At ENRICH, we offer the finest laser skin resurfacing treatments Melbourne has to offer, with the UltraPulse CO2 device. The UltraPulse uses fractional technology to effectively resurface with fewer risks and less downtime than traditional CO2 machines.
The UltraPulse uses tiny columns of energy that leave part of the cells intact to help speed recovery and reduce risks.
The UltraPulse CO2 laser can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including:
- Acne scarring
- Poor texture
- Poor tone
- 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 clinic can help you reach your goals.
What does resurfacing actually mean?
Skin resurfacing is pretty much what it says on the box: the top layers of cells 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 texture, tightening and toning, and undoing 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 as its modus operandi. The results can be quite dramatic changes, particularly after several treatments, which is recommended for best results – one treatment is usually just the beginning. The more layers are removed, the longer the recovery, and the more dramatic the results.
Newer technology aims to get better results with less downtime. Fractional lasers are useful for this.
Dermabrasion for skin resurfacing
Dermabrasion was one of our early, successful resurfacing treatments, and uses mechanical abrasion to remove cells. Dermabrasion is quite an intense procedure whereby the skin is literally sanded off under general anaesthesia. (This is the mother of all 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 is a very gentle resurfacing technique, also mechanical, but using diamond-tipped equipment that resurfaces, providing a boost to your complexion. It is inexpensive and low-impact.
Chemical peels are a great way to either gently or not-so-gently peel off the outermost layers. 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) for skin resurfacing treatments
The CO2 laser removes a layer of cells with each pass of the beam. The beam causes what’s known as ‘thermal injury’ to cells, which is essentially putting a strain on a cell by using heat, to stimulate the cell to spring back into action and regenerate.
Regeneration triggers more collagen and elastin production and builds up tone, tightness, and strength. Regeneration of cells can also remove fine lines and reduce wrinkles. CO2 lasers started the skin resurfacing revolution, but are not always used now due to long recovery times, redness, sometimes even scarring, and a sort of waxed look to the skin. Pigmentation problems post-treatment were also an issue.
The erbium laser is a newer resurfacing tool, with shorter recovery times and less undesirable outcomes than the CO2 laser. It is a very effective tool that takes off a slim slice of the top layer, but without as much heat as the CO2 laser. This means less tightening as part of the treatment compared with the CO2 device.
Fractional machines are now another alternative to both the erbium and CO2 lasers. Fractional lasers only treat a specific area by shooting laser beams into the skin in columns. This leaves any cells outside of the column largely untouched, reducing damage and recovery times. This makes fractional treatments 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 resurfacing performed? (Melbourne clinic)
The skin must be prepared prior to 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 resurfacing
Recovery may range from none to several weeks, depending on the depth of the treatment. Your facial tissue may become swollen or crusty, scabby, or peel. Your post-resurfacing care will likely include a good moisturiser.
Deep 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 ageing or damage. We can treat any wrinkles.
Areas that a laser can resurface
Energy-based 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 skin resurfacing
The best candidate 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, deeper procedures can be an option. The skin responds very well the more elastic it is. Anyone who scars easily or is very oily may need a greater investigative consultation before getting resurfacing treatments to make sure they are a good candidate.
Some medical conditions will make you less appropriate for resurfacing treatments, but speak to your dermatologist. Having realistic expectations is also useful, since these procedures aren’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 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 cells.
If you have minor imperfections, a big procedure like 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, dry skin cells
- 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 we can help you reach your skincare goals.
*Results may vary from person to person