Erbium Laser Resurfacing
|Procedure:||Erbium laser resurfacing|
|Also known as:||Skin resurfacing, erbium YAG laser, CO2 laser and resurfacing|
|Used for:||Stimulating collagen production, scarring, acne scarring, lines and wrinkles, skin tightening, sun damage, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, removal of pigmentation and smoothing skin.|
Erbium Laser is a specialised and computer-controlled removal of layers of the skin’s surface with the ability to produce outstanding results with minimal risk.
An Erbium Laser Treatment can remove both superficial and medium depth lines, including some scarring, depending on the controlled depth of the ablation and the amount of ‘passes’ your doctor will perform.
While the traditional surgical face lift can improve the appearance of the skin’s surface by physically tightening wrinkles and lines, frequently the results are short-lived as the collagen support structure of the skin has not been treated and the skin continues to sag.
The visible texture and pigment colour of the skin’s surface is also not treated during a face lift, leaving tighter but still aged looking skin. Laser resurfacing can have more global effects, e.g. treating the whole face, neck and hands. It is often used in conjunction with a face lift to remove stubborn lines.
Controlled ablation (removal) of layers of the skin’s surface can produce both tightened and refreshed skin by stimulating the production of new collagen fibres and removing any damaged fibres.
While the CO2 laser was very effective as the original skin resurfacing laser, its side effects were much stronger and the recovery time was longer than the newer Erbium Laser.
Practitioners soon realised the benefits of being able to control the heat generated by the Erbium Laser to reduce a patient’s recovery time. The CO2 laser can produce large bursts of heat, penetrating the skin’s surface, and leaving the skin quite reddened for a lengthy period of time after the initial healing phase. The laser’s excessive heat also caused the removal of pigment in some patients.
The Erbium Laser does not penetrate as much heat into the skin as it passes over. This allows the patient to recover from the initial skin healing phase in seven to ten days, rather than ten to fourteen days with the CO2 laser. The second phase of skin healing can produce redness of the skin for up to six months after a CO2 laser and is only approximately one to six weeks with an Erbium Laser treatment.
The Erbium Laser will successfully reduce or remove both fine lines and deep wrinkles on the face. Even the delicate areas around the lips and eyes can be removed without the tell tale line of demarcation from other hotter lasers. Irregular pigmentation, sunspots and freckles are also removed when the damaged surface layers of skin are carefully vaporised. Stimulation of collagen in the area can also create a slight lifting of the skin as the new collagen fibres provide some extra support.
The Erbium Laser can also be used on the delicate neck area and even on the backs of hands to remove tell tale signs of damaged skin through over-exposure to harmful rays of the sun. Generally the skin in these areas is not ‘tightened’ as much as on the face, but photo-aging can be dramatically improved and will blend with any new skin colour and tone to match your full face Erbium Laser treatment.
Acne scarring can also be improved and reduced by Erbium Laser resurfacing. The same theory applies to the removal of both deep and fine lines. However, as acne scars are often much deeper than wrinkles, a complete improvement cannot be guaranteed. Safety dictates only a select amount of layers be removed during a procedure.
Patients can select the type of sedation used during their treatment but usually it is recommended to have twilight sedation to make the procedure more comfortable. There is no need for any hospitalisation. Recovery time after the one-hour procedure is generally only two hours before the patient can be discharged to the care of a responsible adult at their own home.
Once the procedure is completed, a moisturising gel bandage dressing is applied to prevent stinging. There is no pain after the procedure and no pain during if proper sedation is used. Some itching or tightness of the skin may occur in the days following the treatment as your skin begins its healing response.
Daily dressing changes will be performed by nurses in our clinic to keep the area clean and protected. We will also wash your hair and help keep the skin around the area clean.
The skin will slowly heal within seven to ten days after treatment.
Around the two-week mark, when the entire area is healed over, patients may apply makeup to the skin to cover any redness.
All care must be taken to never expose the treated skin to direct sunlight in the first few weeks after the procedure. Hats and sunscreen must be used at all times, even if you are only walking outside for a few minutes. Your skin must be treated with the same care that you would treat a newborn baby.
We were one of the first in WA to perform Erbium laser and have performed hundreds of successful cases. Our nurses are caring and give excellent follow up care.
Contact Absolute Cosmetic Medicine today for more information about this procedure.
A word from Dr Murray…
We have purchased three of the Alma Harmony laser machines.
These are some of the best machines on the market due to an extremely short pulse time. This delivers high energy very quickly, causing precise skin removal.
As such, healing times for Erbium laser have dropped between one and four days in most instances. Often now, patients are fully healed by the six-day mark and pink for only five days, where previously this could be double.