What are the pros and cons between different skin resurfacing treatments?
I would like to know what's the difference between different methods of skin resurfacing, and which is the most effective. For example, I am considering between Tixel and Acnexel. I understand that both treatments uses thermo mechanical technology for skin resurfacing. What's the difference?
Skin resurfacing is a minimally invasive medical procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of your skin or treat minor facial flaws by removing layers of skin.
The 2 main types of Laser resurfacing can be done with:
• Ablative laser. This is a wounding laser, which removes the top layer of skin. Types of ablative treatments include the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and the erbium laser.
• Nonablative laser. This is a non-wounding laser, which does not remove the top layer of the skin. It stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin. This includes many types of lasers as well as intense pulsed light (IPL) devices.
Another type of laser resurfacing, fractional photothermolysis, is available in ablative and nonablative forms.
Although non-ablative laser resurfacing is less invasive, safer and requires less recovery time, it's less effective than ablative laser resurfacing.
Ablative laser resurfacing can cause various side effects, including:
• Redness, swelling and itching. After ablative laser resurfacing, treated skin will be itchy, swollen and red.
• Changes in skin color. Ablative laser resurfacing can cause treated skin to become darker than normal (hyperpigmentation) or lighter than normal (hypopigmentation).
Hyperpigmentation is more common in people who have darker skin.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing is safer than ablative laser resurfacing. However, it can also cause side effects, including:
• Changes in skin color. If you have tanned or darker skin, nonablative laser resurfacing can cause your skin to become temporarily darker (hyperpigmentation).
• Mild swelling and redness. Swelling and redness typically last only hours or days.
My suggestion for you is a Fractional Ablative Laser such as a Fractional CO2 Laser like Edge Fractional CO2 or Lutronic’s eco2.
If you have deep scars as well as dark skin type, Lutronic’s Infini RF is safer and more effective as it is non-ablative (lower chance of pigmentary skin changes) and able to delivery laser energy to deeper layers of the skin (up to 3.5mm).
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
It really depends on your concerns and skin condition that you are seeking treatment for.
If it is for acne scars, then generally I would go for the stronger fractional Ablative lasers (such as the CO2 Fractional Lasers) that can penetrate deeper into the skin and break down the scar tissue more effectively. Other Ablative technologies to consider would be the Erbium lasers, Fractional RF and Microneedle RF devices.
From my understanding, both Tixel and Acnexel are similar to each other and does not penetrate deep into the skin like the other stronger fractional devices as mentioned earlier. In this respect, it may be suitable for other skin concerns that do not require intense treatment such as pores etc.
Side effects wise, I think Dr Justin has done a great summary on the side effect profile of the different technologies mentioned.
Hope this helps.
All the best!