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Admin DXD from Singapore asked a question

What are the benefits and side effects of Laser on facial skin?

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DxD

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Dr Chua Cheng Yu
(10 Reviews)
91 answers on DxD

Dr Lee Mun Heng
(7 Reviews)
7 answers on DxD

Never have i gone for any laser on my skin before and am interested to know whats the benefits of doing so.

Is it purely just to somehwat destroyed the outer layer of the imperfect skin to reveal the inner layer that is in better conditions? If so, wont it make the skin more vulnerable?

But most importantly, what are the implications and side effects of laser on the facial skin? Are there any known long term damages on skin?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

Hi Audrey,

With regards to your questions:

Never have i gone for any laser on my skin before and am interested to know whats the benefits of doing so.

There are many different lasers in the market and each are built to address different skin conditions.  It can be used to brighten the skin, even out uneven skin tone, treat pigment, smoothen the skin and shrink pores, treat acne, treat acne scarring etc.  It really depends on the condition or effect that is sought.

Is it purely just to somehwat destroyed the outer layer of the imperfect skin to reveal the inner layer that is in better conditions? If so, wont it make the skin more vulnerable?

There are lasers that can “destroy” or ablate the outer layers of the skin. In so doing, it causes “new” skin to form and stimulates collagen regeneration during the healing process instead of revealing the inner skin layer. Therefore, the inner skin layer is still where it should be and is not exposed.

The result is smoother (and sometimes brighter) skin.

These intensive lasers are done at least 1 month apart so as to let your skin heal up completely.  It should not make your skin more vulnerable.

But most importantly, what are the implications and side effects of laser on the facial skin? Are there any known long term damages on skin?

Lasers are generally safe if done appropriately and safely.

However, in the wrong hands it can also cause complications such as:

  • Burns / blisters
  • Scarring
  • Hypopigmentation: permanent white spots due to too many sessions of laser done at too short intervals.

Hope this helps.

All the best!

0 1847 views 0 Doctors agree Thu Jan 25 2018 07:07:23 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Dear Audrey,

Thank you for your question on lasers. Essentially, lasers can be divided into 2 main categories, non ablative, aka pigment lasers, and ablative, aka resurfacing lasers.

Pigment Lasers: Good for skin tone issues

What are the benefits of pigment laser treatment?

  1. Lightening of your pigmentation (freckles, age spots, acne marks, tattoos) in general 60 to 90%. Pigments absorb the laser energy. These pigments gradually shatter into smaller fragments and are naturally cleared away by the body.
  2. Control of pimples and acne, reduced breakouts and improved oil control. Laser energy can aid in oil control via shrinking oil glands, eliminate P-acne, which is the bacteria that cause pimples and acne, and reduce further breakouts.
  3. Brightened, glowing and radiant skin. The laser helps even and lighten your skin tone and makes it brighter and clearer. It cleans the face, removes dead skin cells, oil, impurities. 

What are the side effects of pigment laser treatment?

In experienced hands, the risks of a laser treatment are smaller:

  1. Laser toning: Generally leads to mild redness.
  2. Spot treatment: May result in tiny swelling or  brown spots for 3 to 7 days after the treatment.

Is there any downtime?

Essentially no, which is the amazing thing about pigment lasers. A mild facial flushing might be present for 15mins after the laser.

Resurfacing Laser: Good for skin textural issues

What is fractional Skin resurfacing?

  1. Fractional laser treatments create micro-thermal zones deep into the skin. The laser vaporizes the microscopic columns of skin while leaving the surrounding tissue untreated.
  2. The body’s natural healing process creates new, healthy collagen to replace the columns of affected tissue. Once healed, skin texture improves and lines soften.
  3. The results are gradual and people can continue to see improvements in their skin for several months after their last fractional laser treatment. 

What are the benefits of fractional laser resurfacing?

Fractional laser skin resurfacing has three significant benefits compared to the traditional laser skin resurfacing:

  1. Safety: The fractional array of microbeams is gentler than traditional ablative skin resurfacing.
  2. Comfort: Each tiny microbeam focuses on a small area.
  3. Downtime: Downtime is controlled, on average 3 to 5 days.

What can you expect after a treatment?

  1. Immediately following the treatment, the skin will be red, and feels like a mild sunburn.
  2. These effects are normal and temporary and indicate a successful treatment.
  3. You may also experience a bronzed look once the redness subsides for approximately 3 days. The bronzed skin will eventually flake off revealing fresh new skin.

What are the potential complications of laser resurfacing?

  1. Milia, which are small white bumps, may appear, temporarily in the laser-treated areas during healing.
  2. Cold sore may occur, especially after laser skin resurfacing around the mouth.
  3. Facial swelling may occur. Patients are encouraged to sleep on an extra pillow at night to help reduce the swelling after laser resurfacing. Cold compress application is also helpful in the first 24-48 hours.

So I hope this answers your question, and you find this helpful. Have a good weekend!

0 1847 views 0 Doctors agree Thu Jan 25 2018 07:10:14 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Dear Audrey,

thanks for these questions!

There are many different types of LASER (Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). Mainly 3 types, the nonablative, subablative and ablative.Broadly speaking, it helps skin with wrinkles, pigmentation and scarring.

By doing ablative laser(not non-ablative), medically speaking, its using the principle of selective photothermolysis. There is removal of skin in a precisely controlled fashion with resultant minimal surrounding thermal damage. This results in well-organised skin cells with compact collagen and elastic fibers in the skin.

I would not say that the skin is more “vulnerable”, but will say its newer, younger and sensitive skin.

Nonablative laser (eg Nd-Yag laser) there is minimal downtime. Its used for superficial fine wrinkles, pigmentation and skin rejuvenation. Other non ablative laser can also be used for small fine blood vessels (telangiectasia).

Ablative laser (eg CO2 lasers) has 5-7 days downtime. Its used for acne scarring, wrinkles and pigmentation.

Side effects include hyper/hypopigmentation, scarring, persistent redness and infection.

There is so much to discuss regarding all the laser treatments and if you are suitable. Especially the pre and post laser care.

It will be best to consult and discuss with the doctor who is experienced in doing laser.

Thanks

0 1847 views 0 Doctors agree Thu Jan 25 2018 07:12:45 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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