Resurfacing roads isn’t like resurfacing skin. On the road, a fresh layer of tarmac is applied on existing roads. The top layer of the road may be slightly scraped off first, but mostly it’s about covering up the damage. Skin resurfacing digs a little deeper down, and here’s why.
Any flaws on your skin are likely to come from below. For example, dark spots and discolouration might be the result of blocked pores, or maybe burst capillaries. So if you want to fix the problem, you have to treat the source. This means hitting your sub-dermal layers.
It’s also important to note skin resurfacing is a bit like exercise. When we work out, we stretch, tear, and stress our muscles, breaking them down so that they re-grow larger and stronger. We essentially force our bodies to heal, while pushing them to produce bigger, better tissues that can withstand more punishment (and tougher work-outs).
Skin resurfacing does that. It ‘injures’ your skin cells, forcing them to heal and re-grow in softer, suppler versions. In this way, we repair skin problems like acne, wrinkles, sun damage, scars, and even smoker’s lines. We get rid of ‘bad skin’ and prime our bodies to re-grow ‘clean skin’.
When Carbon Dioxide Is Good
There are two main types of skin resurfacing – ablative and non-ablative. Ablative methods remove the damaged skin cells. These methods can be surgical or chemical. Non-ablative methods treat your skin without peeling it off. Instead, they trigger healing in other ways.
In ablative resurfacing, damaged skin is removed using lasers. And for a long time, carbon dioxide lasers were preferred. However, CO2 lasers are more aggressive, and they take a longer time to heal. Experts then developed non-ablative gallium arsenide lasers (GaAs).
While both CO2 and GaAs can be effective, you get best results by combining them. That’s how fractional laser resurfacing was born. It enables skin therapists to apply both methods of treatment, sequentially or simultaneously. You can also apply them separately if you prefer.
Image 2 When used together, GaAs and CO2 are applied to the same microdot. GaAs is delivered at wavelengths of 1,540nm, and while its wavelengths are shorter, its reach is deeper. It goes as far down as 1mm, and works especially well on wrinkles and sunspots.
Meanwhile, CO2 has longer wavelengths of 10,600nm. They stimulate your cells to produce more collagen, plumping your skin and repairing any damage. Being ablative, CO2 ‘peels off’ skin closer to the surface, revealing the healthier skin below as GaAs coagulates your tissues, preventing and repairing the ruptured vessels that cause pigment spots and splotched skin.
Comparing CO2 resurfacing and fractional resurfacing
CO2 is falling out of favour because it has more side effects and a longer recovery time. But it’s still in use, so let’s see how it measures up against ‘mixed technology’ resurfacing.
|CO2 Laser |
|CO2 + GaAs (fractional / hybrid / mixed tech)|
|Uses a single CO2 laser||Uses dual lasers that can be applied together, in turns, or separately for targeted treatments|
|Peels off damaged skin, revealing the healthy skin below||Peels off damaged skin while also stimulating your cells to produce extra collagen, resulting in more youthful skin|
|Requires local anaesthesia and sometimes sedation, as it can be quite painful||GaAs and patterned application reduces pain, so anaesthesia isn’t necessary|
|Treated area may have to be bandaged for a day or so, followed by aftercare with saline or vinegar for the next few weeks to prevent infection and scarring||No dressings required, though it may feel like mild sunburn for a few days after treatment|
|Skin looks reddish and raw after treatment, and the redness may persist 6 months or more||No redness, rawness, or swelling thanks to GaAs counteracting the downsides of CO2|
|Blondes and redheads may take longer for the redness to fade, while darker skin tones are prone to hyper-pigmentation after treatment||Can be used on all skin tones and skin types with no side effects|
|There’s a risk of bacterial infection, cold sore flare-ups, and acne flare-ups. You may also get milia (white bumpy cysts) and some swelling.||No risk of infection, swelling, or cysts|
|Hypopigmentation occurs in rare instances||No pigmentation problems result from treatment|
Patterned application for better results
Resurfacing exposes your cells to laser energy at extremely high temperatures. To prevent the heat from over-saturating your cells – and to minimise pain – our mixed technology lasers apply heat in a pattern. We have several modes we can use:
• RT mode (reticular) – laser dots form a square pattern in alternating lines. Ideal for treatments with high-density application.
• CD mode (constant distance) – laser dots form a diamond-shaped pattern in alternating lines. Ideal for high intensity applications.
• Interlaced and alternated patterns – mixes both laser dot patterns in the same session.
When you opt for hybrid fractional skin resurfacing, you see immediate results. Many patients are happy with a single session. Still, our CEO Linda Cunningham will sit with you at no extra cost. During your free consultation, she’ll assess your skin and recommend the best treatment.
Lift and tighten for a brand new body
Resurfacing is most often done on your face, but other body parts can benefit too. It works equally well on your neck, hands, and for spot treatment. The beauty of laser resurfacing is that it triggers your skin’s healing reflex, so it continues working even after you leave. Walking out of our Epilight New Skin Clinic, your face will glow and you’ll look visibly fuller and fresher.
But several days or months after your session – even without additional treatments – your skin will continue to produce collagen and make smooth, wrinkle-free cells, so you literally look younger every day. This cuts across both male and female patients, who have told us their skin is clearer, finer, and more supple, with all spots and pockmarks gone.
To book your laser skin resurfacing session, call Epilight New Skin Clinic today on 0151 709 0099.