Skin resurfacing is the treatment, or removal of some or all of the surface layers of skin as a therapeutic alternative to the surgical face lift. While still the gold standard, surgical lifting is a major procedure with inherent risks, and many patients wish to avoid the procedure altogether. Patients undergoing skin resurfacing treatments may also wish to stave off the need for a future face lift or simply age more gracefully. Although most often performed on the face, skin resurfacing may be performed on the body.
Different procedures, alone or in conjunction, vary in invasiveness and have a range of benefits beyond reduction of laxity including improvements in fine lines and wrinkles, firmness, texture, pore size, the appearance of photodamage (such as vascular and pigmented lesions), and a general healthy glow.
How Does it Work?
Energy-based skin resurfacing generally describes the delivery of therapeutic energy to the epidermis and/or dermis for thermal coagulation of tissue and stimulation of neocollagenesis, as well as the vaporisation or ablation of surface tissue. Adequate skin cooling maximises patient comfort and allows practitioners to deliver more energy reliably; modulation of treatment parameters allows users to customise treatment based on the condition and skin type of the individual patient, to maximise results as well as manage patient comfort and the potential for side effects. Treatment of darker skin with laser- or light-based modalities can be problematic due to the increased potential for burning or post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). In most cases several treatment sessions are required to fully realise outcomes.