Laser Skin Resurfacing

Visit Colleen Dunn’s story, to learn more about her story on the treatment.

How does Laser Skin Resurfacing work?

The laser precisely vaporizes layers of the skin, removing the damaged superficial layers, it stimulates the deeper layers to produce new collagen thus improving skin texture and reducing wrinkles.

What can this laser be used for?

Dr Martin can use the CO2 Laser on the eyelids or around the mouth, however the whole face can be resurfaced in one treatment. Facial wrinkles, sun or age spots, freckles, acne scarring, facial scars and benign skin lesions can all be treated with the CO2 Laser.

How is this procedure performed?

The procedure is performed in Harley Place Day Surgery by Dr Martin. Laser resurfacing of localized areas can be done with local anaesthetic, however in some instances sedation is also desirable. If you are having full face laser resurfacing local anaesthetic and sedation are used and the procedure takes approximately 1.5 hours for a full face.

What can I expect after surgery?

You are able to go home 1-2 hours following your procedure, however it is essential that a responsible adult accompany you home. You cannot drive yourself home.

Each lasered area of skin will be covered by a dressing. The skin will weep with some bleeding for the first 5-6 days. Swelling is common for about 3-5 days. Your skin will take approximately 10-14 days to heal and thereafter it will remain pink (like a sunburn) for several weeks. In some individuals with sensitive skin this redness can persist for longer periods. In any case, whatever the period of redness it progressively fades and eventually disappears. In the meantime it can be camouflaged with makeup as soon as the skin has fully healed.

Sun exposure must be completely avoided post-operatively and sunscreen should be used for at least 6 weeks following surgery and is recommended as a routine to maintain the result. Antibiotics and anti-virals are required for the week following the procedure.

You are unable to go to work or socialize until the skin heals in approximately 10-14 days. During this time you will need to visit Dr Martin in his rooms regularly to have your dressings changed.

What are the possible complications?

The new skin will remain pink for some time. Redness of the area can occur and remain over several months, but it will eventually disappear. Dark pigmentation is possible but rare and always disappears within several weeks. As mentioned sun exposure must be completely avoided post-operatively, and the use of sunscreen is imperative. Scarring can occur but is uncommon.

There are certain pre-operative considerations that must be established to determine suitability for laser facial resurfacing. Please inform Dr Martin if you have had any previous peels, if you scar easily, if you have taken isotretinion (Roaccutane) in the last 2 years for acne, if you suffer active acne now, or if you have had an attack of herpes zoster (shingles) or cold sores previously.