At ENRICH, we offer the finest laser skin resurfacing treatments Melbourne has to offer, with the UltraPulse CO2 laser. The UltraPulse uses fractional laser technology to effectively resurface the skin with fewer risks and less downtime than traditional CO2 lasers.
The UltraPulse uses tiny columns of laser energy that leave part of the skin intact to help speed recovery and reduce risks of laser skin treatment or a laser facial.
The UltraPulse CO2 laser can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including:
- Acne scarring
- Skin pigmentation
- Loose skin
- Poor skin texture
- Poor skin tone
- Skin growths including seborrheic keratosis (senile warts) and syringomas
- The UltraPulse is also effective for areas such as the neck, back and décolletage.
Contact us to book a consultation to discuss how our Melbourne clinic can help you reach your skincare goals with laser skin treatments or a laser facial.
What does skin resurfacing actually mean?
Skin resurfacing is pretty much what it says on the box: the top layers of skin are removed using a variety of means, either a chemical peel, laser, plasma energy, or mechanical resurfacing.
Skin resurfacing treatments are designed to remove or reduce wrinkles, getting better skin texture, tightening and toning, and undoing skin damage caused from UV rays (sun, sunbeds). Pigmentation problems can also be addressed, along with acne scarring or scars from other causes.
Skin resurfacing removes layers of skin as its modus operandi. The results can be quite dramatic changes in the skin, particularly after several treatments, which is recommended for best results – one treatment is usually just the beginning. The more skin removed, the longer the recovery, and the more dramatic the results.
Newer technology aims to get better results with less downtime with skin resurfacing treatments. Fractional laser treatments are useful for this.
Dermabrasion for skin resurfacing
Dermabrasion was one of our early, successful skin resurfacing treatments, and uses mechanical abrasion to remove skin. Dermabrasion is quite an intense procedure whereby the skin is literally sanded off under general anaesthesia. (This is the mother of all skin resurfacing treatments, and should not ever be confused with its very gentle cousin, microdermabrasion, which is a walk-in walk-out no-downtime just-a-bit-of-redness treatment.)
Dermabrasion used to be the go-to treatment for scarring and wrinkles, but we’ve developed far better – less heavy-handed – techniques for this. The pitfalls are a few, though the results of dermabrasion are remarkable. There is some risk of pigmentation and scarring; dermabrasion is certainly not for everyone.
Microdermabrasion for skin resurfacing
Microdermabrasion is a very gentle resurfacing technique, also mechanical, but using diamond-tipped equipment that can resurface the skin, providing a boost to your complexion. It is inexpensive and low-impact.
Chemical peels for skin resurfacing
Chemical peels are a great way to either gently or not-so-gently peel off the outermost layers of skin. Chemical peels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with your dermatologist best placed to choose the right one for your skin type and tone. Peels are making a comeback, with better peel ingredients and procedures and solid results for a smaller price.
Ablative carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) for laser skin resurfacing treatments
The CO2 laser removes a layer of skin with each pass of the laser beam. This laser beam causes what’s known as ‘thermal injury’ to the skin cells, which is essentially putting a strain on a cell by using heat, to stimulate the cell to spring back into action and regenerate.
This regeneration produces more collagen and elastin, and builds up skin tone, tightness, and strength. It can also remove fine lines and reduce wrinkles. CO2 lasers started the laser skin resurfacing revolution, but are not always used now due to long recovery times, skin redness, sometimes even scarring, and a sort of waxed look to the skin. Pigmentation problems post-treatment were also an issue.
Erbium laser for laser skin resurfacing treatments
The erbium laser is a newer laser skin resurfacing tool, with shorter recovery times and less undesirable outcomes than the CO2 laser. It is a very effective laser skin resurfacing tool that takes off a skinny slice of the top layer of skin, but without as much heat as the CO2 laser. This means less skin tightening as part of the treatment compared with the CO2 laser.
