All of us over 30 begin to see distressing signs of facial aging and sun damaged skin. Sun worshippers and smokers see these skin aging changes sooner. Fractional laser skin resurfacing, a non-surgical anti-aging skin rejuvenation method was introduced several years ago as an improved method for wrinkle removal and facial skin rejuvenation.
Fractional laser skin resurfacing was developed to eliminate many of the problems associated with traditional old time laser skin resurfacing. Traditional laser skin resurfacing was very effective at wrinkle removal, but recovery was long and difficult and the skin often turned white, called hypo pigmentation, 6 months after treatment. Fractional laser skin resurfacing was developed to remove wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin with minimal downtime, quick recovery and normal skin color and texture after the skin rejuvenation procedure.
Recently, a new technique called combined fractional laser skin resurfacing has been developed to improve wrinkle removal and skin rejuvenation results. This new technique provides much better wrinkle removal and skin rejuvenation, but also plumps and improves the texture of aging skin much better than previous techniques.
How Does Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing Remove Wrinkles and Rejuvenate the Skin?
The basic cause of skin wrinkles and skin aging changes is loss of collagen in the skin. Collagen in the deep layer of our skin provides moisture, nutritional support, skin plumping and elasticity SkinCell PRO which is the firmness and skin tightening component of our skin.
As we age, exposure to years of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight, toxins in our diet and environment, and unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and tanning all contribute to the destruction of collagen in our skin. When collagen is lost, our skin looses texture, elasticity and fullness, and wrinkles and sagging skin result. For an analogy, think of a plump juicy plum with smooth skin. Place the plum into the sun for a period of time, water (like collagen in the skin) is lost and the plum turns into a wrinkled prune.
In an effort to protect itself, our skin surface responds to these aging changes by producing pigment to block the UV sunlight, and our skin thickens with extra layers of dry old looking skin.
All cosmetic laser skin rejuvenation methods attempt to restore skin to a youthful state by stimulating the skin to grow new collagen to replace lost skin collagen to plump and tighten loose skin. In addition, many cosmetic laser skin rejuvenation methods strip away the damaged surface skin cells to remove pigment and dead thickened skin and stimulate new healthy looking skin cells to grow.
Fractional laser skin resurfacing is a skin rejuvenation technique which removes dead surface skin cells and pigment and stimulates the deep layer of the skin, the dermis to produce new collagen to replace the collagen that has been lost by facial aging changes. In summary:
Skin aging is results in:
- Loss of collagen in the skin=wrinkles and loose skin
- Skin surface changes=dry, pigmented, course skin
All cosmetic laser skin resurfacing methods rejuvenate skin by:
- Removing aged skin surface cells and promoting new skin cell growth
- Promoting new deep skin collagen to plump wrinkles and tighten skin
Why is Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing Better?
Older CO2 laser resurfacing, called flat beam laser resurfacing produced excellent wrinkle removal and skin tightening, but recovery was very difficult, requiring weeks for the skin to heal. In addition, traditional laser skin resurfacing damaged pigment cells in the skin which caused the skin to turn white. These problems were caused by the fact that the older lasers treated the entire surface of the facial skin, thus healing required new skin cells to be produced by hair follicles and sweat glands in the skin. This was a very slow process requiring up to two weeks for new skin cells to cover the surface of the face.
New fractional laser skin resurfacing is effective but much safer than traditional CO2 resurfacing. The fractional laser resurfacing beam is broken up into many small beams so that the laser affects only small focused areas of the skin. Fractional laser resurfacing leaves skip areas on the skin that are left normal and undamaged. These untreated skin cells are able to rapidly heal the treated skin with new skin cells. The treated areas, called micro treatment zones are healed in 6 hours with the fractional Lux2940 Erbium laser on the Starlux laser. CO2 fractional lasers like the Fraxel Repair and Lumenis ActiveFX and DeepFX take a little longer, up to 48-72 hours.
Fractional lasers are also able to penetrate the skin into the dermis much deeper than flat beam techniques. Deeper penetration causes more effective new collagen production. This characteristic results in improved skin plumping and better skin texture.
Fractional laser skin resurfacing is better than old time flat beam laser resurfacing because skin healing is much quicker, and the risk of white skin, hypo pigmentation is much less.
The benefits of fractional laser skin resurfacing are:
- Quicker skin healing
- Deeper penetration for better collagen production
- Less risk of hypo pigmentation
- Improved skin texture
- More gentle, quicker recovery
- Improved wrinkle removal, pigment removal and skin tightening