A laser peel is performed by using a CO2 or Erbium laser, which is capable of delivering short bursts of energy. By focusing the laser on the surface of the skin, it is possible to remove wrinkles, scars and many other skin blemishes without leaving a scar.
The advantages of the laser are that there is no need for hospitalisation or general anaesthesia. Facelifts only help with folds and sagging skin. A facelift does nothing for the wrinkles on the upper lip, bridge of the nose, frown area, eyelid, forehead and most areas of the chin.
A laser peel of the upper lip takes a few minutes while an entire face can take up to an hour depending on the degree of wrinkling. The peel has a favourable benefit-to-risk ratio and has the lowest risk than of other procedures to remove wrinkles.
The advantages of the Erbium YAG laser over the CO2 laser has less pain during the procedure so less need for sedation and injections. The healing time is also quicker taking less than a week. However deeper wrinkles and acne scars are not removed as effectively and the CO2 laser is superior in that regard.
Common questions about laser resurfacing
How long does a laser peel take?
A laser peel of the upper lip takes a few minutes. To do the whole face generally takes thirty minutes to several hours, depending on the anaesthetic, and the severity of the wrinkles or scars.
How painful is the procedure?
Pain medication, sedatives, or local or general anaesthetics are usually given to make the procedure comfortable. After the laser peel there is very little pain for most patients.
How can I prepare for a laser peel?
Your doctor may recommend the use of glycolic-acid products. Skin-lightening products will help to condition the skin and suppress pigment blotches, which frequently appear from hormones and sun exposure. Normally, 2-3 weeks of skin preparation helps the skin heal faster after a laser peel. Sun screen and sun protection before and after the peel is also very helpful to encourage a good result
What do I look like while my skin is healing?
During the recovery period following a laser peel, there will be some oozing and swelling of the skin for a few days. A dressing or ointments are usually applied to the skin to prevent crusting and scabbing. The skin will gradually heal within 14 days.
How should I care for my skin after the peel?
About 2 weeks after the laser peel, the skin will still be pink and smooth. Makeup may be used at this time. Strict sun avoidance is necessary until the pink discolouration disappears. There are creams that can be used to help heal and protect the skin. Glycolic-acid products or Retin-A, can usually be restarted a few weeks after a laser peel has healed.