Fractional lasers for laser skin resurfacing treatments
Fractional lasers are now another alternative to both the erbium and CO2 lasers. Fractional lasers only treat a specific part of the skin by shooting laser beams into the skin in columns. This leaves any skin outside of the column largely untouched, reducing skin damage and recovery times. This makes fractional laser treatments for skin resurfacing both very useful and less effective than other means. It is a compromise depending on your needs.
Which is the best way to resurface skin?
To give this a bit of a comparison, we can look at the recovery time vs results vs risks vs cost for these treatment options. It won’t be a matter of which is the best overall, but which is the best for your skin.
Best results (most effective at top)
- CO2 lasers
- Fractional CO2 lasers
- Erbium laser/plasma treatments/chemical peels
Recovery times (longest to shortest)
- Fractional CO2
- Erbium laser/chemical peels
- Plasma treatments
Cost (highest price at top)
- Fractional CO2/erbium laser/plasma treatments
- CO2 laser
- Chemical peels
Risks of treatments (riskiest at top)
- CO2 laser/plasma treatments
- Chemical peels/erbium laser
- Fractional CO2
How is laser skin resurfacing performed?
Laser skin resurfacing requires the skin to be prepared prior to any laser skin resurfacing treatments. This could include topical treatments and avoiding the sun. The treatment will likely need some anaesthetic, since it does include removing layers of skin.
Chemical peels, the lightest sort, may only sting a bit and may not require anaesthetic, and microdermabrasion is quite mild.
Recovery from laser skin resurfacing treatments
Recovery may range from none to several weeks, depending on the depth of the treatment. The skin may become swollen or crusty, scabby, or peel. Your post-resurfacing care will likely include a good moisturiser.
Deep laser skin resurfacing can require significant care afterwards, including antibiotics and sometimes dressings. It can take a week for serious resurfacing to start improving in appearance to the point where you would consider a social occasion.
What sorts of wrinkles can be treated with laser skin resurfacing treatments?
There are wrinkles caused by facial movements (known as dynamic wrinkles) then then static wrinkles that are caused by the skin ageing or skin damage. We can treat any wrinkles.
Areas that laser skin resurfacing can treat
Laser skin resurfacing treatments can be performed on just about any part of the body, but the most common areas are the face – in particular around the eyes and mouth – and décolletage. Acne scarring on other parts of the body can also be treated.
Best-case scenario candidates for laser skin resurfacing
The best candidate for laser skin resurfacing is anyone with fine lines and wrinkles, or those with sun damage and deep wrinkles. Fine lines are essentially wiped off the face and deeper wrinkles are softened.
If your skin hasn’t responded very well to gentler treatments, laser skin resurfacing can be an option. The skin responds very well the more elastic it is. Anyone who scars easily or has very oily skin may need a greater investigative consultation before getting skin resurfacing treatments to make sure they are a good candidate.
Some medical conditions will make you less appropriate for laser skin resurfacing treatments, but speak to your dermatologist. Having realistic expectations is also useful, since laser skin resurfacing isn’t magic and can’t work miracles. It can have a profound impact on the appearance of your skin, but not everyone gets dramatic results. Usually the deeper the treatment, the longer the recovery time, but the better the results.
Darker skin tones may have pigmentation risks associated with laser skin resurfacing, so your treatment will need greater consideration from your dermatologist. The laser used may be different (opting for the more directed fractional lasers) to avoid unintended laser beams triggering melanin release from nearby skin cells.
If you have minor skin imperfections, a big procedure like skin resurfacing may not be the right procedure – there are many gentler procedures that could work better, without the downtime.
Benefits of skin resurfacing treatments
- Remove or reduce fine lines
- Soften deep wrinkles
- Restore a beautiful complexion
- Remove dull skin
- Get rid of blotches
- Remove pigmentation
- Tighten skin
- Get rid of sun damage
- Even out colouring and tone
- Get rid of acne scarring
- Reduce scarring
- Better texture
- Look more youthful
- Healthy, strong skin
Contact us to book a consultation to discuss how our Melbourne clinic can help you reach your skincare goals.
*Results may vary from person to person
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