; some clinics even offer intravenous sedation. For non-ablative treatment, a numbing cream is usually enough to minimise discomfort.
Where can I get laser skin resurfacing?
You can use the Find a Practitioner tool on this website to find a practitioner who offers laser skin resurfacing near you.
When looking for a practitioner for laser skin resurfacing, keep in mind that the UK has essentially no regulations restricting the use of lasers for aesthetic treatments: Just about anyone can buy a laser (given the funds) and start using. So it’s vital that you ensure your practitioner has not only trained fully with the laser they will be using on you but can demonstrate the ability to use it safely to produce the kind of results you want.
How much does laser skin resurfacing cost?
The cost of laser skin resurfacing varies considerably, depending on which area you’re having resurfaced and the laser technology involved – and the area of the country you live in. Full-face skin-rejuvenation treatment with laser costs from £400 upwards.
How long does laser skin resurfacing take?
The treatment itself is relatively quick – from 30 minutes to an hour. But usually you will have pain relief before the treatment, which adds half an hour or so.
Are there any side effects of laser skin resurfacing?
Laser skin resurfacing can have various side effects. Most of the side effects stem from lasers’ potential for heating and damaging the skin, so they come as no surprise.
This is the one side effect you are likely experience from laser skin resurfacing:
- Redness. Your skin may be red after treatment. The redness may persist for a day or two, depending on the intensity of the treatment. This is normal, as the skin heals and recovers from treatment.
The following are side effects that occur less frequently with laser skin resurfacing:
- Hypopigmentation. Hypopigmentation means ‘too little pigmentation’. Your skin becomes depigmented and shows pale patches.
- Hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation means ‘too much pigmentation’. Your skin develops darker patches, because the melanocytes (the cells that make pigment in the skin) have gone into overdrive.
- Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation usually occur only if the practitioner over-treats your skin with laser. Both problems are much more common with old-style ablative lasers and when darker skin tones are treated with laser without sufficient care.
So can darker skin tones be treated with laser skin resurfacing?
Most practitioners these days would just say, ‘No’. Just because it is risky, and because the potential for complications such as hyper- or hypopigmentation is too high, and so it is not worth the risk.