Thirty years ago, when we introduced lasers into our practice, only specific dermatological conditions were able to be treated. The lasers light were able to “burn off” the top skin layers allowing new skin to grow in its place and a great majority of patients ended up with beautiful results. However, the recovery time was longer. Since then, the technology has improved making lasers one of the most valued tools in cosmetic surgery.
Now we have dozens of the devices at Cosmetic Medical Centre because not one machine can do everything. We use these devices for erasing rough skin, wrinkles, scars, keloids, brown spots, moles, broken capillaries, blushing, as well as to perform face lifts, blepharoplasty and otoplasty.
The field of laser medicine and surgery is more complicated than ever; only specific devices are right for specific problems. The majority of surgeons have no idea how to use laser as a cutting tool and they claim that it is not necessary to use laser, however, there is no chance to perform, for instance, blepharoplasty without bruising if laser is not used as the cutting tool. Laser is so precise because the light is a focused beam that has just one colour and its rays target only the problem area while not touching the skin around it. This means there is no collateral damage.
However, we have to use totally different power (settings) of laser for young and old skin, for small or large lesions or for bigger areas. Our methods depend also on how much time you have for recovery. The rule of thumb is - short recovery, small improvement, and longer recovery means long lasting rejuvenation.
It is important to have a doctor with experience who is not only practicing simple procedures, but also laser surgery for many years. They should also have a variety of laser devices at the practice, as well as a large library of photos of previous patients with your specific skin condition or concern.
Sometimes I recommend laser resurfacing (total removal of the skin to a specific depth), but in many cases fractional laser (a laser with a dot pattern that damages less tissue and speeds recovery) is a better option. Different settings of fractional laser can treat many problems – this includes sun damaged skin, stretch marks or rosacea (redness of the face).
With modern topical creams or anaesthesia, we are able to achieve an almost painless treatment with laser; however, occasionally some patients may feel a hot pin-prick or rubber-band snapping sensation. Recovery is very quick following majority of laser treatments – occasionally a few hours of pinkness or mild swelling, or tiny scales for a few days.
It is up to the patient to make an informed decision, and you should be aware of the different treatment options that are available for you. The treatment options should be outlined and explained to you before the treatment commences, keeping in mind that sometimes less intensive therapies such as chemical peels, facials or specific creams may be enough for young relatively healthy skin.